We’ve picked out five star defenders from the second tier of English football this season.
Ben Turner of Cardiff City
When he’s been fit, turner has been one of the most reliable defenders for a side on the verge of going up to the Premier League, after numerous examples of play-off heartbreak.
He’s made 24 appearances, which is nowhere near the number of some other defenders but it’s his quality and consistency through these games which has been key. He’s also only been booked five times which shows great discipline and maturity beyond his 24-years of age.
Alex Bruce of Hull City
Alex Bruce has had one of his best seasons ever in professional football with 37 appearances and only three yellow cards to his name all season. He has been one of the players in the Hull team who the boss has been able to rely on.
He’s nailed down a place in the middle of the defence which has given Hull a strong spine through the centre of the team, which everything else has been able to play off of.
Marco Cassetti of Watford
Cassetti has provided a bit of experience to the Watford back four and he’s got them organised and setup well, which is positive regardless of the fact that he’s on loan from Udinese at the moment.
He’s played in 34 games and has been a little more aggressive than some other defenders with eight bookings. However, he’s been incredibly consistent as Watford chase down an automatic promotion place.
Matt Upson of Brighton
Upson is on the list despite the fact he’s only made 14 appearances for the club. Upson has given Brighton that extra bit of top flight quality which has allowed them to maintain the best home defensive record in the Championship.
He’s also substantially enhanced the aerial power and dominance of the back four and has proven to be effective in the opponent’s final third, having already bagged his first goal for the club.
Tom Lees of Leeds United
Lees has played virtually a full season for Leeds having made 44 appearances with two goals, two yellow cards and the solitary sending off over the course of the season.
Leeds may be lingering in mid-table with no real hope of making a play-off place but Lees has shown brilliant potential and quality. He has a very complete all round game and if the club can hang onto him, he’s only going to get better over the course of next season.
Who has been your Championship defender of the season?
image: © joncandy