The Premier League features host of world-class players who regularly showcase their talents on the world stage.
Having said that, this article will concentrate on certain aspects of defending to judge who are currently the best central defenders in the league.
Reading of the game, winning the ball in the air, concentration and, of course, tackling are some of the key attributes that make a fine centre-back - thus these areas will be the focus of this article.
3. Gary Cahill | Chelsea
Cahill has been a key figure for Chelsea this season, making 39 appearances in all competitions, and has proven his worth in just his second season playing for the Blues.
He is an all-round defender who has an 83% success rate of tackling per game, and a 74% success rate at aerial challenges - which is one of the best aerial statistics amongst his peers.
He has decent reading of the game with 1.2 interceptions per match and has never once let his mistakes lead to a goal. He scored a total of 11 points in these four categories and, at the age of 27, looks like he could form the defensive bed rock for Chelsea in the long term as he continues to improve certain aspects of his game.
2. Matija Nastasić | Manchester City
Nastasić has been an absolute revelation for Manchester City this season, drawing praise from multiple avenues and even being tipped to surpass his Serbian team-mate Nemanja Vidic in terms of attributes.
The talented 20-year-old has an average 65% success rate in the air, but what he lacks aerially he makes up for on the ground with a staggering 96% tackle rate - which is the highest amongst any Premier League centre-back. He makes a decent contribution with one interception game on average and has never let a mistake lead to a goal.
This young man has many years ahead of him and, given a couple of seasons as a first-team player, he could very well develop into a world-class centre-back in a short space of time. A very promising prospect for City as they will look to resume their hunt for silverware in the coming seasons.
1. David Luiz | Chelsea
Our top performer hails from a land renown for its attacking flair, creative style of play and personifying football as we know it.
David Luiz of Brazil tops this list with superb reading of the game, having made a 2.3 interception per match. His aerial dominance is quite weak at 55% but, again, what he lacks for in the air is made up with an excellent 93% tackling rate.
He has made no mistakes that would render his team a goal down. The 25-year-old has been a key figure for Chelsea this season and the last season racking up 87 appearances in total.
His age proves he still has improvements to make in his game, but as of now all things considered he is currently the best central defender in the Premier League.
Other players who did not make to the list include Jonny Evans, Thomas Vermaelen and José Manuel Flores aka "Chico". Surely there are other top class defenders in the Premier League, but as is stated, based on the key technical attributes befitting a central defender, these are the players who stood out the most.
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