We are almost halfway through the 2020-21 European football season, and title races are beginning to take shape. While some clubs have underperformed, others have been in scintillating form.
The Premier League has been no different, with the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal struggling to hit the heights expected from them, while Aston Villa have been an amazing surprise story.
For England manager Gareth Southgate, this is an important season, as he has to finalise his Euro squad at the end of the season.
In defence, which is one of the weaker areas of the England side, a few new options have have come up this season. On the other hand, some forgotten names have once again put themselves back in the hat for selection.
On that note, let us find out who have been the best English defenders in the present campaign.
Top five English defenders in the Premier League this season
#5 Eric Dier
Ever since Jose Mourinho walked through the door at Tottenham Hotspur, Eric Dier's career has seen something of a resurgence. This season, Dier and Toby Alderweireld have been the preferred centre-back pairing at the north London club.
Dier, along with the Belgian, is now at the heart of the second-best defence in the Premier League. As a result, the English defender has definitely seen his chances of being in the Euro squad go up many fold.
Since taking charge of Spurs, Mourinho has not tinkered much with Dier's position and mostly plays him as a central defender. Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino used the 26-year-old in central midfield, and sometimes even as a right-back, besides playing him in central defence. But Mourinho has remained steadfast in his belief that Dier is a centre-back.
Tottenham have conceded only 15 goals in their 16 Premier League games so far this season, an impressive record.
#4 Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker has been one of the more rotation-proof players in the Manchester City squad this season, before he had to miss a few games due to testing positive for COVID-19.
City have the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, and as has been emphasised a few times before, defender Walker's importance is paramount. The England international is the fastest defender Pep Guardiola has in his squad, and that means his recovery pace is often the last line of defence.
With John Stones and Ruben Dias forming what looks like a solid centre-back partnership, Walker could possibly drive forward and get more involved in City's attacking play. But the English defender has been excellent in what Guardiola asks him to do on a weekly basis.