Defensive midfielders, or holding midfielders, are the backbone of any team. They can either make or break the rhythm of team's performance as they are able to both fall back into defence and run into attack when needed. They often make the hardest of challenges, and take the longest of free kicks.
With the success of stars such as Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso, Barcelona F.C.'s Sergio Busquets, and the European Champion Chelsea's Michael Essien, many high-profile teams are now prioritizing their defensive midfield position in their transfer lists this season.
Both Arsenal and Manchester United are among the clubs scrambling through the ranks of teams all over Europe for the next star holding midfielder, let's take a look at the big names that have been circulating the news this May.