15 Best Box-to-Box Midfielders in the World Right Now

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJanuary 1, 2012

15 Best Box-to-Box Midfielders in the World Right Now

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    One of the hardest positions to master is the box-to-box midfield role because you have to be competent in defence and attack. 

    We know who the best forwards and best defenders are in the game, but have you ever wondered who the best box-to-box midfielders are in the world right now? 

    This article will tell you who the in-form box-to-box midfielders are in world football. 

Dishonorable Mention: Moussa Sissoko

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    Lazy journalistic bandwagoning has burdened Moussa Sissoko with a reputation he'll never live up to. 

    There's various misinformation reported about Sissoko. 

    Firstly, there's nothing box-to-box about him when he plays most if not all his football in the attacking half. 

    Secondly, his tackling and passing is mediocre; hence, why he isn't given such a specialist role as a box-to-box midfielder. 

    Thirdly, if he was such a "world class" box-to-box midfielder, then why didn't Arsène Wenger sign him before the media hyped him up?

    Aside from eating up my limited bandwidth and wasting my time streaming some pretty dull Toulouse games, I was pleasantly surprised with Étienne Capoue. 

    Now here's the catch—Capoue looks more box-to-box than Sissoko will ever be. 

Everton: Marouane Fellaini

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    Marouane Fellaini is exceptionally strong in aerial duels—winning 43 out of 53 headers. 

    He needs to care of the ball more because he'll never be able to pass it like Enzo Scifo. 

    Fellaini is a solid tackler, but his concentration does wane from time to time. 

Schalke: Lewis Holtby

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    Lewis Holtby has transitioned well from an attacking star at Mainz to a invaluable role player at Schalke.

    For someone so technically gifted, it's refreshing to see him display competent defensive ability. 

    When asked about his new position, here's what Holtby had to say

    But I'm really happy to be playing in this position now. You start from deeper and have the whole game in front of you. My game is improving. I enjoy the position because I can run my socks off.

Newcastle United: Yohan Cabaye

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    Yohan Cabaye makes 66 percent of his tackles, orchestrates Newcastle United's midfield and offers class when surging forward.

    Though, there was nothing classy about his shameless and potential leg-breaking tackle on Jay Spearing.   

Atlético Madrid: Gabi

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    Against Sporting Gijón, Gabi provided three assists, made three of seven tackles, had 96 touches and completed 92 percent of his passes. 

    Consistently an underrated player for Real Zaragoza, Gabi is finally receiving some recognition for his performances with Atlético Madrid.  

Borussia Dortmund: Sven Bender

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    This season, Sven Bender has improved his attacking efficiency.

    In October, he provided four assists in five games. 

    Defensively, Bender is as solid as it gets, and he has a heart of a champion. 

    Kicker rate him as the fourth-best midfielder in the Bundesliga right now. 

    As Bender recovers from a broken jaw, his influence is proven by the fact that Borussia Dortmund have dropped points in three of the five games without him.  

Tottenham Hotspur: Scott Parker

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    Scott Parker has to be one of the most selfless and fittest footballers in the world. 

    This season for Tottenham Hotspur, he has made 66 tackles and successfully distributed the ball 884 times.  

Chelsea: Ramires

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    Ramires' lung-bursting runs are a sight to behold. 

    He had a terrible start to his Chelsea career as he looked out of his depth. 

    He has since become Chelsea's most consistent player. 

Inter Milan: Esteban Cambiasso

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    During José Mourinho's treble-winning season, Esteban Cambiasso played quite deep, was reserved and operated a holding midfield role. 

    Mourinho has since adopted the same tactic with Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso. 

    This season, Cambiasso's intelligent runs have made him a sneaky, counter-attacking threat. 

Arsenal: Alex Song

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    Thankfully for Arsenal, Alex Song's technical ability and footballing ability are miles above his uncle's, Rigobert Song, who somehow played for Liverpool. 

Roma: Daniele De Rossi

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    Last season, Daniele De Rossi resorted to disgraceful elbows as his performances went southbound. 

    This season, with his contract running out in seven months,  De Rossi has played outstanding football. 

    Two games stands out in my mind: Palermo and Leece. 

    Against Palermo, De Rossi made three tackles, intercepted the ball four times, made three key passes, and provided what turned out to be the game-winning assist.

    Against Leece, De Rossi dominated possession as he distributed possession 100 times. 

Juventus: Arturo Vidal

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    During his last season at Bayer Leverkusen, Arturo Vidal effectively played two positions as he rushed opposing players like a maniac and poached goals like a forward. 

    At Juventus, Vidal has formed a dream midfield partnership with Claudio Marchisio.

Juventus: Claudio Marchisio

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    What a season Claudio Marchisio has had. 

    Seven goals and an assist from a deep. 

    He hasn't shied away from his defensive duties, either, and the game against Roma serves as evidence. 

    Four tackles and two interceptions. 

A.C. Milan: Antonio Nocerino

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    Antonio Nocerino is like Gennaro Gattuso—except for the goal-scoring prowess. 

    Wow. 

    If you ever want an example of a player, overachieving then Nocerino is your man. 

    €500,000 for a player who was going to be a good squad player. 

    He had scored six goals in his last 87 games.

    For A.C. Milan, he has scored six goals in 20 games whilst being Gattuso-like in midfield. 

Manchester City: Yaya Touré

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    Yaya Touré is an absolute beast when he's rampaging through opposing defences. 

    People underrate how good a passer Touré is for Manchester City. 

    In many ways, he is the de facto playmaker, which is daunting because Manchester City also have David Silva. 

    This season, Touré has completed 90 percent of his passes, which is astounding considering he spreads the ball. 

Bayern Munich: Bastian Schweinsteiger

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    Bastian Schweinsteiger defines how a box-to-box midfielder should play. 

    He seemingly always makes the right choice, like when to play an incisive pass, when to play a short, safe pass or when to charge forward. 

    I hate to be stereotypical, but he's a prototypical German footballer in that he knows his role perfectly and he's versatile. 

    Can you name one weakness Schweinsteiger has? Because I can't. 

Your Opinion

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    What about the likes of Anderson, Jack Wilshere and Tom Cleverley?

    We're talking about them right now. 

    All three haven't been able to show us how great they are because of injury. 

     

    Comment below with a box-to-box midfielder you believe should be on this list. 

    Please also watch David De Gea's 5 Biggest Mistakes

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