The centre-defensive midfield position has become one of the most crucial positions on the football field. Matches nowadays are often decided by the performance of the defensive midfielder due to his ability to block the opposition from penetrating his defense.
They are valued much more in modern football not just for their defensive display, but also for their ball retention and ability to dictate the game.
Modern day defensive midfielders are tactically sound, are quick in changing the momentum in favour of their teams and have the ability to track back to help their defense during the opposition's counter-attacks. The role has become more attack-minded and more demanding.
In the past, we have seen players like Roy Keane, Patrick Viera and Ronald Koeman showing their aggressive defensive mindset in crucial games in the centre-defensive midfield position. This attitude helped their clubs to win games in tough situations.
The role of a defensive midfielder has gained quite a good prestige in today's times. Let us have a look at the rankings of the top central defensive midfielders in the world right now.
#7 Eric Dier
Eric Dier has been a consistent performer for Tottenham for over 5 years. He is a superb tactician, is calm and composed in possession, and good at intercepting the ball during the opposition's counter-attack. Being a regular first-team player for Tottenham, he is also good at communicating with the two centre-backs.
Dier also likes to frequently join the attack, is good at heading the ball, and hence is a threat to the opposition from corners. He is also an excellent free-kick taker, and has the rare ability to play in many positions as per the game situation.
Eric Dier is one of the best centre-defensive midfielders in the Premier League.