Generation Next: 5 most promising centre-back pairings of the future
An analysis of the most promising centre-back pairings from leading nations
After having illustrious careers for the better part of their careers, a host of leading centre-back pairings in the world will be winding down their careers after next year’s World Cup.
A gale of retirements is expected to hit a lot of the leading footballing nations after Russia 2018 and in some cases, an increase in competition is to be expected.
In certain leading nations like France, young centrebacks are leading the team and are plentiful (Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Aymeric Laporte, Lucas Hernandez etc) so such teams have been omitted from this list.
#1 Niklas Süle and Jonathan Tah (Germany)
A central defensive pairing that has been much talked about in the German media, Süle and Tah will certainly have their work cut out for them to break into a German set up already boasting the world-class talents of Jérôme Boateng and Mats Hummels (both are also ahead of Süle at Bayern Munich) and the more than able deputies of Shkodran Mustafi, Matthias Ginter, Antonio Rüdiger.
The pair has earned rave reviews for characteristics they seem to share; strength, gold aerial ability and excellent reading of the game. While Süle is a more aggressive defender, Tah is more in the ball-playing mould with his excellent distribution.
One or both of them are expected to be part of the Mannschaft’s Russia party and unless an injury crisis erupts, both players are not expected to be coach Jorgi Loew’s starting line-ups.
With 10 caps between them (7 for Süle and 3 for Tah) the future of the national team appears secured with the presence of these two giants.