10 Milos Degenek – Yokohama F. Marinos

The young defender opted to leave financially embattled 1860 Munich for Japan in January, where he’s thrived at Ange Postecoglou’s new club Yokohama F. Marinos. Degenek was a regular feature in defence, making 31 appearances and being named in the J.League Young Team of the Year. The Marinos did well, finishing fifth.

9 James Meredith – Bradford City/Millwall

The left-back played a big part in Bradford City’s push for promotion to the Championship in the first-half of the year, earning selection in the EFL League One Team of the Year. Meredith’s fine form also led to his move to second tier Millwall where he’s held down his spot in defence. Highly underrated.

8 Matt Jurman – Suwon Bluewings

Ex-Sydney FC defender has made his mark in Korea, as a key part of the Bluewings backline which finished the 2017 K-League in third and competed in the AFC Champions League. Jurman won some accolades too, including the K-League fan's Newcomer of the Year awards, but the ultimate recognition was a maiden Socceroos call-up before playing in the vital World Cup playoffs against Syria and Honduras.

7 Tom Rogic – Celtic

The 25-year-old midfielder managed to shake off his injury curse for an extended period in 2017, making 37 appearances in the 2016-17 season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions. Rogic missed four months of the 2016-17 campaign at Celtic, but played his part with a 92nd minute winner in the Scottish Cup Final as the Hoops sealed a rare treble. The Aussie’s fleet-footed skills led to boss Brendan Rodgers labeling him the “magic man”.