Class of 2015-16: Defenders

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We continue our look back at the Class of 2015-16 with a review of the defenders who took part over the season.

Our first choice back four was blighted by injury, with Erik Pieters the man with most appearances- 41 in total.

Defenders

Glen Johnson: B+
A former England defender, Johnson came with superb pedigree and quickly showed his class on the pitch. He fizzled out a little bit in the New Year, before seeing his season end with injury.

Phil Bardsley: C+
The right back has probably appeared more often than he’d have expected, with his most memorable moment scoring the clinching goal in the Capital One Cup quarter-final. His attacking capabilities have been an exciting addition to the side.

Erik Pieters: B-
Pieters had a superb start to the campaign but has gone off the boil since the turn of the year. You get the impression the Dutchman would benefit from a bit of pressure on his position in the side and I’m sure Mark Hughes will look to address that in the summer.

Ryan Shawcross: B+
If our captain had been fit for the full campaign then I’m sure we’d have been knocking on the door of Europe. His return to the side in November coincided with an excellent team defensive record, but a second back injury somewhat ruined his season. Ryan needs a good rest in the summer and hopefully he’ll be fighting fit come August.

Philipp Wollscheid: B+
A constant in an ever changing backline, Wollscheid has been the glue to try and hold things together. An intelligent player, the German has shown glimpses as to why he has picked up two international caps. Not quite sure he’s better than Zidane though…!

Geoff Cameron: B+
Starting the season at centre back, Cameron has gone on to frequently play in central midfield and has put in a number of good performances. Missed a number of games through injury in January/February, which coincided with a poor run of form for the side.

Marc Muniesa: C+
The loveable Spaniard has had another season blighted by injury and has suffered on the pitch as a result. He needs continuity of defensive partnership to improve, but will struggle to do that with his constant injuries. It’s a shame, as Muniesa is clearly a very talented and cultured footballer.

Marc Wilson: D+
Barely had a sniff of action over the season through niggles and form. Were he fit, his versatility would have been valuable in the latter third of the season, but he now faces a race to appear at Euro 2016 for Ireland.

Dionatan Teixeira: D+
The Brazilian born Slovakian is bound for Orlando City, but his one performance of the campaign was a good one. A no-nonsense 45 minute display at Bournemouth helped Stoke secure a vital victory.

If you missed yesterday’s look back at the goalkeepers of 2015-16, you can read it here.

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