Best players in the Premier League: Top 10 centre-backs this season
The goalscorers and the fancy wingers might take all the limelight in a football team, but an outstanding centre-back is worth his weight in gold. The attacking evolution of the modern game means that teams now play a lot more open, ambitious football, which makes the role of a defender that much harder.
Gone are the days when the central defenders were only meant to stop the opposition attacks. Instead, they are now the initiators of attack and are supposed to join the attacking players in their quest for a goal. They are expected to find the net from set pieces, they are expected to be good at passing, but they are also required to be rock solid at the back.
Understandably, the role of the centre-back has broadened in the recent years, but the defenders have evolved with the game too. As such, there are some fantastic central defenders around right now who are indispensable to their teams. Today, we take a look at the top 10 among them this season.
#10 Michael Keane (England, Everton)
The English defender had a pretty good year and was stellar for his team throughout the season. It has been 4 years since he had left United, but in these years, Keane has developed into a fine young footballer and certainly better than quite a few defenders that United currently have in their ranks.
Keane started 33 games for Everton this season in the Premier League, as he endured a serious injury at the end of August. The Englishman was out for almost a month due to a fractured skull, a period where he missed 2 games in the league. However, Keane did not let that injury affect his game and grew in stature with each passing game.
The Englishman has 1.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 5.5 clearances per game in the Premier League. He has even managed one goal and 2 assists in the league for Everton and is a goal threat from set pieces. Keane has a tackle success rate of 61% in the league and has just 2 yellow cards so far. He also has 1 goal and 2 assists to his name.
Keane likes to initiate attacks from the deep; he has registered 97 accurate long balls and has also created 3 big chances this season. He has averaged around 46 passes per game so far.