Top 5 defensive midfielders in 2017
Defensive midfielders are often underrated in football, and are usually forgotten when it comes to individual awards such as the Ballon d'Or or the FIFA player of the year. However, that does not necessarily mean that they are less important than the rest of their teammates.
As a matter of fact, a holding midfielder is often the backbone of successful teams, as he is the one who provides a balance in between defence and offence. When Real Madrid sold France international Claude Makélélé to Chelsea back in 2003, Zinedine Zidane publicly criticized the transfer and stated that the club will regret losing him.
Zizou's words turned out to be extremely wise, as history has proven.
Having talked about the importance of this position, here are the top 5 defensive midfielders, who we believe, had the best performances in 2017:
#5 Jorginho (Napoli)
Napoli have been playing eye-catching football in 2017. Prior to the clash between both sides in the UEFA Champions League, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, who has always been a fan of beautiful football, surprised many when he claimed that Maurizio Sarri's men have played the best football in 2017.
Jorginho is the engineer of the system that is famous in Italy as the SarriBall. Napoli's ability to build from the back with short passing combinations, as well as to retain the ball even when the opponent applies high pressure, possibly makes them the most attractive team in Europe right now.
In addition to that, they are the leaders of the Serie A with 38 points after 14 matches. One of the essential reasons for their success, is undoubtedly Jorginho. The Italian international remarkably averages 103.7 successful passes per league game, which is by far the highest.
His ability to break down defensive lines in the blink of an eye is arguably second to none. Without Jorginho, Napoli would not be able to control the tempo of the game the way they do.