Best Defenders in the Premier League 2023

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 16. listopada 2023.

Even though it morphed through time due to the impact of ever-increasing international players in its league, football in England is still where getting stuck in is most appreciated. A good tackle will cause as much applause and gasps as will the dribbler’s lucidity. With the money supremacy on top of that, the best defenders in the Premier League are a special breed of players.

Looking at the impact they had on their teams, here are the best defenders, centre-backs and full-backs, for the period of 2023.

#10 Best Defender in the Premier League: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), CB

Virgil van Dijk

It’s a hard truth, but Virgil van Dijk now only barely makes the top 10 of Premier League defenders after a few rocky seasons. Yet the achievements of the past and the potential for performances cannot be denied completely by mistakes that have amounted over the past seasons. Still, VVD needs to bounce back strong if his legacy is to remain in the esteemed it was three years ago. However, Van Dijk continues to be the bedrock of LFC’s defence, and that cannot be overlooked.

#9 Best Defender in the Premier League: Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace), CB

Joachim Andersen

Finally justifying the potential scouts across Europe thought he had, the 27-year-old Joachim Andersen has been the most impressive player for the lower-table Crystal Palace. Arguably a harder job than doing it for the favourites. Across the two seasons that span through 2023, the Dane has done his part in 11 league clean sheets! Scoring two goals in just eight games of the 2023/2024 campaign. It seems unlikely that the tall centre-back with experience across the top five leagues will remain at Selhurst Park.

#8 Best Defender in the Premier League: Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal), CB

By Valencia CF -, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

A big point of pride for the Arsenal recruitment team, as most of these best defenders in the Premier League 2023 arrived at their clubs for sums far larger than the €26,000,000 Lille got from AFC in 2020. Gabriel has made quite the return on goals alone, with 11 scored in his 129 Arsenal games. While Arteta has rotated his centre-backs, Gabriel has always been a demanded fan-favourite, helping Gabriel play in all of the 38 games of the 2022/2023 title-challenging campaign.

#7 Best Defender in the Premier League: Luke Shaw (Manchester United), LB

Luke Shaw

While Manchester United hasn't flourished in the past years, the rare point of stability - especially in the back - was Luke Shaw. The Englishman showed great resilience to turn his career around as he was on the column of shame for several seasons, getting harsh public treatment from previous managers. In the 2022/2023 campaign, the left-back played in 31 games, but was utilized as a centre-back as well. With the heavy approach to attacking from the wings, the position of a full-back is a key soft spot for United and rarely has Shaw been the issue there. While also adjusting to the new defence commander as David De Gea left the side.

#6 Best Defender in the Premier League: Ruben Dias (Manchester City), CB

Ruben Dias

While his stock has fallen a bit upon the stardom season upon his arrival, Ruben Dias is certainly still the cream of the crop regarding Premier League defenders. Over the course of the 2022/2023 season and the start of the following one, Dias has commanded the defence in a manner that secured 12 league clean sheets for Citizens. The most impressive thing is that at 26, Ruben is only to enter the prime career time for centre-backs.

#5 Best Defender in the Premier League: Ben White (Arsenal), CB

Ben White

Eyebrows were raised when Arsenal splurged €58,500,000 on Ben White in 2021 after he has just played a season of Premier League football. Yet the move seems fully justified now as White has emerged into one of the pillars upon which this AFC generation has been built. While now the attacking Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli are making the headlines, the early days of Mikel Arteta's stint were symbolized by tooth-and-nail defensive tactics. White has been at the centre of them all, never making the limelight, just doing his job properly.

#4 Best Defender in the Premier League: Sven Botman (Newcastle United), CB

Sven Botman

A key pillar in the new project NUFC has built. It seems like the other established world-class clubs enabled The Magpies to soar by not picking up the Dutchman immediately after he won the Ligue 1 title as a youngster. Not only is the Ajax reject one of the best in the English league, but he most likely makes the cut as one of the top 10 best defenders in the world in 2023. Botman is by far the youngest top defender in the Premier League and his unique cocktail of strength, size, and technicality makes him a look for any future rankings.

#3 Best Defender in the Premier League: Kyle Walker (Manchester City), RB

Kyle Walker

Considering that he was on the exit door at the Etihad over the past few transfer windows, it might seem odd to include Kyle Walker in the list of best defenders in the Premier League for 2023, and so high on it too. Yet Walker’s unique capabilities were pivotal in City playing high up, with the ball at their feet, and outnumbering the defence, as the speedster can track back to catch any counter-attacking winger. Even though he is considered an attacking full-back, Walker didn’t have any statistical contributions in the league for the current and past season, yet his defensive reputation deservedly increased.

#2 Best Defender in the Premier League: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), RB

Kieran Trippier

While Newcastle United did get the massive steroid injection of money, few expected that the club will ascend so quickly against the established forces of the big six. What proved pivotal was the first major signing as the returnee to the Premier League, Kieran Trippier, showed leadership and technical ability that gave a stable base to the whole squad. Since arriving to St. James' Park, the right-back notched 16 assists and scored three goals to push NUFC into Champions League spots.

#1 Best Defender in the Premier League: John Stones (Manchester City), CB

John Stones

Even though he battled injuries across the seasons that span into 2023, John Stones is still unequivocally the most impressive defender in the Premier League now. Mostly on the basis that he adjusted to the demands of the mad football scientist Pep Guardiola, and gone on to play as a defensive midfielder when his side was in possession. Reverting to a regular centre-back placement quickly in defence. It’s the tactical move that marked the treble-winning season in which City finally grasped the Champions League glory.

Manchester City squad had the most candidates for making the list of best defenders in the Premier League 2023, with Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji both breaking through to significant roles. With the arrival of Josko Gvardiol, City can monopolize the rankings in the future. Especially with the inconsistencies United, Chelsea, and Liverpool have been facing.


Read These Next


Best Left-Backs in the World

Looking at the best left-backs in the world right now you’ll see that there has been a change of guard in this position, unlike all others in the sport.


Best Right-Backs in the World

By the time you finish reading this, the best right-backs in the world will go 10 times between their own and the opponent’s box.


Top 10 Centre-Backs in the world

Selecting the top 10 centre-backs in the world are going to upset some fanbases, but the arguments for the men included on our lists hold up in a court of law.

Share this article?
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Send it to your friends
Viber Whatsapp Facebook Telegram