Who are the best ball-retaining/conduit/metronomic central midfielders in the world?

Ecstatic

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This, especially as a pairing. They have had some wonderful interactions amongst them.
Motta getting old tho, seems like rabiot is taking over tho he brings different qualities and not as great a pairing in this regard imo.
Yes. Friends on and off the pitch. Rabiot is an emerging player but he's a B2B while Verratti is a central midfielder and Motta #6.
 

Yagami

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Stefano Sensi reminds me of Verratti.

I've seen a bit of Sassuolo this year and he's really impressed me. Good passing with both feet, is good at defending when out of possession, rotates with Locatelli as a 6 and further up as an 8 so is versatile, and, despite his size, he can hold off opposition players whilst shielding the ball with excellent strength, close ball control and decent dribbling like Verratti.

Also, looks like Fred has the potential to become a decent one for us.
 

Tostao_80

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Stefano Sensi reminds me of Verratti.

I've seen a bit of Sassuolo this year and he's really impressed me. Good passing with both feet, is good at defending when out of possession, rotates with Locatelli as a 6 and further up as an 8 so is versatile, and, despite his size, he can hold off opposition players whilst shielding the ball with excellent strength, close ball control and decent dribbling like Verratti.

Also, looks like Fred has the potential to become a decent one for us.
Fred, are you serious?
Have to go with Arthur Melo/ Veratti
 

sideshow_bob

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Top 12 metronomic pass masters from the old guard:
  1. Thiago
  2. Jorginho
  3. Verratti
  4. Rakitic
  5. Witsel
  6. Kroos
  7. Gundogan
  8. Allan
  9. Fernandinho
  10. Busquets
  11. Brozovic
  12. Carvalho
Up & coming metronomes:
Paredes, Rabiot, Maxime Lopez, Winks, Ruiz, Cyprien, Arthur, Ceballos, Ndombele, Rodrigo, Zielinski
 

NYAS

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Top 12 metronomic pass masters from the old guard:
  1. Thiago
  2. Jorginho
  3. Verratti
  4. Rakitic
  5. Witsel
  6. Kroos
  7. Gundogan
  8. Allan
  9. Fernandinho
  10. Busquets
  11. Brozovic
  12. Carvalho
Up & coming metronomes:
Paredes, Rabiot, Maxime Lopez, Winks, Ruiz, Cyprien, Arthur, Ceballos, Ndombele, Rodrigo, Zielinski
You must be joking. Half of those are tacklers and not actual passers in the midfield.

Carvalho and Allan particularly are bizarre suggestions when talking about “metronomic pass masters”.
 

sideshow_bob

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You must be joking. Half of those are tacklers and not actual passers in the midfield.

Carvalho and Allan particularly are bizarre suggestions when talking about “metronomic pass masters”.
Not joking.

It's based on stats although granted Carvalho should be number 13 as I somehow left out Pjanic by accident.

Anyways, here are stats for them 2 guys you highlighted:

Allan
- 24 apps
- 76.5 total passes per game
- 65.1 accurate short passes out of 71.4 attempted per game
- 3.8 accurate long passes out of 5.1 attempted per game

Carvalho
- 25 apps
- 68.9 total passes per game
- 57.5 accurate short passes out of 63.7 attempted per game
- 3.8 accurate long passes out of 5.2 attempted per game
 

ThierryHenry

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I've watched him a fair amount and I'm a bit of a fan, so I'll oblige with a short summary.

His passing generally is great. Long or short. He has great vision and plays incisive forward passes, mostly along the ground, but also comfortable with some over the top balls. Very capable of unlocking defences. That's not the reason his numbers are high though, it's because when he's in possession he likes to keep shifting the defenders around by playing simple close range passes until space opens up or one of his forward players make a move. So a bit like Mata does some times, he just plays the ball to a teammate 5m away, move himself 2m, receive the ball back, do the same with another teammate etc. So a lot of the time he's not moving the ball forward but he's moving it around until he gets an opportunity to pass it forward. That's why he clocks so many passes.

This might sound underwhelming but it's necessary to his play because (and this is why people have major doubts about him in the EPL) he's not physical at all. He's got a Lingard body type, albeit slightly taller, but he's neither fast nor does he have great stamina. You often see him huffing and puffing from 70' onward in games and get replaced by Diawara. And because like Lingard, he doesn't do well under physical pressure it's necessary that he moves the ball around constantly so that he's never really physically pressed and have to shrug players off. To be fair to him, whenever he receives the ball he nearly always has a short option in mind, so if a player tries to rush him he will simply pass and move, so he doesn't get dispossessed much at all despite his lack of strength or pace. However, the fact the all Napoli midfielders and defenders are very comfortable with the ball at their feet is also conducive to this play. He doesn't have to worry that a teammate receiving the ball will panic and hoof it or lose it.

So yeah, he's a great midfielder for Napoli in Italy and a highly intelligent and skilled player. But unfortunately he has some physical limitations that I think prevent him from being great. He will often get omitted from the starting XI if Sarri feels the team will require the strength, agility and aggression of Diawara more in that particular fixture. Both of them play at the base of a midfield 3, but Diawara is more of defensive destroyer and Jorginho more of the passing metronome. So they are used depending on the situation.
Cracking post.
 

Yagami

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I'd also add Andre Gomes since moving to Everton. He's really impressed me as a DLP there. I always thought he had potential as one but he probably wasn't going to be Barca's one with the other quality CMs they have.

Would you agree @BigDunc9 & @SilentWitness ?

Fred, are you serious?
Have to go with Arthur Melo/ Veratti
Fred, whilst not as good as the likes of Verratti, has shown the potential to become a decent one, imo. He's got a good range of passing, has improved his strength on the ball, can use both feet to good effect.

Only problems are that he's inconsistent at defending. Sometimes, he wins the ball back for fun like Herrera, and others he presses at the wrong times, leaving us completely open (though, to be fair, he's alone in CM quite a bit), and is weak in the tackle. And the other problem is that he can be too loose/careless with the ball, causing him to lose it too easily.

Arthur reminds me of Isco in that he is near impossible to dispossess, but his passing leaves a lot to be desired. Still, like Isco, I'm a big fan of his playstyle regardless.
 

sunama

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Fred, whilst not as good as the likes of Verratti, has shown the potential to become a decent one, imo. /QUOTE]

Fred is 26 yrs old and you shouldn't be talking about "potential". Fred should be at the peak of his powers and what you see is what you get.
 

PaulScholes99

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/QUOTE]
Fred is 26 yrs old and you shouldn't be talking about "potential". Fred should be at the peak of his powers and what you see is what you get.
Modric was 26 yrs old when joining Real madrid. He was the "flop-signing of the season". I guess what Real saw in the first season was, what they got. I mean he should have been at the peak of his powers.

As you see, you could have written exactly the same about Luka Modric at the end of his first season in Madrid, in a new league. But is it correct, turned it out this way? Football isn't that simple.
 

Br1_ovi

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To me the TOP playmakers are: Modric, Kroos, Pjanic, Verratti, Eriksen. I hope I can add Arthur & D. Jong in the future.
 

Kaglish10

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Verratti.

Modric (ageing)

Carzola (ageing)

Thiago Motta (ageing)

David Silva (ageing)

Bernardo Silva.

Pjanic.

Kroos.

Eriksen.

Moutinho.

Decent ones:

Alcantara. (Looks better as a no 10 than in the midfield)

Arthur (has the potential to become better)

Grealish (has the potential to become better)

Maddison (Just like Grealish).

Wijnaldum.

Henderson.

Neves (has the potential to become better)

Xhaka (his lack of agility and poor control under pressure is really a let down but when given free space to operate, he can be deadly)

Young quality ones to look out for:

Sandro Tonali.

Phil Foden.

I see Jorginho more as a Busquet than a playmaker.
 

willhse456

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Pjanic impressed me the most at Old Trafford this season, he's quality.
 

Yagami

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Stanislav Lobotka

We could do with a CM who can keep the ball under pressure like this. Only 24, too.

Modric was 26 yrs old when joining Real madrid. He was the "flop-signing of the season". I guess what Real saw in the first season was, what they got. I mean he should have been at the peak of his powers.

As you see, you could have written exactly the same about Luka Modric at the end of his first season in Madrid, in a new league. But is it correct, turned it out this way? Football isn't that simple.
Yeah, everyone is different.

One of the best CMs I've seen in recent years was Cazorla before his unfortunate injury. I believe he only started playing as a CM/DLP at around 28/29, too, and he was just amazing there. Probably - alongside Carrick - my favourite CM in the league a few years ago.
 

In Rainbows

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Maybe I just have a different definition of this type of player compared to other posters. I've always been of the opinion that this type of player is like Scholes, Xavi, and Modric? Or is my standard too high?

There are certainly posers like Cleverley where they act like they're the brain of the team, but they're not press resistant and aren't great at breaking lines.

Of the new generation I would say that De Jong is one of them.


As for United, this is the type of player needed. I'm hoping we try and develop Gomes into this kind of player, but it's hard to know what the plan for him is.
 

Kaglish10

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Yes. Often anonymous in the midfield. You can ask Bayern fans.

In fact, his performance in the role for Spain u21 was horrible until Koke was introduced while Thiago was moved upfield. That was the only time he got back to his best. He's had his moment in the midfield but highly inconsistent. It's no wonder that Ceballos is above him in the pecking order for the Spanish national team.

The likes of Ceballos and Koke are more of a playmakers than Thiago.
 

balaks

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I know I'm biased and all that but closer to home Winks is a good player and that sort of style - if he can stay fit and improve he could be a very good player.
 

Keeps It tidy

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I know I'm biased and all that but closer to home Winks is a good player and that sort of style - if he can stay fit and improve he could be a very good player.
He is more in the Khedira/Henderson category not really a place for him on this thread.
 

Yagami

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I know I'm biased and all that but closer to home Winks is a good player and that sort of style - if he can stay fit and improve he could be a very good player.
I think he can be classified as one, sure. Always looking to get on the ball, rarely loses it when pressed with decent ball shielding, and the ability to turn out of trouble. The only thing he seems to lack is passing range, but I'd still class him as that style of CM personally.
 

Kaglish10

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I know I'm biased and all that but closer to home Winks is a good player and that sort of style - if he can stay fit and improve he could be a very good player.
More of a recycler like Busquet. Eriksen is your playmaker.

It would be good if you had another playmaker to combine with Eriksen which would allow both to play in tadem with each other such as Xavi/Iniesta for Barca, Modric/Alonso for Madrid, Kroos/Modric, Pirlo/Marchiso, Carrick/Scholes for Manutd.
 

KirkDuyt

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Might misunderstand the word metronome, but is that the role Frenkie de Jong plays? Because if it is, he might become a good one. His passing is quite excellent, though he's also quite focused on the tackling side of things.