Champions League: Top 10 players in Europe this season
#8 Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)
One of the best defenders in the world, De Ligt has caused havoc to every team he has played against. His performances against Real Madrid and Juventus, two of the strongest sides in Europe, are no less than absolutely stunning, and the 19-year-old captain is set to lead Ajax to their first UCL final in 24 years, if not win it all.
Brilliant in the air, quick with his feet and probably the best ball playing centre back in the Netherlands, Matthijs de Ligt is one for the future. He has won more duels than Europe's best defender, Van Dijk, and has a passing accuracy of 88%.
It is certain that de Ligt will leave Ajax this summer, but his destination is still undecided. The Ajax president named two clubs he could join, Bayern and Barcelona. De Ligt is one of the best young prospects we've seen in recent years.
#7 Aymeric Laporte (Man City)
The former Athletic Bilbao captain signed for Manchester City back in January last season for a staggering fee of £57 million, making him one of the costliest defenders ever. But his price tag is not what makes him special.
What makes him special is that despite his young age, he has benched the likes of Kompany and Otamendi, who were probably the best defenders for Manchester City once upon a time. Laporte's name doesn't induce the same thrill as it does for Virgil Van Dijk, Koulibaly or Sergio Ramos, but he is one of the best in business, currently.
Aymeric Laporte has a passing accuracy of 93%, the best in Europe for a defender. The Spanish man has won 42 duels in 9 appearances for Man City in the UCL, having a tackle-winning percentage of 80%. Unsurprisingly, he is the player with the most passes this season in the Premier League.
Laporte's versatility to play as a left back or a centre back as helped Pep's side to bring stability to the team and the fact that he is only 24-years-old makes him a promising player for Man City.