Never one to grab the headlines, the holding midfielder has now become a necessity in any successful team.
The agricultural make up of those who dominate the position makes them the archetypal unsung hero among supporters.
The position has somewhat developed since the early days of league football. The legacy of the dominating midfielders of the 70s and 80s, such as Billy Bremner and Graeme Souness was continued into the 90s by Roy Keane and Dennis Wise, prior to the birth of the out-and-out defensive midfielder.
Nowadays, with plenty of onus put on attacking, particularly in the Premier League, an insurance policy is require to prevent a parting of the red sea at the back.
Therefore, GMF has decided to profile five of the best in the most exciting league in the world.
Cheik Tiote - Newcastle United
The Ivory Coast international has made such an impression in his opening two seasons in the Premier League that moves to Chelsea and Manchester United have already been mentioned.
He cost the Toon just £3.5 million in the summer of 2010, and has more than repaid that fee during his time at the Sports Direct Arena. With Demba Ba scoring at the other end, has been overlooked as Newcastle's player of the season.
Lucas Leiva - Liverpool
A huge miss for Liverpool this season after picking up a season ending knee injury before spearheading the club's recovery under Kenny Dalglish.
Much maligned in his first season at Anfield, the 25-year-old is seen as indispensable at the heart of the club's midfield, and is regularly overshadowed by South American teammate Luis Suarez. One of Rafa Benitez's most underrated signings.
Steven Nzonzi - Blackburn Rovers
The Frenchman regularly pivots the Rovers midfield to good effect. His 6ft 4in frame makes him a beast in the middle as his decent passing range adds calm to the Ewood Park midfield.
Has missed just one game for the club this season, and such consistency has attracted advances from Arsenal. Has a big future ahead.
Scott Parker - Tottenham Hotspur
Seen as more creative during his Charlton Athletic days, and more all action during those at West Ham United, but nowadays with England and Tottenham Hotspur, has played a more restrictive role helping the club to third in the league.
His no-nonsense tackling and terrific engine make him one of the signings of the summer transfer window, attributes that won him the FWA player of the year award last term.
Oriol Romeu - Chelsea
Perhaps one for the future than the present, but the Barcelona recruit has already shown enough shrewdness on the ball to suggest he's got plenty to offer.
Possessing a coolness in possession he can only have developed during his days at the Nou Camp, Romeu has slotted into the physical nature of English football ably.
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