We are just over a fifth of the way through the new Premier League season, so which players have stood out so far?
Goalkeeper- Alisson (Liverpool)
Alisson always looked like the summer signing to make the biggest difference to his team this season. After the uncertainty radiating from Mignolet & Karius last season, Allison has brought calm assurance to Liverpool’s much improved defence, aside from that one horror moment of over-confidence against Leicester. 5 clean sheets from 8 starts tells its own story, for a team that managed just 12 throughout last season.
Right-back- Kieran Tripper (Tottenham)
The ‘Burnley Becks’ has picked up where his sensational World Cup left off. So far, he has bagged 1 goal from a free kick and 2 assists in the League, as well as providing a constant source of ammunition for Harry Kane and Lucas Moura with 60 crosses to date. Tripper hasn’t always been convincing going back towards his own goal but going forward he’s the best right-back in the country.
Left-back- Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City)
Having missed most of last season Mendy feels like a new signing for the defending champions. Questions remain about his defensive ability, Guardiola’s reluctance to play him and Leroy Sane together would seem to confirm that. In saying that, 4 assists illustrate how deadly he can be overlapping down the left.
Centre-back- Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)
Far and away the best central defender in England and possibly Europe, Van Dijk is worth every penny of his eye watering £75million transfer fee. He’s consistently justified Jurgen Klopp’s insistence Van Dijk was his Plan A signing and there was to be no Plan B choice to be considered. Van Dijk is commanding, pacey, dominant in the air and the leader of Liverpool’s much improved defence, no defender in the country is more valuable to his team right now.
Centre-back- Joe Gomez (Liverpool)
An early Young Player of the Year contender, Gomez’s career looked in danger of being beset by injuries, but now fully fit he’s the perfect partner for Van Dijk. He glides across the defence with his athleticism and his range of passing is the equal of John Stones. Gomez looks set to be a mainstay of Liverpool and England’s defence for a decade to come.
Centre Midfield- Jorginho (Chelsea)
The biggest compliment you can pay Jorginho as the best midfielder in England for the last 2 seasons, is having to adapt to a new role in order to accommodate Jorginho. Chelsea’ midfield general has made 853 passes so far this season, more than 100 ahead of anybody else in the League, everything Chelsea do goes through this Pirlo-esque playmaker. At £50million the signing of the season so far.
Centre Midfield- James Milner (Liverpool)
At 32 the former England midfielder is continuing his Indian Summer with an outstanding season at Liverpool. Despite spending heavily on Naby Keita and Fabinho in the summer, Milner is the first name in midfield on Liverpool’s team sheet. So far his contribution read 2 assists, 1 goal and 17 tackles from central midfield. Jurgen Klopp will be thankful he’s retired from England duty and will be praying the hamstring injury he picked up at the weekend isn’t serious.
Centre Attacking Midfield- James Maddison (Leicester City)
The frontrunner for the Young Player of the Year award, Maddison has made the transition from Championship to Premier League look easy. From his debut away at Old Trafford on, Maddison has been creative and clever with his passing, although he was made to look a bit silly by Gylfi Sigurdsson on Saturday. He’s also taken over free kick taking duties at Leicester and already notched 3 goals and 2 assists. Riyad who?
Right Wing- Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Undoubtedly the Player of the Season to date and possibly the best attacking midfielder in the world. Hazard has been phenomenal this season after an in and out 2017/18 campaign. He can play anywhere across Chelsea’s front 3 if required and his combination of dribbling, electric pace and eye for goal are without equal in England. The top scorer in the League with 7, if he keeps this up he’ll be Player of the Year in May and quite possibly the Ballon d’Or next December.
Left Wing- Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)
The Bournemouth winger joined the South Coast club back in League One. Five years and two promotions later he’s enjoying the season of his life with Eddie Howe’s surprise high-flyers. His front line combination with Josh King and Callum Wilson is already the most potent in the League, combing for 10 goals already, Fraser bagging 3. Fraser’s goal scoring is matched only by his crossing and interplay racking up 3 assists and creating 8 major goal scoring chances thus far.
Centre Forward- Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
It’s hard to believe that one year ago many thought Aguero was slowly being pushed towards the Etihad Stadium exit door. Aguero looks fitter and hungrier than we’ve seen at any time in his 8 year City career. His finishing has been razor-sharp with 5 goals to date and his overall contribution to his team has hugely increased under Guardiola, he’s now just 60 goals short of Alan Shearer’s Premier League goalscoring record.
Subs Bench: Joe Hart (Burnley), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Lucas Moura (Tottenham), Alexsander Mitrovic (Fulham)
Picture Credits: Goal.com, SI.com, Getty