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The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024

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1. Rodri

The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024
No one is better than Rodri / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

It took Rodri some time to adapt to the demands of Premier League football, but once he settled in, he became one of the finest defensive midfielders in the league.

Now, in the present, Rodri has taken his game to new heights, displaying his exceptional skills and effectively taking over Fernandinho’s role.

His winning goal in the Champions League final further solidified his reputation, but even without it, he’s undoubtedly the top player in his position at the moment.


2. Declan Rice

The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024
An elite midfielder / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Declan Rice has shown remarkable improvement over the past few years and is currently at the forefront of Arsenal’s midfield.

His exceptional tackling skills set him apart, making him one of the best in the league. Moreover, he has also proven himself as a potent threat in the attacking zone.


3. Aurelien Tchouameni

The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024
Tchouameni is calm on the ball / Mateo Villalba/GettyImages

Real Madrid conducted thorough scouting of Aurelien Tchouameni during his tenure at Monaco and likely admired his significant defensive contributions, notably his proficiency in tackles and interceptions. However, his ability to advance the game isn’t lacking either.

Living up to his hefty €100m price tag, Tchouameni has become a cornerstone player for Real Madrid, often being one of the first names on Carlo Ancelotti’s team sheet.


4. Joshua Kimmich

The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024
Kimmich is one of the best footballers in the world / Lars Baron/GettyImages

Joshua Kimmich stands out as one of the most adaptable and accomplished players in today’s game. His pivotal role in consistently securing trophies for his team in recent years cannot be overstated.

Renowned for his exceptional performance at the heart of midfield, Kimmich possesses a unique ability to maintain control of the game and disrupt opponent’s play at an unparalleled level, showcasing his status as a top-tier player.


5. Casemiro

The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024
Casemiro is starting to decline / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Casemiro may not see much improvement from this point onwards, but he undoubtedly merits a high rank on this list, consistently reminding us why he commands so much respect.

While his physical abilities might not enable him to shield the defense as effectively as in the past season, his prowess in possession and leadership qualities make him a valuable asset for Manchester United.


6. Yves Bissouma

The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024
A talented player / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Tottenham saw Yves Bissouma, formerly of Brighton, as a major acquisition during a transfer window that aimed to elevate the Lilywhites to new heights under Antonio Conte’s leadership.

However, Bissouma’s initial season in north London proved challenging. His early performances under Conte fell short, and it appeared that he struggled to earn the trust of the Italian manager before being sidelined by injury.

Yet, Bissouma’s talent remains unquestionable, and this season under new manager Ange Postecoglou, we’ve witnessed glimpses of his true potential.


7. Granit Xhaka

The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024
A leader / ANP/GettyImages

Xhaka’s Departure from Arsenal: A Testament to His Remarkable Revival at the Emirates

As he bids farewell to Arsenal, Granit Xhaka leaves behind a legacy as a fan favorite, a testament to his remarkable resurgence at the Emirates Stadium.

The midfielder, often a target of criticism, faced a turning point in his relationship with Gunners supporters in October 2019 when he was booed as he left the pitch. Many believed this marked an irreparable rupture, but Xhaka swiftly set about rebuilding his rapport with the fans.

The arrival of Mikel Arteta heralded a new chapter for the Swiss international, breathing fresh life into his career and casting him once again as a pivotal figure in north London. While occasional lapses occurred, Xhaka solidified his position as Arteta’s stalwart and experienced a positional shift in the 2022/23 season, resulting in his most impactful campaign in Arsenal colors.

Now, Xhaka finds himself at the heart of Bayer Leverkusen’s pursuit of what could be a historic Bundesliga title, continuing his journey of redemption and resurgence on the footballing stage.


8. Alexis Mac Allister

The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024
Liverpool’s new defensive midfielder / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

In the previous season, Alexis Mac Allister predominantly played as a box-to-box midfielder for Brighton and Hove Albion. However, since his move to Liverpool, he has taken on a holding role.

And up to now, he’s been performing exceptionally well in that position.


9. Joao Palhinha

The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024
A great talent / Andrew Redington/GettyImages

Joao Palhinha was the standout tackler in the Premier League last season, and it’s safe to say that Fulham’s survival wouldn’t have been possible without his contributions. The team is incredibly lucky to have him for another season, especially considering his failed transfer to Bayern Munich.


10. Thomas Partey

The Top 10 Defensive Midfielders in the World for 2024
Partey made a big impact at Arsenal / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Ghanaian footballer Thomas Partey has a knack for using his shoulder to maneuver and create space in the midfield, allowing him to advance and ignite Arsenal’s offensive plays.

Having honed his technical skills during his formative years at Atletico Madrid, Partey showcased versatility by playing various positions under the guidance of Diego Simeone, eventually finding his niche in a deeper midfield role.

Arsenal has noticeably felt his absence this season, although his playing time may be limited when he’s fit due to the impressive form of Declan Rice.

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