Martin Skrtel: Liverpool's best defender in the league this season

Anfield Night

Taking a closer look at Liverpool's defenders in the Premier League this season.

Much has been made of Liverpool’s change in formartion in recent months, with the Reds benefitting from playing three at the back – usually Martin Skrtel, Emre Can and Mamadou Sakho.

So how do the three players fare? In fact, who comes out on top when you consider the performances of all Liverpool’s defenders in the league this season?

Using HITC’s formula to calculate a defender’s importance by adding up key attributes, there is a clear winner – Skrtel.

The 30-year-old comes out on top in six of the seven areas below, and his total of 28.41 is streets ahead of everyone except – somewhat surprisingly – Dejan Lovren, who has a score of 26.2.

Skrtel is a vital part of this Liverpool side and he has formed a wonderful trio with Sakho and Can, and it will be interesting to see if manager Brendan Rodgers splits them up next season, switching the former Bayer Leverkusen player into the middle and giving Lovren more chances.

  Outfield blocks per gameTackles won per gameEffective clearances per gameEffective headed clearances per gameDuels won per gameAerials won per gameInterceptions won per gameTotalMins Played
Martin Skrtel 1.26 1.04 10.04 5.56 5.11 3.59 1.81 28.41 2,430
Kolo Touré 0.6 1 4.7 2.5 3.2 1.6 0.6 14.2 575
Javier Manquillo 0.3 2.1 2.4 1.1 5.6 1.2 2.2 14.9 761
Glen Johnson 0.29 1.14 2 1.07 4.29 1.21 1.21 11.21 882
Mamadou Sakho 0.29 1.36 5.86 3.64 5.43 2.43 1.57 20.58 1,238
Dejan Lovren 0.2 1.35 8.25 5.5 5.9 3.3 1.7 26.2 1,510
Emre Can 0.16 1.74 3.11 1.68 5.95 1.79 1.74 16.17 1,396
Alberto Moreno 0.04 1.5 1.67 0.63 4.21 0.5 1.13 9.68 1,950
José Enrique 0 0.75 2.75 1.5 3 1.25 0.5 9.75 203

Despite the recent disappointment of losing 2-1 to Manchester United, Liverpool’s players can hold their heads high after a brilliant start to 2015; and while a top-four finish will now be a tough ask, things could change once again if they defeat Arsenal directly after the international break.

If they do so, Skrtel is sure to be vital in any and all efforts.

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