It is often said that the midfield battle goes a long way in determining the outcome of a game. The midfield represents the most fundamental area of the pitch and the role of midfielders cannot be under-estimated. They are the men who may pull the strings from the middle of the park or those that provide scintillating pace and bags of tricks. The below listed five midfielders have been the most outstanding in their area of expertise this season.
Who among these deserve to be crowned the best midfielder, though?
What can be said about Xavi that hasn’t been said already? Simply put, he is one of the best midfielders to have ever graced the game of football. A big game player, Xavi has 7 assists in La Liga but that doesn’t begin to tell his his importance to the Barca side. Xavi has been the creative fulcrum behind Barca’s and indeed Spain’s success in recent years. His footballing brain is probably second to none. The architect behind almost every Barcelona attack, Xavi’s passing range is pivotal to Barcelona’s beautiful brand of football. Although he faced injuries at the start of the season, he has quickly recovered to drive Barca towards domestic and possibly European glory. His passing statistics can simply not be ignored. Often his individual passing rate surpasses the collective passing rate of the opponents, a testament to his influence on proceedings.
Nuri Sahin (Borussia Dortmund)
Dortmund’s midfield maestro, Nuri Sahin has raised eye-brows all across Europe with his performances in the Bundesliga this season. The best midfielder in Germany this season, Sahin can be described as a combination of Xavi and Fabregas. The Turkish International has been central to BvB’s historic and successful season. A box-to-box midfielder, Sahin is elegant in possession and keeps his side ticking. Such is his talent, that Real Madrid have wasted absolutely no time in snapping up the 22 year-old. Sahin has 6 goals and 8 assists in 30 Bundesliga games. Under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp, Sahin has developed into a truly world class midfielder with frightening potential and with age on his side, he has the potential to reach extraordinary heights.
The Biancocelesti’s biggest signing of the summer has settled in with consummate ease in Serie A. Having arrived in the summer from San Paolo for €13.5M, Hernanes has been the driving force behind Lazio’s success this season. Arguably the best midfielder in Italy this term, Hernanes’s vision, creativity and set-piece ability make him an asset to any side. Deployed as a trequartista by Edy Reja, the Brazilian International also possesses a wicked shot on him and is comfortable with the ball at both feet. The Prophet, as he is know at the club, is his side’s top scorer with 11 goals to his name this season – the most by a Lazio midfielder, equaling the tally set by the legendary figure of Pavel Nedved. It isn’t too bad for a Serie A debutant?
Scott Parker (West Ham United)
The world, in general, is an unfair place; where the ones with power are lauded and the lesser ones in the hierarchy are neglected. If you could understand this simple norm of the world, you would appreciate the achievement of Scott Parker – captain of the bottom-most team in the Premier League – in being unanimously named the Player of the Year by football writers across UK. West Ham United have been relegated but Scott Parker has been linked with top English clubs because of his wonderful performances this season. He may not have saved his club from relegation but his performances – characterized by grit, determination, trademark driving runs, crucial goals and the ability to sustain 110% effort throughout the season – made him the engine of West Ham’s midfield and the sole driving force at the club.
Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
Yaya Toure has lived up to his fee, his wages and his tag of one of the best destroyers in the world. At Man City, though, he has also had the freedom to push forward and pop up in goalscoring positions with devastating effect – being City’s only goalscorer in the semis and the final of the FA Cup. However, that was just the icing on a wonderful cake that was the 2010/11 season for the former Barcelona midfielder. He was one of the primary reasons for City’s solidity in midfield. His gigantic presence in midfield helped win the all-important midfield battles for the club and his exceptional ability to play with the ball at his feet – not something you would associate with someone who has a frame like he does – was seen in full flow this season.
“In a sensational result, Real Madrid’s new signing Nuri Sahin has defeated Barcelona’s Xavi in the Midfielder of the Season Award by just 2 votes! Sahin, who was the best midfielder in the Bundesliga last season, played an instrumental role in Borussia Dortmund’s title winning campaign, and our audience has acknowledged his exploits“