Dejan Lovren best centre-back in Premier League, says CIES study
Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren is the best defender in the Premier League, despite coming 12th across Europe, according to a study by the CIES Football Observatory.
The study looks at six complementary areas of the game: shooting; chance creation; take on; distribution; recovery and rigour. Players are ranked according to five positions and only footballers who played at least 60 percent of domestic league minutes are included in the rankings.
Unsurprisingly, in the Forwards category, Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo come first and second, with Luis Suarez close behind.
Meanwhile, in Attacking Midfield, Real Madrid's James Rodriguez tops the chart ahead of Chelsea star Eden Hazard. Although Chelsea do get one player top, in Defensive Midfield, with the inclusion of Cesc Fabregas above PSG's Marco Verratti.
Barcelona dominate the Full-Back category with Dani Alves and Jordi Alba the top two and Manchester United's Antonio Valencia coming in fifth, but the Centre-Back category sees Thiago Silva from PSG top the chart ahead of Jerome Boateng of Bayern and Barcelona's Javier Mascherano.
However, it is the appearance of Lovren that is most interesting as he comes in 12th across Europe, but is above the likes of Vincent Kompany, Per Mertesacker and John Terry to stand as the top rated centre-back in the Premier League.
Champions League finalists Juventus also fared well in defence as Giorgio Chiellini came fourth in the centre-back rankings, while Patrice Evra finished sixth among full-backs.