Casemiro’s acquisition by Manchester United has emerged as one of the top signings of the season.
The midfielder’s seamless transition to the Premier League is commendable.
However, despite his stellar performance, FourFourTwo has ranked him as the third-best defensive midfielder globally. Yesterday, his absence was felt by United as they grappled to control the game against Newcastle United in midfield.
This reiterates Casemiro’s significance to the team.
YetFourFourTwohave only ranked him as the third-best defensive midfielder in the world.
A 2-0 defeat at St James’ Park means that the Red Devils have lost four games out of nine when he has not started, while they have a win percentage of 73% when he is in the team.
Man Utd’s record when Casemiro plays:
◎ 38 games
◎ 29 wins
◎ 5 draws
◉ 4 losses
Man Utd’s record when Casemiro doesn’t play:
◎ 9 games
◎ 3 wins
◎ 2 draws
◉ 4 defeats
He’s still suspended for two more games. 😭 pic.twitter.com/cCMCcL37y6
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 2, 2023
Considering the pivotal role Casemiro has played for Manchester United this season and Real Madrid in the recent past, it is reasonable for him to secure a high position on the list of the best defensive midfielders.
The top 10 defensive midfielders in the world
10 Sergio Busquets
9 Eduardo Camavinga
8 N’golo Kante
Even at 34 years old, Busquets is still controlling games for Barcelona.
Busquets’s experience and tactical awareness have been instrumental in helping the Catalan giants in their title charge, having played in 22 La Liga matches this season. He leads the squad with the most tackles, highlighting his defensive prowess. Additionally, he has also contributed three assists, showcasing his ability to create scoring opportunities. (via FBref).
But while Busquets is at the end of an impressive career, number nine on the list is just getting started in Spain.
Camavinga is a highly promising young player in European football, as evidenced by his impressive statistics. He ranks in the top 4% for pass completion, the top 7% for tackles, and the top 8% for successful take-ons compared to other midfielders across the top five leagues.
Despite the ageing Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, Real Madrid’s midfield is secure with the young Camavinga at just 20 years old.
While injuries have impacted Kante’s performance, he remains one of the best midfielders globally when fit.
His recent comeback against Aston Villa demonstrated his dynamism and defensive intelligence that has earned him immense respect in the past. As Chelsea gear up for the Champions League quarter-finals against Real Madrid, they will require Kante to perform at his peak.
🇫🇷 N’Golo Kante won more tackles (3) and won more ground duel battles (3) than any other player on the pitch during his 33 minutes against Aston Villa. Let him cook again.#CFC #CHEAVL pic.twitter.com/srhfHVdz9x
— Mozo Football (@MozoFootball) April 1, 2023
7 Marcelo Brozovic
6 Declan Rice
5 Marco Verratti
An elite defensive midfielder in Serie A and an important influence for Croatia, it is no surprise to see Brozovic on this list.
Brozovic’s inclusion on this list comes as no surprise, given his standing as an elite defensive midfielder in Serie A and a crucial player for Croatia.
With a pass completion rate of 86.5%, he ranks among the top seven players at Inter, showcasing his ability to act as a stable link between the team’s defence and attack.
At 30 years old, Brozovic’s experience and composure make him an invaluable asset to both club and country.
Despite a disappointing season for West Ham United, Rice has been a shining star, proving why he is a sought-after player for top clubs like Arsenal.
His exceptional ability to read the game is evident by the fact that only Cheick Doucoure and Idrissa Gana Gueye have made more interceptions than him in the current Premier League season.
Rice’s versatility, including his dominant aerial abilities and ease with carrying and passing the ball, make him an asset to any team he joins.
In contrast, the player ranked fifth on the list has already spent over a decade at one of Europe’s most prominent clubs.
Verratti has made the most tackles for PSG this season among all players and boasts an impressive 92% pass completion rate, illustrating two essential attributes that make him “crucial” to his club, as stated by his manager Christophe Galtier.
4 Thomas Partey
2 Joshua Kimmich
Coming close to a podium finish is Arsenal’s Partey, who has been an integral component of the club’s success this season.
Positioned just behind Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard, the Ghanaian displays an exceptional talent for intercepting passes and cutting out counterattacks, enabling Mikel Arteta to confidently push numbers forward.
Arsenal supporters are hopeful that Partey can avoid injuries, as a healthy and fit player would provide the team with a significant chance of winning the title.
Ranking just above him is Casemiro, whose impact on United’s win percentage this season would suggest a higher ranking. However, the Brazilian’s influence at both Real Madrid and Manchester United cannot be underestimated, as he provides Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, and other midfield partners with the freedom to attack while he holds down the fort in the middle of the pitch.
Although he just misses out on the top spot, Bayern Munich midfielder Kimmich’s quality will undoubtedly be invaluable for new coach Thomas Tuchel.
Kimmich ranks among the top 1% of players across the top five European leagues for both passes attempted and progressive passes, underscoring his role as the hub of everything in this Bayern team. Additionally, he is in the top 2% for shot-creating actions and in the top 5% for interceptions, highlighting his importance in both defence and attack for the current Bundesliga champions.
Rodri’s exceptional all-around abilities have made him the standout defensive midfielder in the world, allowing him to excel in both defence and attack for Manchester City.
He has made the most progressive passes in the Premier League this season, had the most touches, carried the ball the furthest, and made the most tackles for the Citizens.
Therefore, it is not surprising that he tops the list as the best defensive midfielder in the world.
All of which helps to demonstrate how complete a midfielder he truly is.
Rodri has missed just one Premier League game for City all season and has featured in all but one Champions League game. He is as crucial to Pep Guardiola’s team as you can get.