Seven weeks... that’s 49 days or 6300 minutes of Premier League football, and it has been nothing short of breathtaking. The opening match of the Premier League season was played on the 13th of August, and since then we have been treated to varying styles of football by Premier League clubs.
The Premier League has also welcomed big names like Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea and four-time Ballon D’or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to Man United. The arrival of such stars has added extra spice to the race for the title this season. Most importantly, the return of fans to stadiums all around England has been a breath of fresh air since the atmosphere in previous months has been a let-down.
Some clubs have been impressive while some others have been nothing to write home about. Amidst the ups and downs faced by clubs, some players have risen above challenges to stand out for their teams. Below is my list of such eye-catching players from our first seven game-weeks.
Ederson Moreas (Man City)
Man City keeper Ederson makes this list as the net-minder with the most clean sheets. The Brazilian has marshalled the Citizens back line to five in just seven EPL matches. His ability to play pin-point passes from defense to the forwards was evident in the fixture against Liverpool as he set up Phil Foden with a gorgeous long-ball.
Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Ramsdale’s promotion to first choice keeper for Arsenal has coincided with the team’s return to form. The Gunners began the season by losing their first three games, but since the introduction of Ramsdale in place of Leno, they have won three of four. Arsenal also managed three shutouts in those fixtures. The shot-stopper’s ability to control his area has kept the Gunners’ defenders on their toes. Ramsdale has also shown that he is no novice with the ball at his feet.
Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Rudiger has embodied the ruggedness and doggedness that Thomas Tuchel demands of Chelsea’s defenders. Rudiger has featured in every fixture for Chelsea this season, helping the Blues to four shutouts in seven games. Rudiger has also chipped in with a goal at the other end of the pitch.
Joao Cancelo (Man City)
Cancelo has continued from last season, distinguishing himself as one of the best attacking fullbacks in the Premier League. With 44 points, Cancelo is the defender with the most in FPL. The Portuguese fullback has also shown versatility by featuring on both the left and right side for the Citizens.
Shane Duffy (Brighton)
Shane Duffy has shown massive improvement to become the unexpected star of the Seagulls’ back line. The Northern Ireland defender is part of a Brighton defense that has conceded just five goals in seven games. The Seagulls have also completed three shutouts, and Duffy has also chipped in with a goal plus an assist already.
Mo Salah (Liverpool)
Salah has been the standout player of the Premier League so far. There have even been calls for the Ballon D’or due to his extraordinary level of consistency. Salah has scored in all but one of the seven league games. The Egyptian magician is currently the most owned FPL player at 60.7%, and he has rewarded those managers with 70 points already. Salah’s latest goal against Pep Guardiola’s Man City is the embodiment of a man in the form of his life. With the talisman currently on six goals plus four assists, it would be unwise to bet against him having his best season yet.
Andros Townsend (Everton)
Townsend’s transfer to Everton has been one of the best deals of the summer transfer window, the English winger hitting the ground running by scoring three goals and adding two assists in seven league games. Signed as a free transfer from Crystal Palace, Townsend has helped lift the goal scoring burden off the shoulders of strikers Calvin Lewin and Richarlison. Townsend’s direct running and ability to use both feet have been instrumental for the Toffees as he has consistently delivered pin-point crosses with his right while also sometimes cutting inside to shoot with his left.
Ismaila Sarr (Watford)
Signed for a record fee of 40m from Rennes in 2019, Sarr is finally proving his worth to Watford. The Senegalese winger has continued from the end of last season, leading the Hornets’ battle to avoid the drop. Sarr’s four goals are over half those scored by the Hornets in the league this season.
Raphinha Belloli (Leeds)
In a campaign crippled by inconsistency and inability to replicate last season’s impressive performances, Raphinha has been the only bright spot for Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds. Leeds is currently 16th with just six points — one win, three draws and three losses. This record makes a mockery of the high pressing, full-throttle football we saw last season. But in the midst all of this, Raphinha has continued to show quality; he has been the main creative hub of the team. Raphinha has scored three goals, so if Leeds is to get out of their current dire form, the Brazilian will have a huge role play.
Michail Antonio (West Ham)
Antonio began the Premier League season in red hot form by scoring or assisting in each of the first four games. The Jamaican international had a stumble, incurring a red card against Saints with a one-game suspension the week after, but that hasn’t stopped him from showing his class and ability when on the field of play. Antonio has already contributed five goals and three assists to West Ham’s battle to secure European football for another season and it would be unwise to bet against him maintaining this red-hot form.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
At the age of 34, Jamie Vardy continues to show his goal-scoring prowess by leading the Foxes charge towards Champions League football next season. With six goals so far, Vardy is currently the EPL’s joint top scorer along with Salah. Either as a lone striker or partnering either Iheanacho or Daka, Vardy remains the ever-reliable clinical front man. With Vardy retired from international football, expect the Englishman to be fully refreshed after the International break.
Neal Maupay (Brighton)
Brighton has been one of the surprise teams this season, and Neal Maupay has been one of the side’s best players. Brighton is currently sixth with four wins, two draws and a loss. The Seagulls have scored eight goals, and Maupay is responsible for exactly half of those. The Seagulls were often punished for their inability to covert chances last season, but the Frenchman has gone about rectifying that problem.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Man United)
Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Man United was met with a lot of fanfare from the global media. The Portuguese captain has lived up to the hype by displaying his capabilities on the field. The four-time Ballon D’or winner announced his arrival by scoring two well-taken goals on his Red Devil debut, and he added another in his second appearance. Ronaldo hasn’t scored in the last two league games, and he was only a second half substitute against Everton. United will need Ronaldo at his absolute best if they’re to mount a serious challenge for the title.
Which player do you think deserves to be added to this list? Whom would you take out? Whom do you think will be the star of the next seven game-weeks? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!