Top 5 Best Premier League Defenders 2024

Published: August 14, 2019
Author: Josh Stewart
Last Updated: January 8, 2024
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The transfer fee of £80 million from Leicester to Manchester United by Harry Maguire made him the world’s most costly defender. This triggered some controversy with many considering that England’s 26-year-old player was somewhat overpriced.

His 2019/20 season debut against Chelsea for Manchester United proved his credentials somehow, but how great is he compared to other Premier League defenders?

We’ve got our top 5 below with their 2018-2019 season statistics.

1. Virgil Van Dijk – Liverpool

In placing the Dutchman in number one, we had little doubt. The 28-year-old who started his career at Groningen has been playing for Celtic, Southampton and now Liverpool, where last season he had an amazing year. He’s been named the year’s PFA player as well as winning the Champions League back in May against Tottenham.

He was totally crucial to pushing Liverppol in the Premier League so close to Man City, and his performance was consistent, guaranteed, and winning matches. His 74 percent tackle achievement rate distinguishes him from anyone else on this list.

2018-19 Virgil Van Dijk – Key Stats

Tackle Success 74%
Clearances 199
Duels Won: 244
Duels Lost: 78
Aerial Battles Won: 181
Aerial Battles Lost 63

2. Harry Maguire-Manchester United

Since leaving Hull City to sign for Leicester in 2017, Harry Maguire has had a fast increase in skill level and also popularity amongst fans. In his first season, he picked up the player of the season, a season that also finished with remarkable performances in the run from England to the World Cup semi-final.

He again placed in some great performances for the Foxes last season despite the reality that for the latest Premier League champions it was a comparatively low key season. That earned his huge money moving to Manchester United will say if he can justify his heavy price tag.

Once he can ensure enormous aerial performance. Something that the statistics below can obviously see.

2018/19 Harry Maguire – Key Stats:

Tackle Success: 55%
Clearances; : 152
Duels Won: 181
Duels Lost: 68
Aerial Battles Won: 118
Aerial Battles Lost: 33

3. Aymeric Laporte – Manchester City

Laporte, the youngest player on the list, is a 25-year-old Frenchman who in January 2018 signed for a sum of £57 million for Many City. He was signed from the Spanish Athletic Bilbao club, for whom he only became the second Frenchman to represent them. He is a defender renowned for his strength and his capacity to play from behind, something that is essential to any side of Pep Guardiola. In last season’s winning side of the Championship he performed 35 of the 36 matches and created some remarkable statistics.

2018/19 Aymeric Laporte – Key Stats

Tackle Success 56%
Clearances 124
Duels Won: 186
Duels Lost: 121
Aerial Battles Won: 107
Aerial Battles Lost 69

4. Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham Hotspur

Toby Alderweireld

Since signing from Athletico Madrid in 2015, Tottenham Hotspur Belgian International Alderweireld has been an absolute linchpin for Tottenham Hotspur managed by Mauricio Pochettino. Antwerp’s 30-year-old had a frustrating 2017-2018 season owing to injury but came back in a favorable fashion last season. While his own objective was a disappointing time at Anfield in the last minute, he was not to blame. Throughout the season, he led the defense with aplomb, playing 34 of the 38 matches. While he is engaged in far fewer aerial fights than anyone else on the list, it is his tackle success rate that stands out most when it comes to his main stats.

2018/19 Toby Alderweireld – Key Stats:

Tackle Success: 65%
Clearances: 167
Duels Won: 93
Duels Lost: 68
Aerial Battles Won: 54
Aerial Battles Lost: 47

5. Willy Boly – Wolverhampton Wanderers

Willy Boly

Willy Boly was massively up there during the 2018/2019 season when it came to statistics. After arriving from Porto on loan in 2017, the Frenchman had a good debut season helping Wolves achieve promotion to the Premier League. He was then signed by the club and, if not surpassed them last season, matched those performances. Last season was a strong season for Wolves and much can be ascribed to Boly’s performances. To see why, you just need to check out his statistics below. He also appears to be the most busy player on the list.

2018/19 Willy Bony – Key Stats:

Tackle Success: 61%
Clearances: 180
Duels Won: 256
Duels Lost: 134
Aerial Battles Won: 140
Aerial Battles Lost: 64

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About Josh Stewart

Josh lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and works as a website editor. He has previously worked for several prominent online sites and, as a former professional golfer, specialises in sports and iGaming. Josh has almost a decade of experience as a freelancer and has received excellent reviews from current and previous clients.