The Premier League is in full swing. English top-tier hasn’t disappointed with its usual thrills, drama and suspense. Cristiano Ronaldo’s groundbreaking Italian invasion counted for little. For this special we teamed up with FootballPredictions.com and set up a top 10 of best performing players.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool are the early pacesetters. After eight matches, the trio are unbeaten, levelled on 20 points. Surprisingly, Arsenal is gathering serious momentum. Despite a false start, Unai Emery’s men have picked up brilliantly.
It isn’t the same tale for Manchester United, however. The Red Devils are lost somewhere in mid-table, in the dreadful company of Wolves and Foxes. Further down the log, there’s the winless trinity Cardiff City, Newcastle United and Huddersfield. Fulham and Southampton are next door neighbours.
For individual performances, certain players have risen above their peers. While others have simply remained on holidays after the World Cup in Russia, they have shone brightly. Here’s a compilation of those who refused to take a nap, from bottom to top.
10 – Harry Kane
Critics may argue that Kane is suffering burn out and needs some rest. The England skipper, however, hasn’t shown any traces of fatigue thus far for Tottenham. With five goals, Kane is the joint-second top scorer in the league.
The 25-year-old finally broke his August curse with two strikes against Fulham and United. A bully of an attacker, Kane has proven to be more than just your regular poacher.
9 – Harry Maguire
Is there a better centre-back in English football at the moment than the towering, frightening 6 ft 4 Maguire? Arguably none. The 25-year-old’s stock has surged even further after an unforgettable last campaign, culminating in World Cup semis.
Maguire was number one on Jose Mourinho wish-list last summer. Instead of getting carried away, the Englishman appears to be motivated than ever. He has started all Leicester City’s eight matches scoring twice.
8 – Alexandre Lacazette
When Unai Emery arrived at Arsenal, there were doubts about how Lacazette would fit into his system. While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was always going to be the first choice, the Frenchman wasn’t flexible enough to slot on the flanks.
And the season began with same script. Lacazette rarely saw action. But in the last five games, the 27-year-old has demonstrated his killer instinct. Those starts have yielded four goals and two assists.
7 – Benjamin Mendy
Mendy may have seen just five Premier League action but not without an indelible mark. The dynamic French left-back, with a penchant for swinging crosses, has contributed four assists.
Mendy is something quite unusual. He runs up and down the line, attacking at one end and defending at the other. He is perfect for Pep Guardiola’s high-intensity football, winning the ball back quickly.
6 – Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Wan-Bissaka is gradually becoming everyone’s favourite player. The PL universe can’t seem to have enough of the Crystal Palace defender. Aged just 20, the Croydon-born has started the season as Roy Hodgson’s first-choice right-back, helping his side to four clean sheets in seven appearances.
The 20-year-old has been Palace’s standout player so far this season, winning the club’s player of the month award for both August and September.
5 – Gylfi Sigurdsson
Sigurdsson’s debut Everton campaign was indifferent. Even though he showed glimpses of quality, it came in patches. The Iceland midfielder would stun, only to go off the rails in subsequent matches. It wasn’t entirely his doing, though. He was played out of position.
This term, however, Marco Silva is mining the best from the attacking midfielder. Sigurdsson’s offensive trait have blown out, scoring and assisting at will. He has done so five times.
4 – David Silva
Mr Evergreen, David Silva’s influence at Manchester City can never be overemphasized. Despite the presence of younger, quicker and stronger midfielders, Guardiola’s team still rely on the never fading Spaniard to unlock defences.
Silva has started six matches, with two goals and no assist, yet the 32-year-old ranks among the best. His wealth of experience, leadership qualities and skills have been priceless to an utterly ambitious Citizens.
3 – Sergio Aguero
When Silva does all the work in the middle, he has that confidence in the man in the final third – Sergio Aguero. Aguero has buried five balls, including a hat-trick against Huddersfield. He has also laced two others when finishing seemed impossible.
Aguero has undergone a huge tactical transformation in two years under Guardiola, at various times looking certain to be usurped but always managing to convince the Catalan of his ability to adapt. He is certainly enjoying the extra game time.
2 – Raheem Sterling
Sterling has been England’s most exciting player this season. Renowned for worthless fancy tricks and flicks, the ex-Liverpool flanker has graduated into an all-round attacker who is now all about the end product.
The 23-year-old has notched four goals, providing two assists and making himself a mainstay in Guardiola’s starting XI. Real Madrid are believed to be impressed by his maturity.
1 – Eden Hazard
The rave of the moment, Hazard is the star everybody can’t seem to get enough of his light. Unlike previous campaigns, Hazard is showing great predatory instinct, scoring recklessly and assisting for fun.
Despite starting just six matches, the Belgian currently lead the goalscorers chart with seven. He has been involved in two other goals.