Ranked! The 10 best women’s defensive midfielders in the world
The role of the defensive or tenacious midfielder is one with many facets.
It can very much depend on how a team likes to play, so in our list of the best women’s defensive midfielders in the world you’ll find players who excel at a meaty tackle, alongside players who pick passes that most people would pick. not even on site.
The position has been particularly in demand as women’s football has increased possession and Keira Walsh recently paid a world record fee as part of her move from Manchester City to Barcelona.
Best Women’s Defensive Midfielders in the World: 10. Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns)
Named to the NWSL’s Best XI after helping the Portland Thorns win their third championship title, this rookie looks set to be the long-term solution to the US midfield problems.
With Julie Ertz absent through a long-term injury, America is struggling to find a replacement. Coffey was the 12th overall pick in the NWSL draft and was a vital part of the Thorns team, starting 18 games for them. Coffey is proficient defensively while being a strong passer of the ball. Coffey’s ability to weather dead ball situations is just another arrow to her bow.
9. Ingrid Engen (Barcelona)
Ingrid Engen’s move from Wolfsburg to Barcelona after just a few seasons underlined how well thought out the Norwegian midfielder is.
Mainly a game interrupter, Engen has taken a while to adjust to Barcelona’s more possession-based football, and struggled in her first season at the club. Still, there are signs this year that she is adjusting better with Alexia Putellas’ injury giving her more chances for minutes.
However, she lags behind Keira Walsh and Patri Guijarro in the pecking order. There is no doubt that Engen is a very talented player, but it remains to be seen if she can really live up to her potential in Barcelona’s highly stacked midfield.
8. Lena Lattwein (Wolfsburg)
Wolfsburg’s Lena Lattwein is a versatile player, who can play as a defensive midfielder or further down the field in midfield. Acquired from Hoffenheim last season, Lattwein plays an important supporting role for Wolfsburg’s other Lena – Oberdorf.
In a midfield full of talented players, Lattwein has won the trust of manager Tommy Stroot, who has started her in every league game so far this season. Although she has struggled to break into the German team, at just 22 years old, there is plenty of development for Lattwein.
7. Sophie Ingle (Chelsea)
Don’t write Sophie Ingle off. The 31-year-old continues to shape Chelsea’s midfield, with her side’s success often relying on her performance. Ingle covers the defensive line ably for both Chelsea and Wales and is the captain of her national team. Ingle’s game is characterized by his composure, while her relationship with her teammates allows her to often move further down the field or fall back depending on what the team needs.
6. Sarah Zadrazil (Bayern Munich)
She may wear Austria’s number 9 shirt, but Sarah Zadrazil is one of the most accomplished midfielders in the game. She plays at the bottom of midfield for Bayern, rarely missing a match and was key in their Frauen Bundesliga win in her first season with the club. Zadrazil is an excellent 1v1 defender and also has the creativity to play further forward when needed.
Zadrazil recently extended her contract with Bayern Munich, a testament to how important she is to the German side.
5. Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea)
There aren’t many positions on the pitch that Erin Cuthbert hasn’t played in, but she seems to be well on her way to becoming a central midfielder. Previously, Chelsea have used her as a 10, a winger and a full-back, this season have used her as both a defensive midfielder and a number 8, often paired with Sophie Ingle.
The Scottish pocket rocket is known for her massive amounts of energy when she plays – she has made the second highest number of tackles in the WSL this season – and can often be found on the edge of the penalty area, ready to take a blank. to beat. ball in the top corner. Her goal for Chelsea in last season’s FA Cup final at Wembley was a good example of this.
Cuthbert has been with Chelsea since she was 18 and recently signed a new contract to keep her in West London for at least another two seasons.
4. Lia Walti (Arsenal)
Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Lia Walti is famous for two things: her “snake hips” and her bipedality. Walti has a tendency to use her body to trick opponents about how she is going to move with the ball and her ability to pass with both feet means she is the metronome at the heart of Arsenal’s midfield.
When it comes to completion percentages, she is regularly at the top of the Arsenal team. Walti is in her fifth season at Arsenal and is absolutely vital to how they play because of the way she circulates possession.
3.Keira Walsh (Barcelona)
Keira Walsh grew up watching Barcelona’s midfield greats, so when they came to call her this summer it was no surprise that she was excited about the move.
Walsh left her childhood club Manchester City for a world record transfer fee in women’s football. Her assist for Ella Toone’s goal in the final was an example of the incredible vision she has as a player, combined with the technical ability to put it into action. Manchester City’s loss has been Barcelona’s gain, with Walsh fitting into the Blaugrana squad immediately.
2. Patri Guijarro (Barcelona)
One of the more intriguing elements of the signing of Keira Walsh from Manchester City was the fact that Barcelona already had a world-class midfielder in Patri Guijarro. The 24-year-old was scouted by Barcelona in a match when she played against them and joined the Catalan club a month after her 17th birthday.
Guijarro’s prowess is underlined by her versatility on the pitch. She has previously played as a centre-back for Barcelona (including in their Champions League final win over Chelsea) and has played in more of an 8 role this season following Alexia Putellas’ injury. However, it is in the base of midfield where she is really at her best. There she is able to play the widest variety of passes, some of which are absolutely outstanding in quality, and her composure on the ball is contagious.
1. Lena Oberdorf (Wolfsburg)
When you see Lena Oberdorf playing in midfield it’s easy to mistake her for two players, that’s how big the ground she covers. Oberdorf is only 20 years old, but there is no doubt about her great talent. Physically strong but also a fantastic reader of the game, Oberdorf is not afraid to throw in a hard tackle when necessary.
She was named Young Player of the Tournament at Euro 2022 and finished fourth in the Ballon D’Or voting this year. Oberdorf looks set to be the star for both Germany and Wolfsburg in the coming years.
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