These are the top-5 defenders in the English Premier Leaguefor 2013/14 season (as of 27/12/2013). The ratings are accumulated by the Player Performance Index (PPI) powered by EA Games – the official player-rating system of the Barclays Premier League.
5) John Terry (Chelsea) PPI Rating: 262 points
At the age of 14, John Terry joined Chelsea’s youth-academy from West Ham as a defensive-midfielder. By the age of 21 he was an established player for Chelsea’s first-team, deployed often as the partner for club-captain Marcel Desailly at the heart of the Chelsea defence. In the 2004/05 season, after the retirement of Desailly, new manager Jose Mourinho decided to name Terry as the new club-captain. That season, he was voted the ‘PFA Players’ Player of the Year’ and was also named the best defender in Europe by the UEFA after leading Chelsea to the Premier league title with the best-ever defensive record in the Football League. Besides being one of their best players in the club’s history, Terry is also Chelsea’s greatest-ever captain with three-league titles and four FA Cups. Now aged 33, Terry is certainly nearing the twilight of his career, though he has been the most reliable centre-back for Jose Mourinho this season.
4) Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) PPI Rating: 269 points
After impressive spells on-loan at Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa, Kyle Walker established himself as the regular right-back for Tottenham in the 2011/12 season under their former manager Harry Redknapp. In his first full season with the London club, Walker was named the ‘PFA Young Player of The Year’ after beating the likes of Sergio Aguero and Gareth Bale for the prestigious award. Unfortunately, Tottenham have hardly set the league alight this season and their lacklusture displays have culminated in the exit of Andre Villas-Boas. Quite a few Spurs players have also come in for some heavy criticism, yet not too many fingers have been pointed at Walker who has again been one of their most consistent performers. Even in the 0-5 humiliation at home by Liverpool, which proved to be the final nail in the coffin for AVB, Walker was perhaps the only Spurs’ player who played with vigour and heartiness until the final whistle.
3) Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United) PPI Rating: 271 points
One of the later French imports of Newcastle United by manager Alan Pardew, Mathieu Debuchy decided to join fellow French-internationals Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye at Newcastle last January after spending his entire career with Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille. Since making the switch to the Premier League in mid-season, Debuchy did not enjoy the best of starts to his career in England as Newcastle endured a difficult campaign to narrowly survive relegation. However, this season both Debuchy and Newcastle have been in good knick with Pardew’s team sitting two points ahead of Manchester United on Christmas Day. The French full-back has consistently delivered stellar performances, both offensively and defensively to become an extremely vital player for the Magpies this season. Debuchy has also managed to score his first goal in Newcastle colours after scoring the second-half equaliser in his team’s dramatic 2-1 loss to Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby.
2) Patrice Evra (Manchester United) PPI Rating: 282 points
After opting to join Manchester United in January 2006, Patrice Evra had slowly but surely established himself as one of the best left-backs in the Premier League. Evra possesses a fantastic balance of physical and technical abilities and that has allowed him to pose as a genuine attacking threat for the Red Devils from his left-back position. In recent seasons however, the defensive side of his game has deteriorated sharply and the current campaign has been no different. Under new manager David Moyes, United’s defence has sometimes been quite shaky this season and Evra has often been amongst the guilty party. But his consistency on the offensive side, especially in United’s recent resurgent period, allows him to feature this high in the rankings. Nevertheless, Evra still appears to be treading on thin ice since David Moyes will look to resume his efforts in prising away Leighton Baines from Everton during the upcoming January transfer window.
1) Seamus Coleman (Everton) PPI Rating: 339 points
It may be a bit of a surprise to see Seamus Coleman top the charts as his low-profile makes him quite an underrated footballer; yet the Irish-international has gathered rave reviews recently for his terrific all-round game. Coleman joined Everton in January 2009 as a wide-right midfielder, although manager David Moyes later converted him into a right-back by frequently deploying him in that position. Everton have enjoyed an outstanding first-half of the season under new manager Roberto Martinez losing only two games in the league thus far. The Toffees have also maintained the best defensive record in the league which allows them to be within touching distance of a Champions’ League spot. Seamus Coleman has arguably been the most-consistent player for the most-consistent team in the Premiership, being on the pitch for every minute of the Everton’s league campaign so far and has also scored four goals.