With ten matchdays gone in the EPL season so far most everybody who follows the league can tell you who the outstanding offensive players have been so far. The individual goals table tells you that the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Sergio Aguero, Aaron Ramsey, and Loic Remy have all hit the ground running. Yet, the evaluation of how well a defender has played so far this season can not be based on one single statistic. What would you use? Tackles? Blocks? Interceptions? Due to this question a combination of stats must be used and Squawka.com has come up with an algorithm that takes into consideration every touch of the ball and the position on the pitch of that touch to grade out players offensive and defensive contribution in a game. An average player would produce a score of around 15-20 per match. Here are their top five rated defenders (centerbacks and fullbacks only) so far this season, with their defensive rating per game and a few notes on how they have played to date.
Sylvain Distin, Everton 31.1
The French defender has been a rock for Everton the past 4 seasons making 27 or more starts each year. This season he is averaging 1.8 tackles and 2.1 interceptions per game while winning 70% of his headers. He may be 35 but it looks as if Distin will not be slowing down anytime soon.
Winston Reid, West Ham, 29.7
It was just announced the Kiwi Hammer would be out a few weeks due to injury but he has been very impressive to start this season. Reid is avereging 2 tackles, 2.8 interceptions and 8.8 clearances pergame helping a West Ham defense concede only eight goals in ten league games.
Dejan Lovren, Southampton, 29.6
If you listened to our transfer window podcast you know both Corey and I where very surprised the Saints could land such a quality player for only 8.8 million pounds. Lovren has been nothing short of outstanding this season in the center of the Southampton defense posting 2.3 tackles, 2.3 interceptions, 7 clearances and 4.4 headers won per match.
Phil Jagielka, Everton, 26.6
The English international has been with the Toffees seven seasons now and has adjusted well to Martinez’s new tactics on the blue side of Liverpool. The 31 year old has averaged 1.4 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 9.7 clearances per match.
Jose Fonte, Southampton, 23.0
Fonte is by far the most surprising player on this list and has a very good story to tell having been with the Saints since their days in League 1. Fonte is a solid all around defender who can pass some and has formed a nice partnership with the number three player on this list Dejan Lovern.