Has Michael Dawson been the best English centre-back in the Premier League this season?

After being told he could join QPR in the summer he has gone on to play a key part in the Tottenham Hotspur Champions League push this season. Has he been better than Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill?

When Michael Dawson made his first appearance of the season against Carlisle in September last year it appeared to be a sign of things to come for the central defender. Despite being handed the captaincy by Andre Villas Boas upon the Portuguese manager’s arrival at White Hart Lane last summer he was extremely close to leaving the club in the summer for QPR.

At the time assistant manager Steffen Freund insisted he still had a role to play at the club:

"He realises that he is not playing at the moment but things can change in football. The most important thing is how he reacts and he likes to play for Tottenham. When you are a strong club like Tottenham there is a lot of opportunities. Andre said that from the beginning of the season. It is difficult for him because he is the captain of the club and he had an offer from QPR.’’

Spurs had to reinforce at the back in the summer due to the retirement of Ledley King and they did so with the signing of Jan Vertonghen and recall of Steven Caulker from Swansea City. Along with Younes Kaboul and William Gallas it did make competition for places at Spurs an ominous sight for the almost discarded Dawson.

But since then Kaboul had to undergo surgery that has kept him out for the majority of the season, left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto has also struggled for fitness leaving Jan Vertonghen often filling in at left-back giving Dawson a chance to battle with Caulker and Gallas for the centre-back positions; a battle he has won.

It would now not be too much of a reach to potentially say Dawson is one of the first names on the Tottenham team-sheet after using the motivation of being surplus to requirements to prove his worth.

He has since made 21 appearances for the first-team as the clubs captain and looks set to be rewarded with a brand new contract at the club. 

What a role model Dawson is for potential youngsters coming throught the ranks. This season he has been potentially the best English centre back in the Premier League along with Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jagielka and the fact he can’t get back into the England side ahead of Gary Cahill and Joleon Lescott is a mystery.

With Spurs now in hot pursuit of Manchester City in second spot at the end of the season we might all be able to reflect on his performances a little better and realise what a tremendous campaign he has had.

What have you made of Michael Dawson’s performances this season?

images: © apasciuto, © Ronnie Macdonald, © StartAgain

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