In what has been the most unpredictable Premier League season in recent memory, there have been 186 clean sheets kept and a whopping 820 goals scored so far.
The business end of the season is now upon us following the latest international break, with Leicester City gunning for the title and establishing a seven point lead at the top.
However, for all the praise Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane and Mesut Ozil have received this season, there has been a handful of defenders who have been outstanding and played a large part in the Premier League title race.
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HECTOR BELLERIN (ARSENAL)
Bellerin started his career as a winger in Barcelona’s youth setup but has made the right-back position his own at Arsenal, performing consistently well and forcing Mathieu Debuchy out of the club, albeit on loan.
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The Spaniard is renowned for being one of the quickest players in the league but uses his blistering pace effectively, not only to make vital recovery tackles but also to provide Arsene Wenger’s side with an outlet going forward.
In addition to his speed, Bellerin has vision, awareness, bags of energy and represents everything you would want in a modern day full-back. He’s difficult to beat in one-on-one situations, more than willing to work hard for his teammates and doesn’t give up on anything during matches.
The 21-year-old has become a permanent fixture in an Arsenal defence to have kept 14 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, also providing four assists.
Bellerin signed a new long-term contract at the Emirates last year and has repaid the faith shown in him to emerge as one of - if not the - best and most exciting full-backs in the Premier League.
He has an extremely bright future ahead of him and, at such a young age, has the potential to become one of the world’s very best right-backs.
ROBERT HUTH (LEICESTER CITY)
At the beginning of the season, most football fans would have said Huth's days at the top level were numbered, yet he has shown there is still a place in the Premier League for an old-fashioned, no-nonsense defender.
The former Germany international is strong, powerful, committed and perfectly suited to the physical nature of the English game, and whilst he's not the quickest, Huth's expert reading of the game means that he's rarely caught out.
The 31-year-old is a man mountain at 6'3" and uses that to dominate aerial battles not only with opposition strikers but also at Leicester’s set-pieces, popping up with three league goals - two of which headers - so far this term.
There's a growing desire in European football for centre-backs capable of playing the ball out from the back, yet Huth is more than happy to play it safe and find row Z with a clearance - and it's refreshing to see.
The former Chelsea man is the only player under Claudio Ranieri to have won the Premier League and such experience could prove vital as Leicester vie to make history.
TOBY ALDERWEIRELD (TOTTENHAM)
Alderweireld moved to White Hart Lane last summer having impressed on loan at Southampton and has since become one of the Premier League's best centre-backs.
As you would expect from someone who spent five years at Ajax and in La Liga, the Belgium international is classy and composed on the ball and possesses a wonderful range of passing.
And he's equally as adept defensively, rarely diving into tackles and showcasing the kind of srength, anticipation and intelligence to dominate opposition strikers.
The 27-year-old has been a permanent fixture in Mauricio Pocchetino’s side, which currently boasts the best defensive record in the English top-flight with just 25 goals conceded in 32 matches.
Although he tends to keep the game relatively simple, Alderweireld’s quality is clear for all to see and he looks set to become a top-class defender. With his arrival costing Tottenham a mere £11.5 million he is unquestionably one of the signings of the season.
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