5 Premier League midfielders who can play as centre-backs

Real Madrid v Liverpool FC - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Leg One
Real Madrid v Liverpool FC - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Leg One

The Premier League has seen teams become strong defensive units over time. Using a defensive approach, plenty of teams have gone on to do well in England's top-tier football.

It is not just the defensive approach that makes a difference but the quality of defending that matters the most. For a secure and reliable defense, a club requires strong and effective defenders.

Premier League midfielders are versatile

A stable defense is only possible with the help of quality center-backs. But we have seen how injuries can throw a good plan out of the window. Injuries to central defenders have hampered teams severely in the past and the best example was Liverpool last season. The Reds played the majority of the season without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez in the Premier League.

In such a case, players who can play centre-backs come in very handy. Defensive-minded midfielders are more often capable of playing the central defender role. On that note, let's take a look at the five best Premier League midfielders who can also play as centre-backs:

#5 Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United)

Leeds United v Manchester United - Premier League
Leeds United v Manchester United - Premier League

Kalvin Phillips is not the tallest of players but his playing style is quite aggressive and on the defensive side. The English midfielder came through the ranks at Leeds United and has been with the Whites since then.

The 25-year old has been a vital player for Leeds United courtesy of his dominating presence in midfield. He can win the ball back and protect his defense from the opposition attack time and again. Kalvin Phillips' impressive performance earned him a place at Euro 2020 with England.

Things we learned from #ENGCRO today:🟢 Kalvin Phillips is a Viera re-gen🟢 Mings and Stones are the best looking centre back partnership in world football 🟢 Jordan Pickford is capable of elite shithousery in the later stages of a tournament🟢 It's coming home

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has used the Englishman as a centre-back before and despite his height, Phillips has been effective in the defense. His smart reading of the game helps a lot in impactful and smart defending. Given the need, he's a very good option to play in central defense.

#4 Scott McTominay (Manchester United)

Manchester United v Leeds United - Premier League
Manchester United v Leeds United - Premier League

Scott McTominay is a product of the Manchester United academy and has lately become a regular face for the Red Devils. Despite initially struggling, the Scottish midfielder has come a long way in his football career.

Under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Scott McTominay played almost every game alongside Fred in midfield. With the Norwegian no longer associated with the Red Devils, it would be interesting to see if the Scotsman is playing regularly under the new management.

Gary Neville: “I thought Mctominay would be Maguire’s centre back partner. He’s quick, aggressive, he gets up the pitch, can pass well as a defender, dominant. I don’t see much difference between him and Stones, Rice, Dier, there’s a lot of similarities.” [@WebbyONeill]

McTominay is 6 feet 4 inches tall and is very good at tackling and winning the ball aerially. Courtesy of these abilities, he has been used as a centre-back by Scotland and also sometimes at Manchester United.

With his physical structure and technical abilities, he is well suited to play the central defender role in the Premier League.

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Edited by Nived Zenith
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