Skuse is no longer the Championship’s leading ‘Interceptor’... but he still sits among Europe’s elite

Cole Skuse closes down Sunderland's Bryan Oviedo Picture Pagepix

Cole Skuse closes down Sunderland's Bryan Oviedo Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

He may have been sidelined by an ankle injury in recent weeks, but Ipswich Town midfielder Cole Skuse can still just about lay claim to his ‘Interceptor’ tag.

Cole Skuse closes down Sunderland's Bryan Oviedo Picture Pagepix

Cole Skuse closes down Sunderland's Bryan Oviedo Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

The 31-year-old was given the nickname in December when it was revealed he had made more interceptions than any player in Europe’s top five leagues and, despite missing four Championship matches due to injury since then, no player in the English, French, Spanish, Italian or German top flights have passed the Blues man.

His total of 65 interceptions this season sees him level with Stuttgart’s French defender Benjamin Pavard, with Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye the closest Premier League challenger on 56.

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But while he has not been passed by any player from Europe’s top five leagues in interceptions, he doesn’t top the Championship charts in that category any longer.

Curtis Davies of Derby (81), Sol Bamba of Cardiff (78) and Sheffield United’s Jack O’Connell (77) all sit above fourth-placed Skuse, but the trio have all played at least three games more than the Ipswich Town man.

When informed of his statistical feat in December, Skuse said: “Look, it’s a nice thing to be recognised for. It’s something I’m asked to do, to protect the back four. “Does it go unrecognised? Maybe at times. The gaffer and the lads will say to me ‘well done on filling in’ or correcting situations and if they are noticing it then that’s enough for me.

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“I’m definitely not one to go and score 25 goals a season, so I think I’ve got to do something else and contribute somehow!

“I’ve made a career out of it. If I’m not the one whose name is being sung to the rooftops that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. As long as my little boy and girl are singing daddy’s name that’s all that matters.”