After all that hype the big game of the weekend was a letdown. Both teams cancelled each other for the most part. It was another boring away performance from Mourinho. After watching the Liverpool Man Utd snoozefest most people looked towards Mourinho as the reason to why millions of fans around the world were twiddling there thumbs more interested in snacks rather the game. Liverpool made an effort but lacked a bit of quality and luck at certain points. United may not have had the boldest tactics but the most apparent thing to see was how poor the play was in midfield. Herrera and Matic were hard working and defensively aware but didn’t provide any service for Lukaku or Martial. Lukaku had the fewest touches of anyone on both teams which always means that he was most likely isolated upfront. If Pogba was fit this may have been a different story however the same type of performance was displayed last season. This was further highlighted by the performance of De Bruyne who had one of the best individual performances this year. He made 3 passes that were unreal, the precision and speed of his passes were laser focused. With the return of the Champions League it had me thinking about the best midfielders in Europe. These midfielders can dictate the pace of a game in any squad. In the new Guardiola system De Bruyne has been playing deeper and started the attacks. He would’ve been included on the list but his normal position in is an attacker.
Honourable mentions – Casemeiro, Pjanic, Iniesta, Pogba, Busquets
At only 24 years old he still has a lot to improve on but he is already a top player. Now that Matuidi is gone he has become the main man in the middle supplying the ammo for PSG’s front three. He has been class this season and has had big performances on the Champions League. His skills and football intelligence have led to comparisons with Pirlo which he has acknowledged himself. With the quality of the team right now he has the opportunity take the domestic title back and challenge in Europe. If he does that and helps his country next summer (assuming they make it past the playoffs) he will be recognised as one of the great players in the world.
What else is there to say? 70% of the world is covered by water the rest by Kante. These sort of statements by fans credit and undermine his actual ability on the ball. To win the league with two different clubs in consecutive seasons shows the quality he brings to teams. On the ball he is also underrated, he can run with the ball and passes the ball forward which is something most holding midfielders don’t do. He is also a main starter for the national team which is saying something when you look at the depth of their talent.
He hasn’t had a positive last couple of weeks but he is a proven winner and a world class player. An all action midfielder that has everything to his game and is a great leader. Now in his early 30s he is the more senior player in the midfield but his quality on the ball and running provides space for attackers to create chances. Last season in the Champions League he was unlucky missing the penalty and being sent off, sometimes you wonder why United were so hesitant to buy him 3 years ago.
When he joined Madrid from Spurs most people understood his quality but didn’t expect him to be so instrumental in their success. With Casemeiro in the midfield they now have the perfect balance to play alongside Kroos. With those two you have two quarterbacks in the team. Last season was probably the best in his career winning the double, he was a leader in the team and in the Champions League final after a difficult first half he was incredible. The only criticism of his game is that for all his quality he doesn’t score enough goals.
Has anyone had a better 5 year trophy run as a player. Since 2012 he has won 3 league titles, 3 Champions leagues and a World cup among other trophies. If you are to describe his skill set you would say he is a more athletic Schweinsteiger with even better technical ability. He is still only 27 years old and has the opportunity now to become one of the all time great midfielders in Europe at arguably the biggest club in the world. With him and Modric in midfield for the first time in recent memory they go into El Classico with a better midfield which was exemplified in the Supercopa a couple of months ago when they was dominant.
What do you think of this list? Who do you think is the best midfielder right now?
Give us your thoughts. Share and post on social media.
Twitter – faniel_t