By 90Min
August 17, 2017

With the Premier League finally up and running, it became apparent very early on in the first matchweek that defenders were set for a tough task of protecting their goal. A bumper 31 goals were scored across the opening weekend.

With players, managers and clubs critiqued over the course of this week following their opening game, 90min wanted to get in on the action - asking supporters which defender they would choose to have in their side.

It pitted north London rivals against each other; as Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny came up against Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld. More than 211,000 fans had their say, and it was the Belgian star who came up trumps - collecting a mammoth 65% of the vote.

Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

After playing an integral role in helping Spurs keep their first clean sheet of the season against Newcastle, it could have been a case of out of sight and out of mind for 90min voters - as Koscielny could only watch from the sidelines while the Gunners conceded three in their seven goal thriller with Leicester.

Although both clubs came out as victors in their first game of the new season, it could have been Alderweireld's most recent impressive performance which swung the vote in his favour, as he alone massed over 137,000 of the votes.

Image by Andrew Headspeath

The Spurs centre-half looks to have picked up from where he left off last season as he recorded a 100% tackle success rate against the Magpies, and with his profile continuing to rise Tottenham will be eager to tie Alderweireld down to a new long-term contract.

With still one game left on his suspension, Koscielny's importance to Arsene Wenger's side was seemingly brought to light over the weekend as the Gunners failed to control the Foxes potent attack.  

Following injuries to a number of key defenders, the largely inexperienced Rob Holding, new addition Sead Kolasinac and newly converted centre-back Nacho Monreal took positions in Arsenal's back three over the weekend.

Matt King/GettyImages

Despite receiving only 35% of 90min fans votes, Koscielny's experience and leadership could have made the opening match a smoother experience for the Gunners had he been on the field. His superior ball use would have gone a long way in preventing sloppy turnovers in the Gunners' defensive half.

With Alderweireld taking the early season honours, it is now up to Koscielny and other defenders across the Premier League to stake their claim and convince 90min voters that they are the defender of choice.

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