It was always going to be a tough ask to replace one of the hottest talents in British soccer -- we are, of course, talking about Luke Shaw -- but Bertrand took the bull by the horns and then some. He has become possibly the best left-back in the Premier League and forced himself into the England team -- quite a season. Southampton managed to make a $26million profit by selling Shaw and bringing in his replacement. An even better deal when you realise Bertrand has all the defensive capabilities of Shaw, while he glides forward with much more intent. What a find!
Swansea managed their best ever points score in the English top division with a haul of 56. Williams was one of the key personnel that ensured the Swans only conceded 49 goals, helping them to protect vital leads. The Welsh international wasn’t only restricted to defending, his 85% passing accuracy meant he started many of their attacks last season. The center-back has been linked with lots of clubs over the past couple of years and will be in-demand over the summer transfer period.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea
Azpilicueta is just one piece of the best defense in the Premier League -- Chelsea only conceded 32 goals all season -- but his contribution is not to be underestimated. The Spanish full-back is happy for headline grabbers such as Hazard and Costa to take all the limelight, going about his business with minimal fuss. The fact that Filipe Luis -- who Jose Mourinho brought in from Atletico -- has only been used sporadically this season speaks volumes about Azpilicueta. What he lacks in attacking flair, he more than makes up with his mentality of keeping defending simplistic.
Jose Fonte, Southampton
The Portuguese international won the Southampton player of the season award in a year that saw him and the club reach new levels. Fonte was a rock at the back, as he led the Saints to a seventh-place finish in the Premier League. Ronald Koeman’s men only conceded 33 goals in an incredible season that saw them keep in touching distance of the Champions League places for most of the season. After Dejan Lovren, Luke Chambers and Luke Shaw all departed in the summer for pastures new, it was down to Fonte to organize a new-look backline and he didn’t disappoint.
John Terry, Chelsea
John Terry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this man oozes defensive class. In 2014/15 he captained Chelsea to a fourth Premier League crown since joining the club as a boy. He was the Premier League’s best defender and his leadership on and off the pitch was key to the Blues title march. The former England international played every game under Mourinho, when old regimes had previously put his place in jeopardy.