Are you a Premier League fan looking for the best defensive midfielders in history? Look no further! We’ve rounded up the 10 best defensive midfielders to ever grace the Premier League. From Roy Keane to Lucas Leivan, these players have made their mark in the league and deserve a place in the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Continue to read and learn more about these gaming titans and why they earned a spot on this list.
10. Lucas Leiva
You have to hand it to Lucas Leiva, he is one of the best defensive midfielders in Premier League history! The Brazilian professional footballer has been playing in the Premier League since 2007 and has earned a reputation as one of the best defensive midfielders in the league. He currently plays for Lazio in Serie A, but his impressive record in the Premier League speaks for itself. During ten seasons in Liverpool, he played a total of 232 matches and scored 7 goals. He was also part of the League Cup winning team in 2012. Leiva was known for his tackling and his ability to win the ball back from opponents.
He was also an excellent reader of the game and could anticipate the opponent’s moves before they were made. His excellent passing ability allowed him to initiate attacks deep in his own half. In addition, he was a great leader on the court and was often seen motivating his teammates. Leiva’s Premier League career has been nothing short of amazing. He was a key member of the Liverpool team between 2007 and 2017 and was often seen as the leader of the team. His contribution to the team was invaluable and he will always be remembered as one of the best defensive midfielders in Premier League history. He may be gone from the league, but his legacy lives on.
9. Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure’s influence on the pitch is undeniable as his ability to dominate midfield and powerful presence has been felt over the years. Premier League veteran Toure played for Manchester City between 2010 and 2018 and made an immediate impact in his first season at the club. He played a key role in their first Premier League title win in 2012 and was crucial to the team’s success over the next five years. Toure was known for his blistering tackling and ability to break up play, and his physical presence in the middle of the park was almost unparalleled. Toure’s passing ability was also one of his greatest attributes. His vision and passing range often allowed him to split the opposition defense and create opportunities for his teammates.
He was also able to score himself, scoring in 79 out of 316 Premier League appearances. He was a reliable penalty taker and his powerful long-range shots were often unstoppable. Toure was a key part of the Manchester City side that won the Premier League in the 2012–13 season and was awarded the African Footballer of the Year award in the same year. He was also an integral part of the team’s League Cup win in 2014 and was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in 2013 and 2015. Toure was undoubtedly one of the best defensive midfielders in Premier League history. His physical presence, passing ability and scoring ability made him the perfect midfielder and he will be remembered as one of the best.
8. Gilberto Silva
Gilberto Silva was a masterful tactician in the midfield, using his intelligence to outwit opponents and launch attacks with his pinpoint passing. The Brazilian maestro was one of the most reliable midfielders in Premier League history, and his defensive positioning was a key component of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003-04. He was also renowned for his leadership, and his ability to read the game and break up opposition attacks. Silva was a consistent performer, and his durability was a major reason why he was able to make over 200 appearances in the Premier League. Silva was a no-nonsense defender and an exceptional passer, and his technical abilities were as good as any player in the league.
The Brazilian was the captain of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning team, and his performances in the tournament cemented his place as one of the all-time greats in the defensive midfield role. He was a leader on and off the pitch, and his presence and influence were felt both in the dressing room and on the pitch. Gilberto Silva was an invaluable asset to both Arsenal and Brazil, and his contribution to the game of football should not be underestimated. His defensive prowess, leadership skills, and technical ability made him one of the best defensive midfielders in Premier League history. He was a true pioneer in the midfield, and his legacy will live on for years to come.
7. Michael Carrick
Michael Carrick was strong in midfield, directing the pitch with his poise and vision to drive the team forward. He was a master of the game and could read it like a book. His tactical awareness and intelligence allowed him to dictate the tempo of a match, break up his opponent’s attacks and dictate the flow of the game. He was an excellent passer of the ball, able to pick out teammates with pinpoint accuracy and his handling was a thing of beauty, rarely making mistakes and never conceding. He was the complete defensive midfielder and a vital part of the Manchester United team in their most successful season.
Carrick was widely praised for his leadership and was often seen as a calming presence in a squad full of characters. Respected by teammates and opponents alike, he was considered a key figure in the locker room. His professionalism and dedication to the game were most outstanding and his impact on the team was palpable. Carrick was instrumental in the greatest Premier League success of all time and his contribution will be long remembered. He was an integral part of Manchester United’s golden era and his legacy will live on long after he hangs up his boots. His impact on the game and the teams he played for will never be forgotten and he will be remembered as one of the best defensive midfielders in Premier League history.
6. Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes was a master midfielder known for his passing ability and ability to control the game. He has played a key role in Manchester United’s success over the years and played a key role in their unprecedented trophy haul in the 2000s. Scholes was a defensive midfielder with an unparalleled ability to read the game. His common sense and tactical awareness allowed him to stop and interrupt the opposition’s attacks. He was also able to quickly and accurately play the ball out of defense and set up his teammates with quality passes. Scholes was also known for his physicality, often using his strength to win the ball back. He was rarely out of position and was a reliable shield for United’s back four. His tackling was excellent and he often broke up counter-attacks before they got going.
He was also a threat in the air, scoring several important goals from set pieces. Scholes also scored goals and scored some amazing goals during his career. His long-range efforts were particularly memorable, often from unexpected angles. His passing accuracy was remarkable, often playing the ball between defenders or finding a teammate with a through ball. Paul Scholes was the perfect midfielder who could do it all. He was a versatile player who was never afraid to put his body on the line for his team. His ability to read the game and break up opposition attacks made him one of the best defensive midfielders in Premier League history. Such was his impact on the Manchester United team, he was often referred to as “the beating heart of the team”.
5. N’Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante is a midfield maestro, whose dynamic presence has been a major factor in many of his team’s successes. The French midfielder has been a key part of some of the most successful Premier League teams in history, and has proved himself to be one of the best defensive midfielders of all time. Kante’s ability to read the game and intercept passes has made him invaluable to his teams, and he has been a major factor in Leicester City’s remarkable Premier League title win in 2016. Kante has also been an integral part of Chelsea’s recent success, and was named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2017 and 2018. His tireless work rate and defensive awareness have been crucial to the Blues’ recent successes, and he has been a major part of Antonio Conte’s title-winning side. He is also a key part of the French national team, and his performances have been instrumental in their success in recent tournaments.
Kante’s ability to read the game and win the ball back is second to none, and he is also a very creative player. His passing ability and vision make him a dangerous threat going forward, and he has scored some important goals in his career. He is one of the most complete midfielders in the Premier League, and is undoubtedly one of the best defensive midfielders in the history of the division. Kante’s presence in midfield gives his team an added edge, and his ability to break up opposition attacks and launch counterattacks make him a valuable asset. His drive and determination have seen him become one of the best defensive midfielders in the league, and his influence on his team’s performances cannot be underestimated. Kante is without doubt one of the best defensive midfielders to have graced the Premier League, and his legacy will live long in the memory.
4. Javier Mascherano
You don’t want to miss the incredible defensive skills of Javier Mascherano, one of the most iconic midfielders of all time. The former Argentine has a long and illustrious history in the Premier League, having played for both West Ham United and Liverpool. He was a vital part of both teams’ success during his time there and was known for his quick thinking and ability to read the game. Mascherano’s defensive prowess was second to none and his tackles and interceptions earned him the nickname “The Little Chief”. He was also an expert at breaking up play, and his interceptions often led to opportunities for his teammates. He was always calm and composed on the ball and his passing was both accurate and inventive. Mascherano is also remembered for his managerial role.
He was often seen giving instructions to his teammates and was the first to encourage them when the team was struggling. He was a real leader in the middle of the park and was an invaluable asset to both teams. Mascherano was a key part of the Liverpool team that reached the Champions League final in 2007 and his defensive contributions were a key factor in their success. His passing ability was also invaluable as he often found himself in space, allowing him to break up play and start counter-attacks. Javier Mascherano is one of the best defensive midfielders in Premier League history and his contributions to West Ham and Liverpool cannot be forgotten. His defensive, passing and leadership qualities are some of the qualities that make him an all-time great and a player that will be remembered for many years to come.
3. Claude Makelele
Claude Makelele was a master of controlling the midfield, and his influence on the game was undeniable. He was known for his uncompromising tackling, as well as his excellent positioning, which enabled him to break up opposition attacks quickly. He was also a key component of Chelsea’s ‘Invincibles’ squad in the 2004/05 season, which saw them win the Premier League without losing a single game. Makelele’s defensive midfield role was so successful that it even spawned the term ‘the Makelele Role’, which is now used to describe the same position. Makelele’s most famous moment in the Premier League came in the 2005 Champions League Final, when his tackle on Steven Gerrard helped Chelsea secure a penalty shootout victory over Liverpool.
He also had some memorable performances in the FA Cup where he made important contributions in several rounds of the competition. Makelele’s impact was not limited to his defensive prowess. He was also a key player for Chelsea due to his excellent passing ability and ability to spot potential opportunities from his teammates. He could also score goals himself, scoring some important goals for Chelsea and some memorable goals for Real Madrid in La Liga. Makelele’s career in England was short but successful and his influence on the game of football is still felt today. Although he has since retired, his legacy lives on through the role of Makelele and the many defensive midfielders who have tried to emulate his style of play. His impact on the game both domestically and in Europe is undeniable and his place in the history books of the Premier League is assured.
2. Patrick Vieira
Let’s continue the discussion about the best midfielders in the Premier League. Let’s take a look at another legendary defensive midfielder: Patrick Vieira. The France international led the way both on and off the pitch, leading his side to three Premier League titles and four FA Cups. His defensive prowess, tough tackling and excellent passing ability made him one of the most feared players in the league. In addition to his defensive skills, Vieira also had an incredible motor that often covered the entire court. His physicality and intimidating presence allowed him to destroy games and regain control of his team. He was an excellent reader of the game and was often in the right place at the right time to win the ball and start a counter attack. Vieira’s attacking skills were also on display in the Premier League.
Although not known for scoring goals, he had an uncanny knack for making late passes into the box when his team had the ball and was always willing to put his body on the line for his team. His ability to time his runs and pick the right pass allowed him to set up teammates and create opportunities for himself and others. Vieira’s longevity and consistency at the highest level of English football cements his legacy as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League. His mental and physical strength combined with his excellent reading of the game allowed him to dominate the middle of the pitch and lead his team to victory. His presence and influence will be felt in the Premier League for years. Vieira was a true leader on the pitch, able to create chances and control the midfield. His defensive, passing and attacking skills made him one of the best defensive midfielders in Premier League history and will be remembered as one of the best to ever play.
1. Roy Keane
Few players were as fearsome and determined as Roy Keane, one of the best midfielders ever to grace the English game. His leadership and uncompromising approach to the game made him a great fixture in the Manchester United and Irish teams throughout his career. Keane was a tireless worker who read the game exceptionally well and his defensive skills were second to none. He was an incredibly influential figure and his mere presence was enough to intimidate the opposition. Keane was also a master of the dark arts of the game and was not afraid to use any means necessary to his advantage. He could be brutal in battle and his ability to disrupt the flow of the opposition made him a nightmare. Keane was also an exceptional passer of the ball, finding teammates with deft accuracy.
His influence on the team was invaluable and his performances often inspired those around him. Off the pitch, Keane was an inspirational leader. His uncompromising attitude and willingness not to back down is an example for his teammates. He was often seen giving impassioned speeches in the locker room and motivating his teammates. This confidence and determination to succeed showed in his game and he was always willing to put his body on the line for the team. In short, Roy Keane was one of the best defensive midfielders in Premier League history. He was an inspirational leader, an uncompromising tackler and a creative passer of the ball. His presence alone was enough to inspire those around him and his ability to read the game was second to none. With his fiery personality, Roy Keane was a force to be reckoned with.
You’ve found out about the ten best defensive midfielders in Premier League history – from Lucas Leiva to Roy Keane. Each of these players brought something unique to the table, whether it was tackling, passing, or sheer determination. These players were some of the best in the world at their position and their legacies will live on in the Premier League for years to come.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect defensive midfielder, look no further than this list – these are some of the best of all time!