Arsenal have impressed this season and are on course for a fine end to the campaign, with a FA Cup semi-final against Reading on the horizon and the chance to overtake Manchester City in the Premier League a distinct possibility.
They have a lot of players to thank for their progress, with Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez particularly impressive up front.
But they have also looked good further back, with their defence solid for much of the campaign despite a number of changes due to injuries, suspensions and – in the case of Gabriel Paulista – a new addition.
Using HITC’s formula to calculate defensive contribution by adding up key attributes, it is somewhat surprising to note that Arsenal’s best defender in the league this season has not been Gabriel, Laurent Koscielny or Per Mertesacker, but in fact Mathieu Debuchy.
|Outfield blocks per game||Effective clearances per game||Effective headed clearances per game||Duels won per game||Aerials won per game||Interceptions won per game||Tackles won per game||Total||Mins Played|
The French international may have been blighted by injuries but he has still managed 10 league appearances this season, and in that time he has impressed considerably.
With a total of 26.2 he comes out ahead of Gabriel in second and Koscielny in third, while Nacho Monreal also impresses with a total of 21.13.
Next season Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be hoping Debuchy stays fit so he can really show his worth over an entire campaign.