The best U23 out of contract defenders
Using data and watching the footage we compiled a list of interesting out of contract defenders. We filtered them by their age and contract date to only show us the players who were born before 1997 and only those who are without a contract or will soon be running out of contract.
Football requires defenders with more than just the ability to defend, meaning they need to have the ability to contribute to the build-up from the back as well.
Because of that, we searched for defenders who can make an impact in both the attacking and defensive phase.
The crucial metrics we analysed were progressive passes per 90, progressive runs per 90, successful defensive actions per 90, PAdj interceptions, passing accuracy, defensive duels won %, aerial duels won %, long passes per 90 and passes into the final third per 90.