SK Awards: La Liga - 5 Best Central Midfielders of the Season
The 2018-19 La Liga season has come to an end with Barcelona winning their 26th and second successive league title.
The Blaugrana, who had earlier wrapped up the title, finished on 87 points from their 38 matches - with Atletico Madrid finishing a distant second, 11 points off while arch-rivals Real were a further eight points adrift on 68. Here, we take a look at the league's five best central midfielders this past season:
#5 Rodri - Atletico Madrid
The midfield metronome at Atletico, Rodrigo Hernandez has enjoyed a stellar debut campaign at the Wanda Metropolitano. The 22-year-old has been ever-present in their midfield this term, starring under Diego Simeone's guidance.
With 34 appearances (32 starts) in the league this campaign, he averaged three tackles, two clearances and 1.2 interceptions per game. Rodri has also pitched in with three goals and an assist, averaging 0.8 shots, 0.6 dribbles and 0.5 key passes to boot.
However, it's his passing statistics that set the bar high with an average pass success rate of 91.1% and 56.7 passes per game. His consistent displays have seen him linked with Manchester City, as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho under Pep Guardiola's tutelage.
#4 Arthur Melo - Barcelona
The man many believe to be the successor to Xavi Hernandez's throne at Barcelona, Arthur Melo has continued from where he left off at Gremio. After a slow start, some substitute appearances and an eventual increase in minutes, the 22-year-old has cemented himself as a key figure in Barca's midfield.
The Brazilian international averaged 1.3 tackles, 0.3 clearances and 0.2 interceptions, but his passing stats stood out - an average completion rate of 93.5%, averaging 47.5 passes per match.
However, he will need to improve his stats in the final third, averaging just 0.5 key passes, 0.4 dribbles and 0.2 shots per game. With one assist to his name in 27 league appearances (19 starts), he impressed but perhaps the most promising thing is that there's plenty of scope for him to improve further as he continues gaining experience.