Remember that time when nobody could get past Virgil van Dijk?
The Liverpool centre-back went on a ridiculous 50-game streak without being beaten, a run that stretched 539 days.
It’s since then that the ‘dribbled past’ statistic has been something for people to take notice of.
Of course, it’s not the be-all and end-all of a defender’s qualities.
But a manager certainly doesn’t want to see his full-back get roasted week in, week out.
The 2019/20 Premier League season is now in the books and Van Dijk’s success in 1v1 situations helped Liverpool to their first title in 30 years.
But not every defender in the top flight was as dominant. And WhoScored has the data to prove it.
We’ve used their resources to chart the defenders who were dribbled past the most this season.
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold finds himself on the list, but he’s some way off top spot…
1. Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) - 1.9 times per game
2. Erik Pieters (Burnley) - 1.7
3. Jonny (Wolves) - 1.5
4. Enda Stevens (Sheffield United) - 1.4
5. Kiko Femenia (Watford) - 1.3
6. Frederic Guilbert (Aston Villa) - 1.2
=6. Djibril Sidibe (Everton) - 1.2
8. Adam Smith (Bournemouth) - 1.1
=8. Diego Rico (Bournemouth) - 1.1
=8. Matt Targett (Aston Villa) - 1.1
=8. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) - 1.1
=8. Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) - 1.1
=8. Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) - 1.1
14. Lucas Digne (Everton) - 1.0
=14. Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) - 1.0
=14. Martin Montoya (Brighton - 1.0
=14. Fabian Schar (Newcastle) - 1.0
=14. Adrian Mariappa (Watford) - 1.0
When we studied these statistics back in August, after each side had played just three games, Leicester City’s Pereira was still the most dribbled past player in the league.
That said, the Portuguese full-back has been able to bring his average down from 3.0 to 1.9.
We said that this stat isn’t a definitive indicator of how good a player has really been, and that’s clear with Alexander-Arnold making the list.
The Liverpool star was beaten on average 1.1 times per game in 2019/20, but recorded 13 assists and was the best right-back in the league.
At the other end of the scale, Van Dijk was beaten 0.2 times per game.
That wasn't the best record in the league though. Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings were dribbled past just 0.1 times per game this season.
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