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Milan Skriniar: The Next Defender to Take the Spotlight

With all the buzz about Virgil Van Dijk's defence being the best in the business, people are taking much more notice of defenders. If the fantastic form continues, the next one to earn unanimous praise is going to be Milan Skriniar.

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Last updated: 09.08.2019
Milan Skriniar: The Next Defender to Take the Spotlight | Sports Social Blog

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The Serie A is a league that is synonymous with defence. It has produced some of the most skilled defenders of all time. From Paolo Maldini to Thiago Silva, you cannot help but acknowledge the Serie A when it comes to defence. Recently a few players have really caused a positive stir through the way they handle defence and the one that’s leading the charge is Milan Skriniar. The Slovak Centre-Back is set to stand alongside the elites if progresses the way he is doing over at Inter Milan. He was one of the reasons why Inter edged past rivals AC Milan into the top 4 of the Serie A. Surely, he will be a major threat in the coming season.

 

 

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Talent at Display:


Milan Skriniar sort of embodies the classic Italian defenders despite not being Italian himself. His stopping power and aggression are reminiscent of Italian greats like Nesta. He’s not afraid to charge right in to thwart attackers and rarely comes out without the ball in his legs. Standing at 1.87 m, he’s very tall (just like Nesta) and he isn’t afraid to use his frame to full capacity. Combine that frame with knee-jerk reflexes and it makes your defence formidable. There have been several times where he has intercepted passes making use of his quickness and long feet. Those skills also come in handy when he’s trying to dispossess attackers and that’s why he has become an amazing tackler. Goes without saying that his defensive read is just as good. It truly is a surprise that Skriniar isn’t getting much traction or attention in this transfer window. With that array of skills, he would be a gift to any team. He is also handy in attack, knowing when to charge forward and assist his teammates in scoring, very similar to Sergio Ramos.


 

Numbers:


His numbers definitely indicate that he’s a defensive gem. The 24-year-old played 35 matches in last season’s Serie A. He racked up 1.8 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and 3.8 clearances across all those matches. He did accrue 4 yellow cards and 1.2 fouls per game but considering that he’s more of an aggressor, it’s quite impressive. He did have an assist and managed a passing accuracy of 92.6%. Fantastic numbers that substantiate why he’s going to be the next big thing in defending.

 

 

Hurdles:



Skriniar is 24 and sure, he has competition. The Serie A has some fantastic defenders with the likes of Bonucci, Chiellini and Koulibaly. He has to beat all of them to reach the top. All players have fantastic read and have strong penchants for tackling. Bonucci is a more similar player to Skriniar with his penchant for advancing up the field. Then outside the Serie A, he has to topple players like Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos. Ramos is sort of the one that rekindled the flame for aggressive defending and not hesitating to move up the field, widely considered the greatest defender of his generation. Gerard Pique has strong defensive read and clearances. Let’s not forget that Atletico Madrid veteran Diego Godin will be playing alongside Skriniar in the coming season and he will have to find a way to stand out alongside the player that made people believe in the defence of Atletico Madrid. Finally, there’s the grand hurdle of Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk. VVD won the PFA Player of the Year and could end up clinching the Fifa Ballon d'Or making it two years in a row that Messi and Ronaldo haven’t clinched the award. Virgil Van Dijk was absolutely sensational, with players not being able to dribble past him in the league. His read, tackling, speed and even attack are downright otherworldly and there are very few people who don’t think Van Dijk isn’t the greatest defender in the world right now. He’s one of the main reasons that Liverpool only lost 1 out of their 38 games in the season also conceding the least amount of goals.

 

As the title suggests, Skriniar could stand atop the competition. Now that he has Diego Godin joining him, he will surely utilize the Uruguayan’s wealth of skill and reach greater heights. Inter Milan conceded the least amount of goals in the Serie A next to Juventus despite the Bianconeri being ahead by 21 points. Goes to show that he kept the defence strong and as a result, a lot of goals were avoided.  All his 4 years in the Serie A have been defensively strong and he could reach the very top if he continues his fine performances.


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