Marcos Rojo: Manchester United's best defender in the league this season

Fans Outside Old Trafford

Taking a closer look at Manchester United's defenders in the Premier League to date.

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 gameTackles won per gameEffective clearances per gameEffective headed clearances per gameDuels won per gameAerials won per gameInterceptions won per gameTotalMins Played
Chris Smalling 0.56 0.72 6.11 3.78 5.33 2.67 2 21.17 1,255
Marcos Rojo 0.39 1.67 7.06 4.06 5.83 2.89 2.67 24.57 1,496
Jonny Evans 0.38 1.62 4.85 3 4.85 1.62 1.92 24.56 1,041
Phil Jones 0.35 1.71 6.88 3.88 5.88 1.88 3.59 24.17 1,444
Patrick McNair 0.33 1 4.5 2.83 3 1 1.5 14.16 756
Antonio Valencia 0.21 2.42 1.54 0.63 5.88 0.67 1.58 12.93 1,863
Rafael 0.2 1.5 3.1 1.8 4.3 0.5 2 13.4 590
Luke Shaw 0.15 1.15 3.77 2.54 4.54 1.85 0.62 14.62 916
Tyler Blackett 0.11 0.89 4.67 2.78 3.33 1.44 1.89 15.11 623
Daley Blind 0.11 1.83 2.39 0.94 4.72 1.56 3.5 15.05 1,568

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.

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