The Premier League 2022-23 season showcased a plethora of outstanding midfield talents, with several players making a remarkable impact on their respective teams. While acknowledging the presence of some underrated gems, it’s essential to highlight a select few who stood out as the most influential and best-performing midfielders of the season.
From the mesmerizing play-making skills of Kevin De Bruyne, who shone as the maestro for Man City, to the all-around brilliance of Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri’s influential role in their treble-winning campaign, these players left an indelible mark on the league. Their exceptional performances epitomized the depth of talent and skill within the midfield ranks, making the 2022-23 season an unforgettable one for fans, especially for the Champions of England and Europe – the Citizens. Here are some of the players who made the list which are as follows:
Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace)
Following a season plagued by injuries, Eze has truly come into his own when given a more central and play-making role under Palace’s latest manager, Roy Hodgson.
Demonstrating seamless transition, Eze showcased his ability to create opportunities with 1.95 key passes per 90 minutes while also making impressive progressive carries averaging 2.36 per 90 minutes from midfield. Despite his positional shift, Eze has managed to retain his offensive prowess, contributing an impressive 0.48 goals per 90 minutes. Notably, he excels in generating goal-scoring chances, with over four shots-created per 90 minutes, placing him among the top midfielders in Europe. Additionally, his 2.42 successful take-ons further solidify his standing among the best midfielders in these metrics.
Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton)
Kaoru Mitoma had a fantastic debut Premier League season, establishing a formidable partnership with Estupinan on Brighton’s left wing. He displayed an impressive goal plus assist contribution of 0.47 per 90 minutes. While his passing numbers were decent, Mitoma truly stood out as an exceptional dribbler who excelled at taking on opponents both on the inside and outside. His statistics for progressive carries, carries into the final third, and carries into the penalty area ranked among the best for wingers across all top five leagues. Moreover, Mitoma’s defensive contribution, often overlooked, proved to be very valuable to his team.
Bruno Fernandes (Man United)
Bruno Fernandes has undeniably established himself as one of the premier midfielders in world football over the past few seasons. His exceptional technical abilities, combined with his quick thinking on the field, make him a game-changer. While he may not always prioritize possession due to his risk-taking nature, Fernandes compensates with remarkable creativity, consistently generating numerous opportunities for his teammates.
In the Premier League this season, Fernandes showcased his ability by producing an impressive 32 big chances, the most among all players in the competition. His overall numbers also paint an impressive picture. Throughout the 2022-23 season, the 28-year-old Portuguese international scored 14 goals and provided 15 assists in 59 appearances across all competitions for Man United.
Casemiro (Manchester United)
One of the standout names in the lineup, Casemiro deserves recognition despite being somewhat overshadowed by several midfielders from Man City and Arsenal this season. Listed as a defensive midfielder, he consistently displayed an exceptional defensive prowess, demonstrating a mastery of tackles, blocks, and interceptions. Moreover, he proved to be a vital asset in possession, contributing significantly to Manchester United’s build-up play and ball progression, which notably contributed to their impressive improvement compared to the previous season. And despite being “defensive”, Casemiro still made several valuable contributions to attack, averaging 0.24 goal contributions per 90 minutes. In 53 appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils in the 2022-23 season, the Brazilian icon scored seven goals and provided seven assists. If he can avoid red-card suspensions next season, his production (and FPL asset value) should be even better.
Rodri (Manchester City)
Rodri, the defensive midfield anchor for Man City, played a crucial role in the success of the 2023-22 season. The Spanish international proved to be an invaluable asset with his exceptional intelligence and composed style of play, seamlessly directing the team’s movements from deep midfield positions.
His outstanding passing range and ability to dictate the tempo of the game marked him as a pivotal figure in City’s possession-based style. Moreover, Rodri’s imposing physical presence and defensive awareness made him an imposing force when it came to disrupting opposition attacks.
Rodri’s remarkable positional discipline and tactical acumen earned him well-deserved praise, while his ability to anticipate the game and initiate attacking moves highlighted his overall midfield capabilities. Furthermore, he consistently rose to the occasion for his team, exemplified by his decisive goal in the Champions League final.
Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
Martin Odegaard, the captain of Arsenal, delivered several exceptional performances throughout the Premier League season, establishing himself as one of the league’s standout players. He consistently demonstrated prime form and led the Gunners with distinction, helping them maintain a prominent position atop the Premier League table for a significant portion of the campaign.
As a Norwegian midfielder, Odegaard is renowned for his exceptional technical abilities and creative play-making skills, placing him among the most talented in Europe. Additionally, his agility and keen eye for goal enable him to navigate tight spaces with remarkable finesse.
Across all competitions, Odegaard made 45 appearances for Arsenal, impressively contributing 15 goals plus eight assists, further emphasizing his impact on the team’s success.
Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)
Ilkay Gundogan concluded the 2022-23 season with an exceptional display, demonstrating an unmatched level of dedication. His contributions were arguably more crucial to Manchester City’s success than any of his teammates, playing a pivotal role in their commendable journey towards winning the continental treble.
As a German international, Gundogan stands out as one of the finest box-to-box midfielders of his generation. His precision passing, exceptional vision, impressive dribbling skills, and consistent goal-scoring abilities make him a formidable threat in and around the final third.
In the 2022-23 season, Gundogan made 51 appearances across all competitions, tallying an impressive eleven goals plus seven assists. Notably, he also took on the responsibility of captaining the team, becoming the first German player to captain a non-German team in a UEFA Champions League final.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Kevin De Bruyne is widely regarded as one of the most exceptional midfielders of his generation, consistently maintaining his position at the top for numerous years. In the 2022-23 season, he once again demonstrated his play-making brilliance, presenting a masterclass of his skills.
Throughout the season, De Bruyne made 49 appearances across all competitions, contributing an impressive 10 goals plus an astonishing 31 assists. His remarkable ability to find the back of the net and create scoring opportunities played a pivotal role in Manchester City’s triumph in the continental treble.
De Bruyne’s passing accuracy and visionary play are unparalleled, making him stand out among his peers. Additionally, his ability to retain possession of the ball at an elite level further solidifies his world-class status. And as if that weren’t enough, his work-rate in pressing the opposition when off the ball is unparalleled. The Belgian maestro is destined to be remembered as one of the greatest midfielders in the history of the sport, and in the Premier League for sure.
Who was your favorite FPL midfielder of 2022-23? Who delivered the points week in and week out? Whom are you hoping to draft this August when we return for the 2023-24 EPL season? Please log in and post your thoughts in the comments below!