Top 5 defenders in the world at the moment
Defenders are often one of the most underrated players on the football field. The art of defence is more subtle and not as flashy as the art of goalscoring, and as such, defenders often do not get the recognition they deserve. Over the past few years, however, we have seen that a great defence is as important (if not more) than a great offence, when it comes to winning titles.
The rise of Virgil van Dijk to the top of the footballing world as he helped Liverpool FC strengthen at the back and the £80 million spent by Manchester United on Harry Maguire are two recent examples of how big clubs are seeing the value defenders provide. All the highly successful teams in the last few decades have had a reliable back four who have had an immense impact in their title-winning run.
Here, we rank five of the best defenders in world football right now and explain what value they bring to their team.
#5 Aymeric Laporte - Manchester City
The biggest compliment that can be given to Aymeric Laporte is that Manchester City miss him more than they did Kevin de Bruyne when he was injured last season. Ever since Pep Guardiola signed him for £57 million from Athletic Club in 2018, Laporte has been a steady and understated presence at the heart of a strong Cityzens' defence.
Arguably the best on on-ball defender in terms of passing and controlling the play in England, Laporte is also a strong set-piece threat and is integral to the way the Cityzens play out from the back. Since his injury a few weeks ago in a Premier League game, Pep Guardiola's side have not looked the same at the back. Neither Nicolas Otamendi nor John Stones have been able to deputize adequately for the Frenchman and City have already dropped eight points in 11 league games so far.
If he was fit and playing right now, Laporte would probably be ranked higher up in this list. As of now, he is still a deserving mention in the top five and Guardiola will be hoping for his centre half to return sooner rather than later.