Mats Hummels’ monopoly of transfer talk linking Bundesliga defenders with Premier League moves means there has been no mention of two of the finest practitioners in the world right now signing up for English top-flight factions.
Both represent Champions League-chasing Bayer Leverkusen and, according to a study carried out by the CIES Football Observatory, few rearguard marshals have been more diligent this year.
The purpose of the investigation was to identify the best player in every position of 2015 so far.
Data collated by the stargazers rendered Bosnian centre-back Emir Spahic the best in the business, while only three full-backs have out-performed Wendell Nascimento.
Speculation dictates plenty of Premier League factions will be bolstering their backlines this summer and, depending on where their recruitment priorities lie, they’d do well targeting one of these two, based on current form.
Veteran centre-half Spahic could prove a viable short-term solution to Chelsea’s centre-back shortage.
Behind senior pair John Terry and Gary Cahill there is only French battering ram Kurt Zouma.
A long-term injury sustained by the pair will undoubtedly cause problems, though given the Blues also need a striker and can’t fall foul of Financial Fair Play regulations, they may look for a cost-effective solution at the back before sourcing a long-term answer in transfer windows to come.
Similarly, Arsenal’s defence could always do with some reinforcing and Spahic would inject experience for youngsters such as Gabriel Paulista to benefit from.
Figures of 5.9 aerial duels won in the average Bundesliga appearance of the Bosnia star, along with 3.5 interceptions and 6.5 clearances suggest he can still excel despite his advancing years and the fact these have been augmented by his 2015 showings indicate there is no deterioration in his standards.
Youngster Wendell is another to have shone in the Bayer back four, averaging an impressive 3.2 tackles per German top-tier match.
His goal and assist output isn’t great – he’s responsible for just one of each – but one key pass per outing suggests it’s the profligacy of his colleagues keeping these numbers down.
Manchester City are looking to inject some youth into their ageing roster and with both Gael Clichy (the best full-back of 2015 according to the study) and Aleksandar Kolarov set to be axed, 21-year-old Wendell may well prove a useful understudy to a more seasoned number three.