Claude Makelele was arguably the greatest defensive midfielder of all time and you could argue he has not been replaced at Chelsea and in football in general.
The role is one of the most undervalued positions in football in my opinion and I feel a successful defensive midfielder is the key to making a midfield tick along - and to ultimately win games.
All the best teams have them. Barcelona have Sergio Busquets, Dortmund have Sven Bender, Bayern Munich have Javi Martinez and Real Madrid have Xabi Alonso.
However, in the last few years a new type of defensive midfielder has emerged. This type is less about the tackling, more about the passing and intercepting. Michael Carrick at Manchester United is an example of this.
Personally, I think these players are just over-rated. I agree with the fact that a midfielder needs to be able to pass accurately but I think that the sole purpose of the defensive midfielder is to give protection to the back-line by intercepting and tackling.
This role is undervalued and supporters across the globe are often questioning the purpose of these types of players in a football team.
Whilst fans at Chelsea rate the likes of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, they hiss and boo at John Obi Mikel.
Mikel is a prime example of an unsung hero; a player who dictates the rhythm of the game but is discarded by fans and pundits alike after a match.
The point is that defensive midfielders are one of the most important players on the pitch and the role of them should not be changed or altered in anyway.
They should not be discarded from football and their purpose should not be to pass. The defensive midfielder will always be the key to a successful midfield and a football team.
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