The best Premier League fantasy football defenders for 2023-24

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GFX Trent Alexander-Arnold Ben Mee Ben White mix
Will it up to points or building your backline in a budget for the upcoming campaign?

The 2023-24 season of the Premier League fantasy football is back and live.

You have a £100 million budget to begin with and with that amount, you might have to splash the cash on at least a few premium buys such as Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, or even get Trent Alexander-Arnold in there.

But lest you remember to complete your squad of 15 players including five defenders within budget, yet keep the team competitive, especially with a lot of cost-effective options from the newly-promoted sides. GOAL can help you here.

  1. Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool | £8.0m
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    Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool | £8.0m

    The Liverpool right-back was third among the top defender of the gone season, with 156 points. But he now makes it into the premium category with a price tag of £8.0m from £7.5m in Gameweek 1 last season. He is now only behind John Terry (£8.5m) in the all-time most expensive starting defender.

    His worth comes from the versatility he brings to the table as someone who can double up as a central midfielder. Thus picking Alexander-Arnold over a £6.5m Andrew Robertson could make sense, especially as the England international picked up 60 points with a goal and seven assists in the Reds' last 10 games.

  2. Kieran Trippier | Newcastle | £6.5m
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    Kieran Trippier | Newcastle | £6.5m

    At 198 points, Trippier was the top defender in the 2022-23 season, given that Newcastle earned themselves a Champions League slot as well. His start cost last season was £5.0m, to be valued at £6.0m by the end of the campaign. So the £6.5m ahead of this season is pretty fair.

    He hit a bit of slack in the latter half of last season but had already compensated with his overall numbers, such as 393 crosses, 135 successful crosses, and 216 corners, the highlight being the 83 successful corners.

  3. Virgil van Dijk | Liverpool | £6.0m
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    Virgil van Dijk | Liverpool | £6.0m

    With Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp opting for the 3-2-2-3 system, it makes for a reason good enough to spend £0.5m less and pick Van Dijk over Robertson. Why? Because Robertson wouldn't necessarily flair as much at the left side of the three-man backline as much as he would as a left-back.

    On the other hand, the Dutchman managed to pick up 127 points even in a below-par season for the Reds, starting 32 games and posing as a threat during set-pieces as well. Nine shots on target from a total of 22 shots and scored three goals (3.93 xG) are numbers to back that claim.

  4. Luke Shaw | Manchester United | £5.5m
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    Luke Shaw | Manchester United | £5.5m

    Manchester United registered 12 clean sheets last season from the 24 league games wherein Erik ten Hag deployed the traditional left-back as a center-back. Shaw particularly had a strong display in the second half of the season.

    He also proved to be good at garnering bonus points, with 34 created chances, although he had a low on goal attempts (14) and xGI (3.98). It could have been directly between Shaw and Kieran Trippier if the former was valued at £6.0m as opposed to getting a good bargain at £5.5m right now.

  5. Ben White | Arsenal | £5.5m

    Ben White | Arsenal | £5.5m

    Compared to Gabriel Magalhaes finishing fourth, Ben White was second among defenders in last season's FPL. 15 shutouts, two goals, and five assists are what worked for White, along with consistent playing time after starting in 36 of the 38 games he was involved in.

    He also looks set in Mikel Arteta's system, ranking third for touches in the final third (467) after being switched to right-back from a central position.

  6. Pervis Estupinan | Brighton & Hove Albion | £5.0m

    Pervis Estupinan | Brighton & Hove Albion | £5.0m

    The Ecuadorian was in demand towards the business end of the league last season, valued at £4.7m back then, and without doubt a standout performer for Roberto De Zerbi's Brighton.

    It has to be noted that Estupinan has delivered a goal, six assists, and nine clean sheets along with 14 bonus points ever since the Italian took over the reins at the club. Adding a few more statistics - 28 shots and 46 chances created - the result was a 116-point benefit during the time for an all-around left-back option in the team.

  7. Gabriel Magalhaes | Arsenal | £5.0m

    Gabriel Magalhaes | Arsenal | £5.0m

    £0.5m cheaper than team-mate White, for one who played virtually every minute at the back for Arsenal in 2022-23, the Brazilian is priced well.

    Gabriel had the best xG tally among all defenders (5.08) after bagging three goals. He finished fourth amongst defenders with 146 points, including the 15 bonus points.

  8. Sven Botman | Newcastle United | £4.5m
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    Sven Botman | Newcastle United | £4.5m

    In contrast to the hike Alexander-Trent got, it is rather surprising that Botman should be priced at just £4.5m. But that makes a good solid, yet cheap, option for you to have in your team. A point of reference here can be Kieran Trippier valued at £6.5m this season, although not as good as his Newcastle team-mate but a guaranteed starter for your side.

    Botman ended up as one of the top-scoring defenders in the 2022-23 campaign, and one that earned FPL managers a decent amount of points in the process.

  9. John Stones | Manchester City | £5.5m
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    John Stones | Manchester City | £5.5m

    Stones is virtually immune to Pep Guardiola's rotation policy. He was deployed in a hybrid role towards the end of the last campaign, just like Alexander-Arnold. However, it may be unlikely for Stones to bag as many points going forward.

    It is certain for him to gather some clean sheets and appearance points, even though no City defender started more than 24 times last season.

  10. Ruben Dias | Manchester City | £5.5m
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    Ruben Dias | Manchester City | £5.5m

    Another great revelation towards the end of the last campaign, Dias would be another mainstay and is not as injury prone as compared to Stone, both valued at the same price of £5.5m.

    The consistency that he offers would be something to bank upon, can be picked as a potential captain, and is capable of earning some returns in the attacking department as well.

  11. Ben Mee | Brentford | £5.0m

    Ben Mee | Brentford | £5.0m

    The Brentford defender was FPL's fifth-highest-scoring-defender (143) last season and expectedly the value rose to £5.0m, and although his team-mate in full-back Rico Henry costing £0.5m less, Mee is one of the only six to have scored thrice last season.

    One of those goals was in the big 4-0 win over Manchester United as early as Gameweek 2. Playing in the majority of games, too, his timely goals saw Mee eventually become a household name for around two million FPL managers in the last part of the season. Moreover, the Bees kept 12 clean sheets under manager Thomas Frank.

  12. Tyrone Mings | Aston Villa | £4.5m

    Tyrone Mings | Aston Villa | £4.5m

    At a decent price of £4.5m, Mings thrived under Unai Emery in Aston Villa's brilliant show ever since the Spaniard took over the reins from Steven Gerrard. In fact, under the English manager, the defender was actually stripped of his captaincy as the focus was on then-new signing Diego Carlos.

    However, as it eventually panned out, Mings contributed to Villa's brilliant defensive run. From Gameweek 25, the Villians did not concede more than a goal a game amid seven clean sheets from 15 games.

  13. Amari'i Bell | Luton Town | £4.0m
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    Amari'i Bell | Luton Town | £4.0m

    You can as well gamble for the sixth-highest-scoring defender in Championship Fantasy last season. For a newly promoted side, Luton Town may not be expected to keep many clean sheets, but Bell can score you points as a regular starter.

    Therefore, the center-back who started in 43 of the 44 games he played in, scoring once and assisting another, emerges as an early option among the budget buys.

  14. Jordan Beyer | Burnley | £4.0m
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    Jordan Beyer | Burnley | £4.0m

    With 29 starts from the 30 games played in the Championship last season, with one goal and two assists, the Burnley defender is also a good option as Vincent Kompany is bound to heavily rely on Beyer.

    Burnley conceded the lowest number of goals (35) among Championship teams last season with Beyer marshaling the backline. So it will be a plus if the newly-promoted side picks a few clean sheets, too.

  15. Conor Roberts | Burnley | £4.5m
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    Conor Roberts | Burnley | £4.5m

    Another option from Burnley, Roberts can provide the edge as a goalscoring defender over team-mate Dara O'Shea at the same price tag of £4.5m. Although O'Shea was part of the backline that kept 21 clean sheets last season, Beyer is already a cheaper option over there.

    Hence, Roberts could make for an exciting prospect given the Welshman's key contributions in terms of four goals and six assists from last season hinting at things to come.

  16. George Baldock | Sheffield United | £4.0m
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    George Baldock | Sheffield United | £4.0m

    Yet another option from Championship to the Premier League, Baldock had 33 starts in the 36 matches with one goal and three assists to his name. He has been a familiar name over the years, with consistent minutes under his belt and earning FPL managers a fair share of points.

    The only risk may come in the form of a possible rotation with a £4.5m Jayden Bogle for the right-back position in the team, but Baldock can be considered as one of the most attacking £4.0m defenders as compared to Beyer or Bell.

  17. Aaron Wan-Bissaka | Manchester United | £4.5m
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    Aaron Wan-Bissaka | Manchester United | £4.5m

    He made the best of the defensive woes at United especially post the World Cup, to bring in some strong performances on a consistent basis. He is one of the best one-on-one defenders out there, with a good number of neat and effective tackling.

    His qualities seem to be growing under the tutelage of Erik ten Hag, as the main limitation that may be pointed out is his lack of offensive abilities.