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Best defensive midfielders in 2021

Fri 24 December 2021 | 7:30

Join us as we take a look at the top football players in 2021 to find out who the best defensive midfielders of 2021 are. Stay tuned.

Only a few days to the end of 2021, and now it’s time to safely review the top defensive midfielders in the previous year. Everybody knows that in today’s world of football, every successful team needs great defensive midfielders as much as they need great goal scorers.

2021 has been a year for many soccer players around the world, to live up to their expectations and add their names to the list of the top players in their position. So let’s see which players have revolutionized the position in 2021.

Close to the end of 2021, we have decided to start a survey in order to find out the greatest players in every football league and every position. Now it’s time to take a closer look at all the great defensive players who have made a huge impact on football this year.

So join us as we take a look at these

top defensive midfielders in 2021

.

Best defensive midfielders of 2021

Time to start with the first name on our list of the

best defensive midfielders in 2021

. Ready? Let’s start then.

Kante

  • Full name:

    N'Golo Kanté

  • Age:

    30 years old

  • Place of birth:

    France

  • Current Team:

    Chelsea

Starting his professional football career at the age of 21, he first joined Boulogne, where he also kicked the ball at the youth club for two years. His next destinations were Caen and Leicester City, but eventually, the young star joined Chelsea in 2016.

On 15 August 2016, the new Chelsea talent made his competitive debut in the season opener against West Ham United and proved to be one of the bests, helping his team to gain a 2–1 victory over their rivals, despite receiving a yellow card.

They say not to judge the book by its cover, but in this case, we can claim that with

Kante

we could see an extraordinary future since the first game. 

But why did we name him as one of the bests in 2021? Let’s figure it out! Beginning the year with making his 200th appearance in all competitions with the club against Atletico Madrid in February 2021, Cante helped the Blues win his first UEFA Champions League, beating Manchester City in the final and became the man of the match.

Many commentators and football legends applauded his performance after the competition, and some said that he would win the 2021 Ballon d’Or. However, as we all know now, Messi was the one to win the prize that year. 

It also has to be mentioned that he was named the UEFA Men's Midfielder of the year in August 2021. However, he lost the award to his teammate Jorginho in the UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award.

Joshua Kimmich

  • Full name: 

    Joshua Walter Kimmich

  • Age:

    26 years old

  • Place of birth:

    Germany

  • Current Team:

    Bayern Munich

The next name on our list of the best defensive midfielders in 2021 is

Joshua Kimmich

. The 26-year-old Bayern Munich player joined the Bavarians in 2015, after spending two years with RB Leipzig. Proving to be one of the bests, he soon earned his spot in the team and has so far appeared in 184 games with the team, scoring 20 goals.

Kimmich started the 2020–21 season with a different number, as Thiago Alcântara left the team and so his 26-year-old teammate acquired the number 6 shirt and went on to be great as always.

Talking about the 2021-22 season, he has been a lucky one so far, with 11 appearances, three goals, and four assists.

The young star has yet to add much more to his team’s achievements as on 23 August 2021, he signed a new contract until 2025 with the Bavarians.

Ilkay Gundogan

  • Full name:

    İlkay Gündoğan

  • Age:

    31 years old

  • Place of birth:

    Germany

  • Current Team:

    Manchester City

The next name on our list of the

best defensive midfielders in 2021

is

Ilkay Gundogan

. Currently kicking the ball for Manchester City in the Premier League, Gundogan first started his senior career in 2008 with VfL Bochum II. He later joined 1. FC Nürnberg, Borussia Dortmund, and Borussia Dortmund II. Eventually, in 2016 the German player joined the Citizens to stay with them so far.

The beginning of 2021 was very surprising for him, as he started the year with a brace in his team’s match against Liverpool on 7 February 2021, which ended with a 4–1 win over their rivals. 

The year even got more interesting, as in February he was chosen as Premier League Player of the Month. However, that was not the only individual prize he won, as in March he received the Premier League Player of the Month for a second consecutive month, with four goals and one assist in five games. Gundogan finished the season with 13 goals, as Manchester City's highest goalscorer of the premier league season.

Rodi

  • Full name:

    Rodrigo Hernández Cascante

  • Age:

    25 years old

  • Place of birth:

    Spain

  • Current Team:

    Manchester City

Time to take a closer look at the next name on our list of the best defensive midfielders in 2021, Rodi. The current Manchester City player started his senior career with the Villarreal B team in 2015, moving to Villarreal senior team and Atlético Madrid as his next destinations. Eventually, the young star joined the Citizens in 2019 to stay with the team up to now.

So far, he has achieved the 2018 UEFA Super Cup with Atletico Madrid, and the 2020–21 Premier League, two EFL Cups, and the 2019 FA Community Shield with Manchester City at club level, and the 2015 UEFA European Under-19 Championship at the international level, while he has also been selected as the player to win the Premier League Goal of the Month prize in November 2021. No wonder why he has been selected as one of the

top defensive midfielders in 2021

. Don’t you agree?!

Jorgiho

  • Full name:

    Jorge Luiz Frello Filho

  • Age:

    29 years old

  • Place of birth:

    Brazil

  • Current Team:

    Chelsea

The next name on our list of the best defensive midfielders in 2021 is the famous Chelsea midfielder, Jorgiho. The 29-year-old player started his senior career with Hellas Verona in 2010, moving to Sambonifacese on loan and Napoli as his next destinations. Eventually, the current star moved to Chelsea in 2018 to stay with the team so far.

So far, he has achieved the 2013–14 Coppa Italia and the 2014 Supercoppa Italiana with Napoli, but his most precious time has been with Chelsea, where he has won the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League, the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League, and the 2021 UEFA Super Cup. He also helped Italy win the UEFA European Championship in 2021, becoming the 2020-21 UEFA Men's Player of the Year.

So many achievements at such a young age! Don’t you agree?! Anyways now we know why he was chosen to be on this list. You also have to know that Jorgiho was placed third in the 2021 Ballon d'Or, behind Lionel Messi as the winner and Robert Lewandowski.

Brozovic

  • Full name:

    Marcelo Brozović

  • Age:

    29 years old

  • Place of birth:

    Croatia

  • Current Team:

    Inter Milan

Brozovic

is the next name on our list of the

greatest defensive midfielders of 2021

. Going back in his professional football life, the current Inter Milan star, started playing soccer professionally with Hrvatski Dragovoljac back in 2010 and went on to join Lokomotiva and Dinamo Zagreb as his next destinations. Eventually, he joined Inter Milan in 2015. Being one of the bests at San Siro, so far he has won two Prva HNL titles and the 2013 Croatian Supercup. With Inter Milan also he has won the 2020-21 Serie A title, which was Inter's first league title since 2009.

As of 2021, in addition to their Serie A title, Brozovic made his 200th Serie A appearance in August, in his team’s match against Hellas Verona, which ended in Inter Milan’s 3-1 victory.

Ready to know about the next name on our list? Let’s carry on then. 

Casemiro

  • Full name:

    Carlos Henrique Casimiro

  • Age:

    29 years old

  • Place of birth:

    Brazil

  • Current Team:

    Real Madrid

And here is one of the most famous names on our list of the best defensive midfielders in 2021,

Casemiro

. A strong, smart, agile player who has the ability to terrorize the opposition goalkeepers from distance. Being compared to a tank that the team needs in the midfield, Casimiro started his professional career in 2010 by joining São Paulo. On his path towards glorious, he later joined the Real Madrid B team and later on the Los Blancos senior team in 2013.

Recently signed a new contract till 2025, Casemiro has helped Real Madrid achieve so many titles and achievements all through these years. Let’s take a brief look:

Ready to know about the next name on our list? Stay tuned then.

Ndidi

  • Full name:

    Onyinye Wilfred Ndidi

  • Age:

    24years old

  • Place of birth:

    Nigeria

  • Current Team:

    Leicester City

Being one of the bests at Premier League’s Leicester City,

Ndidi

is the next defensive midfielder we want to take a closer look at in 2021. Kicking the ball for only two different clubs, he started his professional career in 2015 with Genk and stayed there for the next two years. In 2017, Genk confirmed that Ndidi will leave them to join Leicester, and eventually, Ndidi made his debut for the Foxes on 7 January 2017.

During the three first years, he proved to be one of the bests and found his spot on the first team.

As of 2021, he helped the team achieve the 2020-21 FA Cup and also the 2021 FA Community shield. Obviously, he deserves his spot on this list! Don’t you agree?

Fabinho

  • Full name:

    Fábio Henrique Tavares

  • Age:

    28 years old

  • Place of birth:

    Brazil

  • Current Team:

    Liverpool

Coming to the last two names on our article of the best defensive midfielders in 2021, here we have

Fabinho

, one of the greatest names of his generation. Starting his professional soccer career at the age of 19 with Fluminense, he later joined Rio Ave, Real Madrid, Monaco, and Liverpool as his final destination so far.

Recently signed a new contract with the Reds to the end of 2026, Fabinho has so far made 98 appearances for the team, scoring four times. 

Close to the end of 2021, the 28-year-old player has so far achieved the 2016-17 Ligue 1 title with Monaco, in addition to the 2019-20 Premier League title, the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League, and the 2019 UEFA Super Cup with Liverpool.

Time to carry on to the last name on our list of the

best defensive midfielders in 2021.

Shall we?

Kessie

  • Full name:

    Franck Yannick Kessié

  • Age:

    24 years old

  • Place of birth:

    Ivory Coast

  • Current Team:

    AC Milan

And here is the last name on our list of the greatest defensive midfielders of 2021,

Kessie

.

Currently kicking the ball as a member of AC Milan in Serie A, Kessie first started his senior career in 2015 with Atalanta. His next destinations were Cesena and AC Milan, which he joined on loan, but eventually, in 2019 the 24-year-old player joined AC Milan on a three-year deal.

He started 2021 with two scored penalties in his team’s match against Atalanta on 23 May, which was finished in Milan’s 2-0 victory against their rivals.

The result saved AC Milan’s second place in the 2020–21 Serie A chart, and also qualified them for the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League after eight years.

That was all we have got on the greatest defensive midfielders in 2021. Who else do you think has to be added to this list? Let us know in the comment section below.  

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