Jose Fonte: Statistically Southampton's best defender in the league this season

Taking a closer look at the performances of Southampton's defenders in the league.

Southampton’s defence has been brilliant this season, playing a significant role in the side’s impressive climb up the table. But who comes out on top in an analysis of the Saints’ back-line in the league to date?

Using HITC’s formula to calculate defensive contribution by adding up key attributes, it is Jose Fonte who is currently outshining his defensive colleagues at Southampton, with a total of 18.53 from seven vital areas.

The Portuguese centre-back has been brilliant alongside Toby Alderweireld this season, and it is the Belgian loanee who comes second.

But Fonte is rarely praised by neutrals, despite putting in great performances week in, week out.

  Outfield blocks per gameTackles won per gameEffective clearances per gameEffective headed clearances per gameDuels won per gameAerials won per gameInterceptions won per gameTotalMins Played
Toby Alderweireld 0.83 1.11 6.11 2.56 3.06 1.5 1.39 16.56 1,545
Jose Fonte 0.59 1.52 5.21 2.62 4.07 1.55 2.97 18.53 2,610
Florin Gardos 0.36 1.55 3.36 1.55 3.91 2 1.18 13.91 574
Maya Yoshida 0.29 1.41 3.76 1.29 4.59 2.12 1.71 15.17 1,312
Nathaniel Clyne 0.18 2.11 2.29 0.64 5.5 0.46 1.96 13.14 2,517
Ryan Bertrand 0.15 1.08 1.5 0.85 4.81 1.58 1.96 11.93 2,339
Matt Targett 0 0.83 1.17 0.17 2.67 0.67 0.67 6.18 225

When Dejan Lovren left Southampton for Liverpool last summer it looked as though the Saints would struggle, but Fonte has proved vital and any and all praise that comes his way is well deserved.

The 31-year-old is currently top when it comes to outfield blocks and effective clearances per match, but it is his consistency across the board and leadership skills that stand him out.

Ronald Koeman inherited some bright young prospects and signed some wonderful additions, but Fonte is the unheralded star of this side.

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