Ten games into the Premier League season, we have three teams level on points at the top of the table. Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool all have 23 out of a possible 30 points as the race for the Premier League title heats up approaching the Christmas period. Clubs spent big in the summer transfer window to bolster their current squads, and many managerial changes took place.
But who have been the stand-out performers of the season so far?
Goalkeeper – Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Burnley currently lie in 13th place following their return to the Premier League under Sean Dyche. A lot of the Clarets’ success can be attributed to the fantastic performances of their goalkeeper, Tom Heaton. He was in great form in Burnley’s 2-0 win over Liverpool where the visitors had 26 shots and 80% possession. Against his former club, Manchester United, Heaton was named the man of the match by making 11 saves and kept a clean sheet against 37 shots. The England international has made more saves than any other keeper in the league, and his form may give Gareth Southgate food for thought when considering his next England squad.
Defender – Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
Since arriving at Arsenal from Lorient, Laurent Koscielny has developed into one of the finest central defenders in the Premier League. His form has continued into the new season which has seen Arsenal rise as early season title contenders. The French international has only committed two fouls in 810 minutes of competitive football which is a testament to his impressive defensive ability. Koscielny has also scored two vital goals for the Gunners against Southampton and Burnley.
Defender – Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)
Equally as impressive as Koscielny is his new defensive partner at Arsenal, Shkodran Mustafi. The German centre-back swapped Spain for England in a £30m deal from Valencia this summer. Mustafi has settled into life at the Emirates seamlessly and has adapted to the physicality of the Premier League quickly. At 24-years-old, he has his best years ahead of him, and his form since returning to England has been praised by both Thierry Henry and Rio Ferdinand who identified him as the man that could help Arsenal to another Premier League title.
Defender – Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton)
Another defender who has earned plenty of plaudits this season is Southampton’s Virgin Van Dijk. The Dutchman arrived from Celtic last summer for just over £13m and quickly established himself as a crucial player for the Saints. He has continued his form into the new season and signed a new six-year-deal in the summer to fend off interest from the likes of Liverpool. His manager, Claude Puel, believes Van Dijk has the potential to be one of the top five centre-backs in the world.
Midfielder – Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Sadio Mane became the latest in a long list of players to swap St. Marys for Anfield this summer, following in the footsteps of Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren. His form since making the £32m move to Merseyside has been remarkable. The Senegal international instantly became a key man under Jurgen Klopp, combining perfectly with the Reds’ Brazilian attackers, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino. Four goals in his first nine appearances has meant Mane could arguably the signing of the summer.
Midfielder – Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Ex-Chelsea midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne, has been one of Pep Guardiola’s best players since the Spaniard took over Manchester City this summer and the Belgian is key to any success the Citizens may have this season. After an unbeaten start to life in England, an injury to their key man led to a dip in form which highlighted De Bruyne’s importance to the City team. His link-up play with the likes of Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling is exceptional, and City fans will be hoping De Bruyne can continue to show Chelsea just what they are missing.
Midfielder – Joe Allen (Stoke)
Perhaps the surprise of the season has been Joe Allen’s form since making a move from Liverpool to Stoke. The Welshman showed signs of being a valuable player for the Reds last season and continued his form into a fantastic EURO 2016 campaign. However, Klopp opted to give Allen the first-team football he deserved and Allen moved to Stoke. The former Swansea man is Stoke’s top scorer this season with four goals and has created more chances than anyone on the side.
Midfielder – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Eden Hazard has got his career back on track after a dismal year at Stamford Bridge. Under Antonio Conte, the Belgian has found a new lease of life in the Italian’s 3-4-3 formation and his best form has returned. His goal in the 2-0 win over Southampton has put the former Lille winger on five goals, which surpasses his tally for the entirety of last season. With Hazard back in form, Chelsea looks like title contenders again.
Forward – Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
November is typically a miserable month for Arsenal fans as Arsene Wenger’s side usually, endure their worst form of the season in the penultimate month of the year. However, one player who gives the Gooners hope that their title challenge can continue is Alexis Sanchez. In a revised role as a striker, the Chilean has flourished and brought the best out of his team-mates. The ex-Barcelona forward is Arsenal’s top scorer and has helped maintain Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 14 games.
Forward – Diego Costa (Chelsea)
Diego Costa is the current top goal-scorer in the Premier League and had to be included in the team of the year so far. The Spaniard would probably lead the vote for player of the year thus far following an excellent run of form for the Blues. Costa looks hungry for goals and will be a key player for Conte if he can avoid injury. His goal against Southampton was his 40th goal in 64 appearances which is the sixth fewest games to reach such milestone.
Forward – Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Finally, our team is completed by Everton’s Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian forward enjoyed his best season last campaign and a transfer to a Champions League club was expected in the summer. However, Lukaku decided to stay at Goodison Park under the new management of Ronald Koeman. The belief of his manager has spurred the 23-year-old to continue his form into the new season and has linked up with new signing Yannick Bolasie excellently in the Toffees attack. His seven goals in nine games have put him right in the race for the Premier League golden boot.
Who has been your stand-out player of the Premier League team of the season so far? Comment below!