It’s a brand-new season in the world of Pro Evolution Soccer and fans all over the world are trying to assemble their dream squad in Master League mode. A defensive midfielder is an essential piece of this puzzle. Possessing a mix of positional awareness, anticipation, marking, tackling, interceptions, passing, stamina and strength, every team needs one. Here’s our list of the top 10 defensive midfielders in PES 2021:
Best Defensive Midfielders (DMF) in eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2021 – Season Update:
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Since making a summer move to Borussia Dortmund in 2018, Axel Witsel has established himself as a reliable midfielder for both club and country. A strong tackler and an excellent distributor with good vision, Witsel excels as a defensive midfielder but can also fill in at central and attacking midfield. He’s rated 85 in PES 2021 with impressive in-game attributes like 85 ball control, 87 low pass, 83 lofted pass and 88 stamina.
9. Thomas Partey
Thomas Partey’s deadline day move to Arsenal was one of the highlights of the summer transfer window. Having been a consistent performer in Diego Simeone’s side, the midfield enforcer has been rewarded with an upgrade in PES 2021. Able to play as a deep-lying playmaker, a natural defensive midfielder and as a box to box central midfielder, Partey is a dream signing for any coach in Master League mode. His in-game attributes include 92 kicking power, 85 ball control, 85 ball-winning and 85 low pass.
Jorginho didn’t do too badly last season. In fact, he’s been one of Chelsea’s most important players having struggled in his first season at Stamford Bridge. So, it’s a bit shocking to see that he’s been downgraded to 85 in PES 2021. Downgrade aside, he’s still a solid midfielder in the latest release, and his 92 potential means he could well develop over the next few seasons in Master League. Jorginho is an excellent passer and an efficient ball retainer. His in-game skills include 85 tight possession, 88 low pass, 88 lofted pass and 86 stamina.
Club: Manchester City
Rodri hasn’t exactly lit up the Premier League since he moved to Manchester City in the summer of 2019. That could be partly down to his being behind Fernandinho as Manchester City’s first choice DM. With the Brazilian’s age and injury problems, Rodri is expected to become more influential in the heart of City’s midfield in seasons to come. At 24, his 93 potential means he can develop into one of the best players in the game. His in-game attributes include 85 tight possession, 88 defensive awareness, 89 ball-winning and 88 low pass.
Fabinho is undoubtedly one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. He has proved his worth time and time again and was at the heart of all that went right for Liverpool as they lifted the 2019/2020 Premier League title. A player with immense strength, tactical awareness, ball-winning skills, and accurate passing abilities, Fabinho is virtually indispensable for both club and country. While he’s primarily a defensive midfielder, he can also do a job at CB. His in-game stats include 84 stamina, 83 low pass, 86 defensive awareness and 85 tight possession.
5. Miralem Pjanić
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Miralem Pjanić is probably one of the world’s most consistent midfielders and has been regularly referred to as one of the best players in the world over the past few seasons. Having won everything there is to win in Italy, he made a summer move to Barcelona and is expected to add quality and experience to a midfield in decline. Pjanić is not a natural ball winner, but, he excels as a deep-lying playmaker. He’s an incredible orchestrator and is formidable at taking set-pieces. His in-game attributes include 90 place kicking, 87 lofted pass, 86 ball control and 87 curl.
Marquinhos is an excellent midfielder/defender who is noted for his ball-winning skills, leadership, and passing skills. While he’s listed as a defensive midfielder, he also regularly plays as a centre back. He has been one of PSG’s most consistent performers and was instrumental as they lifted another French league title and reached the final of the UEFA Champions League. His laudable performances last season earned him an upgrade in PES 21. His in-game attributes are 88 heading, 91 jump, 90 ball-winning, 89 defensive awareness and 83 lofted pass.
3. Joshua Kimmich
Club: Bayern Munchen
Joshua Kimmich has grown in leaps and bounds ever since Philip Lahm retired. An excellent defender and a solid midfielder, Kimmich has embodied everything that made Lahm one of the best players of his generation. He was crucial to Bayern’s treble-winning squad, producing 4 goals and 7 assist in the Bundesliga and 2 goals and 4 assists in the Champions League. Kimmich has good pace, is an excellent passer, and a decent ball winner. His best in-game attributes include 90 stamina, 85 acceleration, 86 low pass, 85 ball control and 85 balance.
2. Sergio Busquets
At 32, Sergio Busquets is still regarded as one of the best players in the world. He has been touted as the engine room of Barcelona’s success over the past decade. While he may have been downgraded to an 88 overall rating, his level has by no means dropped. In fact, his downgrade is largely down to Barcelona’s poor 2019/2020 form rather than his own performances. His greatest in-game attributes include 87 ball control, 91 tight possession, 88 ball-winning, 90 low pass and 88 lofted pass.
Club: Real Madrid
Was there any doubt as to who the best defensive midfielder in the game was? Casemiro has been on top of his game for the past 5 or 6 seasons, and it doesn’t look like his level will be dropping any time soon. The Brazilian is known for his aggression, ball-winning skills, heading and ability to chip in with important goals. Lately, he has also improved his passing as well, so it’s no wonder he was upgraded from 87 to 89 in PES 21. The Brazilian’s best in-game attributes are 87 kicking power, 91 ball-winning, 88 defensive awareness and 91 aggression.
Defensive midfielders provide cover for the defence and are regarded as crucial players in a team’s set up. Apart from being good defenders, many of the best-rated DMFs in PES 21 are also great passers and can fill in several positions. If you’re looking to build a formidable team, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to add one of them on your team.