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Top 5 defensive midfielders in the 2016/17 Premier League season

Monday 31st October 2016
You know where a football match is won from? Deep in the centre of midfield. The team who can hold it together better in the middle is much more likely to go home victorious. 

If both teams have a water-tight central midfield, that game is likely to produce a draw; although a moment of magic from an attacker or a defensive error can easily decide a game of football. In this piece, I bring you a list of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League so far.

Although it's still early days, these guys have been hugely impressive and vital to their club's success.

Idrissa Gueye

The 27-year-old Senegalese midfielder has been a joy to watch in the colors of Everton this season. I always knew Gueye was too good to wallow in the Championship with Aston Villa after they got relegated.

Idrissa Gueye has formed a wonderful partnership with Gareth Barry in the Toffees central midfield and the duo has been nothing but solid so far. Gueye has also been impressive going forward – aside from appearing in every Premier League game (9) for Everton this season, Gueye has also provided one assist and created nine chances.

Nemanja Matic

Nemanja Matic has bettered his poor performances from last season and is currently showing everyone why he is among the best defensive midfielders in the league. Matic is flourishing under his role in Conte's setup and is a player who makes things happen in the middle of the park

Matic has provided four assists in the Premier League for Chelsea this term and is yet to miss any premier league game. The 28-year-old is really doing well so far.


Luiz Roza, better known as Fernandinho has been a stand-out defensive midfielder in the ranks of Manchester City this season. I've really admired Fernandinho's contribution to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City – The 31-year-old Brazilian has been a rock in Guardiola's 4-1-4-1 formation; although, Manchester City are enduring their worst run in the league yet.

Fernandinho has scored once for City and played nine games in the premier league this season. Fernandinho is fast, strong, a hard tackler and a good reader of the game – well, you know him.

N'Golo Kante

It's been all praise for N'Golo Kante this season, many believe he has carried on his form from Leicester to Chelsea - I do too. Kante has been the solution to Chelsea's defensive midfield problems since joining the Blues; the Frenchman is without doubt one of the best defensive midfielders in the premier league – did you watch him against Manchester United? He was absolutely superb!

N'Golo Kante has been on hand to snuff out opposition attacks and hold things together in the Chelsea midfield. Kante has played every game in the Premier League for Chelsea.

Victor Wanyama

I just can't finish without mentioning Victor Wanyama, the strong Kenyan, has been phenomenal for Spurs since signing from Southampton this summer. I've seen Victor play for Spurs a number of times and all I can think of is, what a great bargain he's been.

Mauricio Pochettino was deemed to be trying to fix something that wasn't broken when he splashed £12 million to bring in Victor Wanyama, considering how well Eric Dier and Mousa Dembélé performed the season before. But he's been a great addition to the Spurs set-up.

So far, Wanyama has scored one and created eight chances for the London club; he's also featured in all nine Premier League games for Spurs so far this season.

I'm of the strong opinion that Wanyama is one of the chief reasons why Spurs are still unbeaten in the league this season; of course, they'll get beaten later but that's cliché.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.

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