With not much to entertain themselves with during the international break, fans have been left with very little football in their lives. Nevertheless, this point in the campaign is the perfect opportunity to analyse and reflect upon the best performers so far, and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has named his pick.
The Manchester clubs have outright dominated the league until now, and sit level on points (19), whilst Liverpool and Arsenal have suffered slower starts to their campaigns. Meanwhile, neighbours Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have also had a great run so far, despite minor setbacks.
On the other hand, with the arrival of Alvaro Morata and Alexandre Lacazette, and Romelu Lukaku’s switch to Old Trafford, the fans expected goals galore, and that’s exactly what they received. United’s main man has racked up 7 goals, closely followed by Morata, Aguero, and Harry Kane with 6 goals.
However, goal tally isn’t the only factor to rate performance. Whilst the Mancunians have only conceded a single goal so far, Spurs look extra stable with their new back three. With every team performing at the top level and players producing phenomenal results, Carragher has taken upon the task to name the best XI out of them (via Telegraph).
Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Man Utd)
“Unfortunately I am going to have to start with a Manchester United player, who I actually think is the best keeper in the world at the moment,” the Sky Sports pundit remarked.
Left-Back: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
“I think he has been outstanding in the 12 months he has been here. He has a superb defensive record with Chelsea and he scores goals,” said the Englishman.
Though a surprise pick, recent performances give context to the choice.
Centre-backs: Toby Alderweireld & Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
“Alderweireld last season was the outstanding centre-back. Alongside him, Belgium team-mate Vertonghen was not far behind.”
Much expected names, to be fair. But deserved nonetheless.
Right-back: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
“His Chelsea team plays a slightly different system with three at the back, but Azpilicueta has to go in there as he is one of the best defenders in the Premier League.”
Hardly a surprise to see another Blues defender on the list.
Left midfield: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
“It’s a new position that he has been playing for Liverpool but he has been outstanding.”
A surprise name on the list, as the Brazilian has missed almost half of the league fixtures this season.
Centre midfield: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
“The defensive player in the middle. He has gone from Leicester City to Chelsea and been the most impressive player in both sides.”
A best XI is hardly complete without Kante at centre midfield.
Right midfield: Kevin de Bryune (Man City)
“The standout player at the start of this season. I think he is going to be a future Player of the Year contender.”
With the lethal attacking lineup the Citizens are sporting this season, and his stunning form, De Bruyne’s name is more or less expected.
Left winger: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
“He has been the outstanding player in the league over the past three or four years.”
Undoubtedly one of the best players in England, the Belgian has only gotten better under Antonio Conte.
Right winger: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
“Last season, without him, Liverpool fell apart at times. He adds goals, pace, assists.”
Though it would’ve been a tough choice to pick between Mane and Mohamed Salah, the Senegal international ultimately made it to Carra’s list.
Centre forward: Harry Kane (Tottenham)
“We are three or four years in now and I think we will be saying the same in 10 years about him being the main striker in the Premier League.”
The Spurs talisman has been in devastating form, and seems quite ready to defend his long running ownership of the Premier League golden boot.
The ex-England international has been more or less spot on with his choices. and has backed up them with valid facts, figures and arguments. However, as the international break comes to a close, we may witness a few name changes toward the end of the season.
Written by Ashish Sreejith
Have had two addictions in life- playing football and watching football. Usually described as introverted but not when it comes to speaking and writing about the beautiful game of football.