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Five high-scoring defenders from the 2023-24 Premier League season

Several defenders were surprisingly regular goalscorers during the 2023-24 Premier League campaign.

Goals are the usual task of forwards, with additional support from midfield and wide areas, but a healthy contribution from the backline can make a huge difference to a team’s attacking threat. Set-pieces are the usual route for defenders to score their goals and this list of names certainly showed their aerial presence last season.

Gabriel Maghalaes (Arsenal)

Gabriel Magalhães scored four Premier League goals last season for an Arsenal team that became the division’s set-piece specialists. Mikel Arteta’s team led the Premier League for set-piece goals (20), as the Gunners secured a second successive runners-up finish.

Gabriel was the regular target for Arsenal’s dead-ball deliveries into the box with the 6ft 3in defender a real presence in the air. The 26-year-old’s return included a brace against Crystal Palace at the Emirates and no centre-back has scored more Premier League goals than the South American since his arrival in North London.

Fabian Schar (Newcastle United)

Fabian Schar was a solid contributor to Newcastle going forward last season as the Switzerland centre-back scored four goals and provided an assist.

The 32-year-old scored a double as Newcastle thrashed Champions League qualifiers Aston Villa in a memorable win at Villa Park, and also celebrated a stunning goal in Europe as he hit a drive from distance in the 4-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain at St James’ Park.

A classy ball-playing defender, Schar’s long-range shooting has seen him score some spectacular goals during his career and take on free-kick duties on occasion.

Josko Gvardiol (Manchester City)

Josko Gvardiol took time to settle during his debut season at Manchester City but began to underline his huge potential across the run-in. The Croatian centre-back switched between a central role and left-back in Pep Guardiola’s side and impressed at both ends of the pitch.

His robust and aggressive defending frustrated opposition forwards, while Gvardiol regularly charged forward to join the attack. He scored five goals and provided three assists across all competitions for the Citizens, including a brilliant drive from distance in the Champions League quarter-final draw at Real Madrid.

Marco Senesi (Bournemouth)

The Argentine centre-back was one of the more underrated defensive goalscorers in the Premier League last season.

Senesi managed four goals and five assists in all competitions in 2023-24 as Bournemouth went from strength to strength under the management of Andoni Iraola.

His most notable contributions came against Manchester United. Senesi scored in the away fixture at Old Trafford as the Cherries secured an unforgettable 3-0 win, and provided two assists in a 2-2 draw between the teams in the reverse fixture on the south coast.

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It was a fantastic second season at Bournemouth for the former Feyenoord defender, though the one-cap Argentina international missed out on a place in the national squad for this summer’s Copa America.

A full summer of rest can ensure he is ready to go at Bournemouth next season, however, as the Cherries look to build on a strong season. Bournemouth tickets will be in demand if the club can continue their improvement after a club-record Premier League points total.

Dara O’Shea (Burnley)

Dara O’Shea was unable to keep Burnley in the Premier League despite an impressive return of three goals and four assists from centre-back. The Republic of Ireland scored as Burnley battled to a 2-2 draw at Chelsea in one of their best results of the campaign, though the Clarets suffered relegation and an instant return to the Championship.

O’Shea, however, might be back in the top flight next season with a number of Premier League clubs, including newly-promoted Ipswich Town, linked with signing the 25-year-old.

Cristian Romero (Tottenham)

Cristian Romero was the highest-scoring defender in the Premier League last season after scoring five times for the North Londoners.

The Argentine international was named vice-captain at Spurs ahead of the 2023-24 season and led by example on the pitch for Ange Postecoglou’s team. Romero’s front-footed defending and excellence in aerial duels made him a commanding figure at the back, while he popped up regularly to threaten in the opposition’s box.

Romero will hope to take his form into this summer’s Copa America as he aims to win the tournament for a second time with the national team. The South American centre-back has scored three goals in 32 appearances for Argentina.

Read – Iconic Performances: When Zidane left the Portuguese chasing shadows at Euro 2000

See more – Euro 2004 – Charisteas completes Greek miracle in Lisbon

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