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The Premier League players with the most aerial duels won this season

Getting above your marker to win aerial contests is a vital part of handling the Premier League package, with several teams preferring to take a higher route to goal.

Whether it’s being first to the ball when defending their own box, or attacking set-pieces and long balls at the opposite end, these players have towered above opponents in 2023/24.

The Premier League players with the most aerial duels won this season:

5. Oliver McBurnie – Sheffield United (114)

Oliver McBurnie has been Sheffield United’s outlet for much of the campaign, with the Scot springing above defenders to win battles in the air this season.

The 27-year-old has scored six league goals for the Blades, equalling the best return of his top-flight career, in what has been a difficult season for Sheffield United who stand on the brink of relegation. Only Brian Deane (14) has now scored more Premier League goals for the club.

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4. Carlton Morris – Luton (118)

Another promoted player who ranks among the Premier League’s best in the air this season.

Carlton Morris’ nomadic career has taken in spells at York City and Hamilton Academical among his former clubs, before a prolific debut campaign at Luton fired the unfancied Hatters into the Premier League last season. Luton have mixed it among the division’s big boys despite their underdog status and Morris and striker partner Elijah Adebayo have unsettled top-flight defences.

Morris has been an outstanding outlet and has scored nine league goals. He might just be an attractive option for Premier League rivals if Luton drop down a division.

3. James Tarkowski – Everton (127)

James Tarkowski has quietly put together a fine individual season at Everton as the Toffees battle to beat the drop after Premier League points deductions.

The 31-year-old leads the Premier League for blocks, ranks second for interceptions, and third for clearances and aerial duels won. A real threat in the air, Tarkowski does the basics of defending superbly and has been an ideal complement to the emerging Jarrad Branthwaite in Sean Dyche’s side.

2. Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool (131)

Virgil van Dijk has returned to somewhere close to his best level at Liverpool this season, after premature suggestions the Dutchman was on the decline last term.

After inheriting the captain’s armband from Jordan Henderson in the summer, Van Dijk led Liverpool to League Cup success earlier this season and has been a pivotal part of an unexpected title challenge in Jurgen Klopp’s final season at the helm.

No defender in the division has won more aerial duels than Van Dijk (131), who will remain a cornerstone at centre-back for whichever new manager inherits the reins.

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1. Dominic Calvert-Lewin – Everton (133)

Dominic Calvert-Lewin leads the league for aerial duels won with the Everton forward often appearing to have trampolines for boots when taking to the skies.

After a wretched run of bad luck with injuries and a difficult start to the season in terms of converting chances, the 27-year-old has looked more like his old self of late with three goals in four Premier League appearances.

Calvert-Lewin’s performance in Everton’s Merseyside Derby win over Liverpool was outstanding, a masterclass in target-man play topped off with a towering header to seal a 2-0 win at Goodison Park. If he can maintain that form and, crucially, his fitness, an England recall could materialise next season.

Read – The Premier League players with the most chances created this season

See more – Four Premier League loanees who should be given a chance next season

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