The Best Box to Box midfielder?

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by man_in_the_middle, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. TitoTata

    TitoTata Member+

    Jun 26, 2014
    Roy Keane best for some time ..
     
    Hustle and Flow repped this.
  2. nooshcat

    nooshcat Member

    Jan 3, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Lothar Matthäus. The guy was a complete package — capable of handling the opposing #10 (even if it was Maradona himself), dictating the play and scoring countless goals.
     
  3. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Obviously he’s quite young still, but N’Golo Kante is going to end up in this discussion IMO. He does lack the scoring capability that a lot of the best box to box midfielders have had, but still he is an absolutely incredible box to box midfielder.
     
  4. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Is he a B2B though? There are plenty of B2B midfielders who weren't great goalscorers. Both younger Keane and Vieira come to mind.

    Kante consistently plays as the deepest midfielders for France for example.

    He is probably the best ball-winner in the world right now, and he has good solid technique as well. If he keeps this up, he should definitely be up for the discussion of being the best at his role, just not the B2B role imo.
     
    TitoTata repped this.
  5. lessthanjake

    lessthanjake Member+

    May 9, 2015
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    It’s a valid question. I’d call him a box to box midfielder, though, because he does relatively often make marauding runs forward with the ball. IMO, a truly defensive ball-winning midfielder stays back more than Kante. So I see him as a box to box midfielder who particularly excels defensively. But obviously this is something of a subjective issue, so I wouldn’t say you’re wrong if you disagree.
     
  6. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I think the role of ball-winner has evolved for sure. Lucas Torreira, the 2nd most productive defensive player in Europe (tackles + interceptions) after Kante is also known for his passing abilities, for example. Just like everyone else, more is expected of them.

    I just look at the modern B2Bs like Nainggolan, Vidal, Pogba, and Milinkovic-Savic, and I don't see Kante being able to offer as much as they do at both ends of the field.
     
  7. Hustle and Flow

    Hustle and Flow Member+

    Roma
    Feb 19, 2018
    Canada
    Keane, to answer the question.

    In the modern game, there isn't many left , but I'll go with Modric.
     
  8. TitoTata

    TitoTata Member+

    Jun 26, 2014
    Yes , I'd agree totally
     
  9. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Kante is a full-fledged box-to-box midfielder under Sarri. He's only 27 so he's still got time to make his name in this role.
     
  10. TitoTata

    TitoTata Member+

    Jun 26, 2014
    He looks to be a fish out of water in this new role of his !!

    Wish we could get him to Barca in place of Rakitic !!!
     
  11. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    If you think he's uncomfortable in this new role, why would you want him to replace Rakitic? Surely the person he'd have to replace would be Busquets, who isn't that old, and still look like top 3 DM in the world. I think the person to replace Rakitic should be Eriksen. Just a better version of Rakitic in almost every way.
     
  12. TitoTata

    TitoTata Member+

    Jun 26, 2014
    Yeah but getting him from Spurs at a realistic price ain't gonna happen .. Kante isn't happy and he's far better , younger , faster than Rakitic who's been very poor for ages in a Barca shirt .... the feeling is he's got some compromising photos of Valverde :)
     
  13. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #88 carlito86, Nov 16, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
    Is there perhaps a case to be made for lampard being the best box to box midfielder in history (or at least in contention)
    I really don’t think he is particularly lacking in aspect in terms of tangible things (creativity/end product)

    He is always discriminated against for being technically unimpressive but I think he had more then enough technique to make good use of it
    Here is a comp on his prime as a complete box to box player (I’ve never seen a more complete midfielder since perhaps Ruud Gullit)

    I always thought he was undervalued even in his prime.he was at the heart of Chelseas midfield for the best part of a decade
    All their play ran through him so there is really no telling how influential he was to Chelsea’s golden period (beyond goals and assists)

    Is there a player like him today?
    If there is I haven’t seen him yet
     
  14. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
  15. TitoTata

    TitoTata Member+

    Jun 26, 2014
    The best ‘box to box’ player I’ve ever seen- in all my years - was Roy Keane . He was THAT good that he had a clause in his contracts that ensured that he was always the top earner so every time they signed a top new player on a great contract..Keane got a rise ... everytime Beckham , Giggs or Scholes renegotiated their contracts ... Keane got a payrise .
     
  16. PrimoCalcio

    PrimoCalcio Member

    Milan/Napoli
    Italy
    Oct 14, 2019
    It's funny because the British press slaughtered Sarri for playing Kante box-to-box despite the team eventually going on to win the UEL and placing a respectable 3rd place in the EPL.

    Sarri intended to use Kante similar as he did with Allan at Napoli, though it did seem like Kante lacked some of the necessary skills to dribble and distribute to excel at this role.
     
  17. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Indeed, the Kante experiment under Sarri failed. Kante, in his natural role, is the best in the world, imo. He's out of the B2B conversation, but can enter the DM conversation.
     
  18. tony-soprano37

    Dec 5, 2008
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Well personally i rank Scholes higher.
    Not as box to box ofcourse but the importance for the team
     

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