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Football News: Top 10 - British Central And Defensive Midfielders

Top 10 - British Central And Defensive Midfielders
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Top 10 British Central & Defensive Midfielders

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10. Billy Gilmour - Chelsea

Unfortunately for the youngster a long-term injury put a road-block on his progress for a while and he is only just back to playing regularly. He will quickly rise up the list now he is fully fit, as his quality is worthy of a much higher place.


9. John McGinn - Aston Villa

Since reaching the Premier League with Villa, McGinn has shown improvement every season and a good tactical brain has allowed him to play a number of different roles. If Villa are to continue to progress, the Scot will be key.


8. Isaac Hayden - Newcastle United

While Allan Saint-Maximin got all the plaudits for his infrequent appearances, the platform Newcastle built around for a large part of the season was Hayden. Like most Arsenal youth players he has an excellent technical base, but he also possesses drive and desire, something that so many of their youngsters fail to show. That was in evidence for the Toon over the last couple of years. Injuries are the main thing holding him back, as he does pick up too many niggles which lead him to miss games far too often.


7. James Ward-Prowse - Southampton

His deadball delivery alone is worth getting him in the list. In fact it is what got him in as his overall play, while decent, is nothing outstanding. He works hard, has good technique but lacks tactical acumen and is often running around the wrong areas of the pitch trying to affect the play.


6. Harrison Reed - Fulham

If you could put Reed's reading of the game together with Ward-Prowse's attributes, you would have an exceptional player, as Reed has that acumen his former Southampton team-mate lacks. Unfortunately in most other respects Reed is a little lacking, lacks a top end range of passing and vision, but in particular his mobility and physical power can let him down in the defensive role he plays.


5. Scott McTominay - Manchester United

Despite having his game constantly subjugated to allow Pogba to stroll around the pitch, McTominay has shown excellent attributes. If only he was allowed to play to his strengths, rather than to an overly defensive system which shackles one of his key attributes - the ability to break into the box and score goals. A central midfielder who can score goals like he can is an incredibly valuable asset, it completely upsets most defensive plans when someone like him bursts into the box. It is just a shame he is not being utilised to his fullest.


4. Jude Bellingham - Borussia Dortmund

There are a lot of ridiculously overhyped young English players around at the moment, he could easily get confused for one of them if you have not seen him play. Once you do though, you realise this guy is the real deal and just how good he could be is impossible to say. Still just a child, in football terms, his development will be interesting to watch.


3. Kalvin Phillips - Leeds United

The top 3 are so close that you really could put them in any order, but I had to choose a way to split them. Phillips is third simply because he has only had one season in the Premier League. That gives him a massive lack of experience compared to the other two, they all have the same excellent workrate and good range of passing, so that becomes the differentiator for Phillips and something that only time can fix.


2. Declan Rice - West Ham United

Technically outstanding, works hards, scores the odd goal, can slip into the backline when needed and has been key to the Hammers' outstanding season. It often feels like he is underrated by fans of other teams, who just do not seem to realise quite how good he actually is.


1. Jordan Henderson - Liverpool

Two reasons gave Henderson the nod, one experience, but the main one is his leadership qualities, he is among the best captains of his generation. Arguably even the best. He has shown great tactical acumen to play so many different roles on the pitch, even excelling at centre-back this season. However, injuries are really taking their toll on him and it is unlikely that he will be top next time I do this list as the younger generation overtake him.

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Written by Tris Burke May 29 2021 03:11:28


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