Defensive air challenges: Harry Maguire and Virgil van Dijk feature in top five



According to latest reports from Weekly Post (CIES observatory), Leicester City defender Harry Maguire and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk are among the top five players who have won the highest percentage of defensive air challenges in domestic league matches this season.

Olympique Lyonnais defender Marcelo Guedes heads the big five league rankings of players with the most defensive air challenges. Brighton and Hove defender Shane Duffy finds himself in the fourth spot.

West Ham United defender Issa Diop has found his name in the top 10 with 79.8% of challenges won.

Cardiff City fans will be pleased to find that Sean Morrison has made his way into the top 15, ahead of world-class Real Madrid and Barcelona defenders Raphael Varane and Gerard Pique respectively.

Burnley defender James Tarkowski, who has scored three goals in the Premier League and has been outstanding for the Clarets this season, is on 19th.

Both Maguire and Van Dijk are very good in the air. In fact, Maguire has lost only 16 aerial duels all season. He has won 93 successful challenges. In comparison, the Reds defender has lost 29 challenges but won 153 (more than any player in the top 10) challenges.

Maguire was in demand last summer, especially after his heroic performance during the World Cup for England. The 26-year-old has made 27 Premier League appearances this season and scored three goals for the Foxes. It remains to be seen whether big clubs like Manchester United or Tottenham, who could be looking for defensive reinforcements in the summer, would turn to him as a potential option.

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