When Marcos Rojo first signed for Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon, there were question marks concerning his ability in the centre of defence.
After all, here was a player who, despite playing centrally for the Portuguese club, was better known as a marauding left-back for Argentina, suddenly tasked with filling the hole left by the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
Well it did not take long for the doubts to fade, with Rojo impressing from the outset for United and outshining his teammates in the process.
Using HITC’s formula to calculate defensive contribution by adding up key attributes, Rojo comes out on top, ahead of Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and the rest.
It is a close run thing, with Rojo finishing with 24.57 and Evans just behind him with 24.56, but the Argentine wins…by a nose.
|Outfield blocks per game||Tackles won per game||Effective clearances per game||Effective headed clearances per game||Duels won per game||Aerials won per game||Interceptions won per game||Total||Mins Played|
United’s defence came in for heavy criticism earlier in the campaign when manager Louis van Gaal’s bizarre decision to persevere with a 3-5-2 formation led to some poor defending and disappointing results.
But throughout, Rojo did his best and his passion and talent cannot be denied.
This season he has made more effective clearances in the league than any other United defender, and he is also top when it comes to duels won.
In short, he always gives his all, and in so doing he currently stands out despite some fine company.