With final stats now in place, as the season came to an end a few weeks ago, it’s useful to take stock of the best performing players. This blog outlines the top 10 highest scoring defenders for the 2017/2018 season. Hopefully this information will be useful for team selection for the next campaign.
1. Otamendi – Man City
Games played: 46
Consistently appears to get a 7+ rating regardless of his performance. However with 4 Premier League goals in a team which kept 18 Premier League clean sheets it’s easy to see how he came out on top of the list. Should have another solid season.
2. Alonso – Chelsea
Games played: 45
Alonso was the highest scoring defender in the Premier League last season with 7 goals. Chelsea defenders also always seem to do well in terms of overall points scored, which is unsurprisingly with 16 clean sheets. I’d be tempted to go for him next time around, however he generally always comes at a high price tag and Chelsea won’t have Champions League football this season.
3. Azpilicueta – Chelsea
Games played: 51
In the 2016/2017 season Azpilicueta was the highest scoring defender on the game – he actually improved on his overall score but dropped down to 3rd last season. This proves he’s a consistent performer but as with Alonso he will be lacking Champions League fixtures. This could be a positive if Chelsea were to play a strong side in the Europa League but this remains to be seen.
4. Smalling – Man Utd
Games played: 45
Man Utd kept 19 clean sheets in the Premier League last season so it’s no surprise to see Smalling and Valencia make this list. With Champions League football once again secured for another season and manager who likes to keep it tight at the back, a Man Utd defender could be essential for the upcoming season.
5. Vertonghen – Tottenham
Games played: 47
Spurs had a good season and picked up 16 clean sheets in the Premier League. Vertonghen was a regular starter and clearly benefited in terms of points from this run of form. He seems to consistently appear on this list so could be a good option for next season. Although he may be given an extended break after a good run in the World Cup with Belgium. This may see him miss the start of the season.
6. Walker – Man City
Games played: 48
Walker is the second of three Man City defenders to make the list, he had a solid season at Man City and I’d expect him to feature heavily during the upcoming season. I’d imagine he will start with a premium price tag but having a strong defence could be a wise move this time around.
7. Rudiger – Chelsea
Games played: 44
I wouldn’t have picked Rudiger as one of the top 10 defenders before compiling this list, as he didn’t seem to be a regular at Stamford Bridge. It appears he was involved in more games than I’d imagined and racked up an impressive 167 points. Should he secure a starting place next season he could be a good option.
8. Valencia – Man Utd
Games played: 38
No surprise at all to see another Man Utd defender on the list with 19 Premier League clean sheets. Again I can’t imagine he will be cheap next time around but having at least one Man Utd defender could be vital.
9. Lovren – Liverpool
Games played: 43
Lovren had a fairly solid season at Liverpool and I think the signing of Van Dijk would have certainly helped, alongside their run to the Champions League final. I’ll personally be looking at the likes of Robertson or Alexander-Arnold next season for Liverpool coverage as I have a feeling they may be better valued.
10. Danilo – Man City
Games played: 38
Danilo is an unexpected entry as the 10th highest scoring defender over the course of the season. Out of all of the Man City defenders, I’d have expected someone like Stones to come in ahead of Danilo who was out of the first team for a while. I’m not sure how much game time he will get over the next season.
Once again we see that teams who finish higher up in the league have more representation than teams lower down. It’s an interesting exercise to look at the biggest point scorers, and this may change my approach next season slightly. I’ve always put a lot of emphasis on attacking players picking up more points. However I think one of my mistakes from last season was overlooking the defence. I’ll look at creating a more balanced team this time around.
As always, share your thoughts/ideas in the comments below.
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