Here, we’ll take you through the best players in England’s top flight…
10 – Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham)
The Belgian defender has made a major impression in the Premier League, first on loan at Southampton and then following his permanent move to Spurs, helping turn them into one of the most solid defensive units around and earning his place as our highest-placed defender.
A centre-half who was perhaps a bit too happy trying to play pretty and could be rash in the tackle during his early days at Ajax his single season at Atletico Madrid (2013-14) may not have seen him play too regularly (just 22 appearances in all competitions) and saw him often used as a fullback, but working under Diego Simeone in Europe’s meanest defence certainly imprinted something on him.
The early rash-ness has been weeded out of his game, and while he continues to be classy on the ball – no defender in Europe drops a 50-yard pass as well as he, other than the excellent Leonardo Bonucci – he’s now mean in the tackle, positionally superb, marshalls those around him and puts his body on the line when necessary. It wasn’t a coincidence that Spurs had the best defence in the division last season, conceding 18 goals less than the previous year.
Now 27, his peak years remain ahead of him. The rock upon which any potential title bid from White Hart Lane will be built.