It must be tough being a defensive midfielder.
You hardly ever make the headlines, you hardly ever score the winning goal and you are usually booked or even sent off for your troubles.
After another breathtaking season in the Premier League, it's time to look back at the 2015/2016 season, but instead of highlighting the impressive form shown by the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Harry Kane, we are going to give the headlines to the defensive midfielders.
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The tough tackling players who aren't scared to put a challenge in, but who can often spark the difference between defence and attack.
Here are four impressive defensive midfielders from the season just gone.
N’Golo Kante (Leicester City)
The Frenchman has emerged as one of the stars of this season.
Technically so strong, the 25-year-old is one of the major reasons behind Leicester’s triumph. He is the man protecting the defensive shield that has denied most attacks and turned them into title contenders.
It takes a lot to catch the eye of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, who has named him as his player of the year. Kante also features in this year’s PFA team along with three other teammates.
With 4.5 tackles per game and 4.2 interceptions, he has done an incredible job and is ready to feature for France in Euro 2016.
It comes as no surprise to hear of the interest shown by Arsenal for the Foxes star.
Mousa Dembele (Spurs)
Undoubtedly, the Belgian midfielder is the most improved man this season playing in the heart of Tottenham’s midfield. The 28-year-old has been influential in the race for Premier League glory.
With almost three dribbles completed per game, the former Fulham man was a key part of Mauricio Pochettino’s setup.
A success rate of 90% in terms of passing, Dembele was the unlikely lynchpin for his Argentine boss.
Also defensively, the Belgian international has been crucial in terms of tackling and interceptions.
On the whole, this season has shown the world a much improved Mousa Dembele, who has produced a glorious display both going forward and tracking back.
Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)
Another title winner in our list and indeed one of Claudio Ranieri’s main men. The Englishman has controlled things from the middle. His defensive attributes do get him full marks.
From blocks to clearances, from tackles to interceptions; Drinkwater has done it all in a perfect manner. Not only in a defensive manner, but also with his ability to create makes him a priced asset.
Seven assists and 1.2 key passes per game are just the numbers defining the quality of his game.
Eric Dier (Spurs)
Eric Dier is only 22 and is already in contention for a place in Euro 2016.
His work rate for Spurs throughout the season has made him a worthy contender. For him, it was about adaptability. Dier has featured as right back and center back previously. This season, for him, it was a new role on offer and he did complete justice to it.
His solid presence has allowed the full backs to flee forward and attack. Dier is decisive and lively. His massive contribution has earned his club a Champions League spot for next season.
Tottenham’s Mr Versatile has a long way to go as it only is the beginning of what looks like a bright future.
Who has been the best defensive midfielder this season in the Premier League? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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