2016 has been a tremendous year for the Premier League; we’ve seen Leicester win the title with sharp and high-paced blitzes, a fresh influx of top players and coaches with high-pressing and tempo, as well as many high scoring and entertaining games in the most competitive league in the world.
Of course, with this trend towards imposing an attacking philosophy, many teams are leaving themselves vulnerable at the back, and consequently, the defending has not lived up to the standards of yesteryear.
While you won’t see the likes of Ferdinand and Vidic, or Terry at his pomp on this list, the following players have emerged above the crop as the most reliable (or maybe just capable) witnesses for the defence. Here are the top 10 PL defenders of 2016.
#10 Nicolas Otamendi
City really have had trouble dealing with the horrendous injury record of their captain Vincent Kompany in the past few years. Although they are still some way from returning to the Kompany led levels of their title winning campaigns, Nicolas Otamendi has been the best of the rest in the meantime.
A good all-round player who fits in well with Guardiola’s style of play, he has frequently been the man making the all-important clearances and providing the proverbial drums to City’s improvising orchestra. Though occasionally guilty of an odd solo riff, he is the most dependable defender on a team that expects to challenge on two fronts. Look no further than City’s win at Old Trafford for the proof on this one.