We may have only played five games, but the Premier League is beginning to take shape, and with that, star performers are becoming prominent.
It seems a little silly to analyse the Premier League’s best players just 13% into the season, but when the team of the season is announced towards the end of the campaign, the players to impress most in the opening stages are often bypassed. Rightly or wrongly, it seems the first five or so games are discounted when it comes to the awards. To give the early bloomers the credit they deserve, I’ve decided to create a team of the season, so far.
(Ratings are sourced from whoscored.com)
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart – 7.13
Mainly on the basis that he is yet to concede a goal, Hart gets the gloves. The amount he has actually been tested can be rightly questioned, but the ability to not concede a goal in five games is no fluke. Hart has been criticised by many in the past, but his consistency and concentration have impressed this season.
Right Back: Hector Bellerin – 7.59
How long until Barcelona make a big bid? Bellerin plays with maturity and going forward, few full backs in the Premier League are as good. Arsenal have developed a real gem here.
Central Defence: Vincent Kompany – 7.43
Kompany had to fight off competition from the likes of Daley Blind, Eliaquim Mangala and Chris Smalling for this inclusion, but much like Hart, he deserves a lot of credit for keeping Manchester City’s sheets clean so far this season. He’s also scored two good goals and looks like he has returned to his best form this season.
Central Defence: Laurent Koscielny – 7.62
Despite some early mistakes from new £10million signing Petr Cech, the Gunners have looked solid defensively so far this season. Three clean sheets in the last three games, and for the last two, the Gunners must thank Koscielny. Averaging a brilliant 4 aerial duels won and 4.3 interceptions made per game, the Frenchman is showing no signs of age despite recently turning 30. As a late bloomer, I am expecting Koscielny to continue at his best for at least three more seasons.
Left Back: Aleksandar Kolarov – 7.87
Kolarov’s defensive qualities have been rightly questioned in the past, but on this seasons’ evidence, he has really improved on that aspect of his game. Gael Clichy will have no chance of winning his place back if the Serbian’s form continues.
Central Midfield: Francis Coquelin – 7.49
Arsenal’s player of the month in August and man of the match against Stoke on Saturday, Coquelin is proving that last seasons form was no fluke. It is vital he doesn’t now pick up an injury as his defensive ability adds vital balance to the Arsenal midfield.
Central Midfield: Fernandinho – 7.69
The Brazilian has been brilliant this season, and although it will be his goals that would have caught the attention of the media, it’s his defensive quality that has really impressed me. Much likes his teammate Mangala, Fernandinho now looks much more settled in England.
Wide Midfield: Riyad Mahrez – 8.76
Probably the player of the season so far, Mahrez has taken the Premier League by storm this season. The hardworking 24-year-old Iranian midfielder has scored four and assisted two more in just 385 Premier League minutes. We’ve seen so much attacking quality from Mahrez, but his defensive ability must also be appreciated. He’s a winger who is certainly effective in both halves of the pitch, making him a vital addition in the Leicester City line-up.
Attacking Midfield: David Silva – 8.03
At the heart of Manchester City’s perfect start to the season, Silva has been superb in the number ten role. With four assists and near perfect passing statistics, it’s hard to argue why anyone else should compete with Silva for this position right now, despite some good performances from Mesut Ozil.
Wide Midfield: Andre Ayew – 7.29
What a signing Ayew has turned out to be. A free transfer, many had earmarked Ayew as one of the signings of the summer – so far they have been proved right. If this line up was purely based on WhoScored’s ratings, he probably wouldn’t make the bench, but the Ghanaian’s quality is obvious and the exciting thing for Swansea is that he is only 25.
Striker: Bafetimbi Gomis – 7.45
With four Premier League goals, Gomis has made a very strong start to the season, as have Swansea as a whole. His power and enthusiasm combine perfectly with Ayew and Jefferson Montero to form Swansea’s dangerous attacking trio. It is testament to his quality that many top bookmakers now have him as short at 16/1 to finish as the leagues top scorer.
Bench: Chris Smalling Joel Ward, Bakary Sako, Dimitri Payet, Ross Barkley, Yaya Toure, Jamie Vardy
We may look back at this article at the end of the season and laugh at some of the inclusions, but that’s the beauty of football. For now, let’s appreciate those who are impressing, however short their time in the limelight may eventually be.