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EPL 2016/17: Top 5 defensive midfielders ranked

Comparing the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League in 2016/17.

Gueye’s performances have been overshadowed by the likes of Lukaku

Sometimes the beautiful game isn’t so beautiful. As is the case with any art form, there needs to be some destruction in order to create something beautiful. Football is an art form, in a way, and although creative players and goalscorers grab the majority of the headlines, the defensive ones enable them to thrive.

No successful team in history that has been built solely with attacking players has conquered all before them.

We compare the five best defensive midfielders in the Premier League this season.

Since statistics don’t reveal the complete picture, this top 5 has been chosen based on their individual performances, their importance to their respective teams, their team’s position in the table and their individual statistics as well.


#5 Idrissa Gueye – Everton

Idrissa Gueye has been instrumental in Everton’s season under Ronald Koeman. The 27-year-old has been at the heart of all the defensive work in the Toffees and leads this group of players when it comes to tackles made per game.

The Senegalese midfielder averages an astonishing 4.4 tackles per game this season which is the best average in the Premier League in 2016/17. However, Everton are 7th in the table despite Gueye’s impressive performances. Out of 22 games, Gueye averages a respectable 2.3 interceptions, 1 clearance, while conceding 1.5 fouls per game.

He does, however, lead in the blocks-per-game department, making 0.32 blocks a game. Gueye gets dribbled past 1.6 times per game and is joint 3rd with Jordan Henderson in this list. It’s an area of his game which could improve.

Gueye’s performances have attracted considerable interest from big clubs in the Premier League and could leave Everton in the future.  

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