Ranked! The 101 best players in the Premier League right now: full list revealed
20. Harry Maguire (Manchester United)
After two impressive seasons at Leicester, not to mention a headline-grabbing 2018 World Cup with England, Maguire finally got the big move he craved in joining Manchester United for a world record fee of £80m in summer 2019.
Maguire stands above his peers (often literally) thanks to his comfort in possession and ability to start attacks from deep, but the 26-year-old is also a terrific and domineering defender who should solve a long-standing problem at Old Trafford. He’s a huge asset from set-pieces at either end, too – you don't get a nickname like ‘Slabhead’ for nothing – and will play a huge role as United look to re-establish themselves among Europe’s elite.
19. Ederson (Manchester City)
A solid shot-stopper, comfortable with the ball at his feet but with an ability to punt a football very, very far upfield: Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson is one of the top all-round goalkeepers in the world right now.
Despite not having the same on-field impact as other Manchester City players, the 26-year-old is still one of the most important men for Pep Guardiola’s team. His tidy distribution from deep is crucial to how City play, and it’s difficult to see him being ousted from between the sticks in Manchester for a long time indeed.
18. Fabinho (Liverpool)
Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder was a terrific acquisition for Jurgen Klopp’s side last season, and the 25-year-old played a huge part in the Reds’ Champions League-winning season. Fabinho’s height is a useful asset for Liverpool, while his defensive solidity and neat play in possession help the star names ahead of him thrive.
Gary Neville recently hailed him as the Premier League’s finest defensive midfielder, saying: “He doesn’t sit back in games. These holding midfield players who just play horizontally, passing sideways, shuttling across, but Fabinho plays vertically as well. I think the best holding midfield players aren’t just people who basically shuffle across and make it look simple, they also step into the game.”
17. Son Hueng-min (Tottenham)
Son had a memorable 2018/19, registering 12 league goals and seven assists – his best ever numbers for Spurs, despite missing several matches through international duty. His most significant achievement was winning the Asian Games with South Korea, earning Son and his team-mates exemption from military service.
Not only is that terrific for the Spurs talisman’s quiff, it’s also a huge relief for Mauricio Pochettino. Son’s direct nature and consistent quality – just rewatch that volley against Crystal Palace – make him incredibly difficult to replace on the Tottenham High Road.
16. David de Gea (Manchester United)
Ederson and Allison are relatively new kids on the block when it comes to the finest Premier League goalkeepers, but they have some way to go to match De Gea’s levels of consistency.
Manchester United have been heavily indebted to their Spaniard’s athleticism since Alex Ferguson retired – it speaks volumes that he was their player of the year in four of the five season that followed the Scot’s departure. De Gea’s 2018/19 wasn’t so hot, but he’s allowed a blip. Tying him down to a new contract was United’s best business of the summer.
15. Allison (Liverpool)
Football fans gasped at the £66m record fee (well, briefly) for Roma’s goalkeeper just over a year ago, then quickly forgot about their misgivings when they saw him play. After a ropy start when his Flatley footwork got him into trouble, Alisson settled in behind the league’s meanest defence.
The ghosts of former goalkeeping calamities were laid to rest as Alisson became only the fifth goalkeeper in Premier League history to record 20 clean sheets in a season – finishing on 21 overall and beating Pepe Reina’s club record of 20 en route.
Liverpool’s No.1 is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, and it’s not hard to understand why Reds are desperate to have him back.
14. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
It speaks to Bernardo’s dazzling quality that he managed to stand out in a Manchester City side that claimed its second straight league title, with the Premier League’s second-highest points total of all time last season.
The Portugal international made more appearances than any other City player, stepping beautifully into central midfield when key man Kevin De Bruyne was sidelined through injury. “He enjoys every training session and game. I love him, it's simple like that,” beamed his manager in May.
13. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
Scotland international Robertson has been nothing short of a revelation at Anfield. The left-back racked up 11 Premier League assists in tandem with Trent Alexander-Arnold last season, causing Jose Mourinho to remark after one of his final Manchester United games: “I’m still tired just looking at him.”
Now a Champions League winner, the 25-year-old epitomises the hard running and endless desire of Jurgen Klopp’s breathless Reds side. Arguably one of the league’s most enjoyable players to watch.
12. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
One of the four players to rack up more assists than Robertson last season? Step forward Alexander-Arnold, who is practically redefining the role of a right-back right now with his creative quality.
The England international, still only 20, is a brilliant passer who carves out chances for Liverpool’s fearsome front three all over the pitch. Whether from set-pieces, pinpoint crosses or raking cross-field balls: you name it, Trent’s got it in his repertoire.
Twenty years old. Life is unfair.
11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Some sceptics wondered whether signing another striker so soon after the similarly expensive Alexandre Lacazette was a sensible use of the Gunners’ transfer budget, after Aubameyang arrived at the Emirates Stadium for £56m in 2018.
Fortunately for the Gunners, the Gabonese livewire has replicated the scoring form he showcased at Borussia Dortmund, registering 37 goals in 54 Premier League appearances and sharing the Golden Boot in his first full season at the club. Money well spent.
10. Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)
Manchester City’s season has been severely dented by a serious knee injury which will keep Laporte out for around six months. It’s got the potential to be a title-crippling blow: the centre-back’s form has been exceptional ever since he arrived from Athletic Club in January 2018, and he’s near-impossible to replace from within.
The stylish left-footed centre-half is adept at playing out from the back, defends with confidence and even pops up with an important goal every so often. He would have been the man to take over defensive leadership responsibilities from Vincent Kompany – but for now he’ll be a helpless onlooker.
9. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
By his own freakishly high standards, last season was somewhat underwhelming for Kane. The England captain only managed 17 goals from 28 appearances, as injuries and constant chatter of fatigue halted his scoring rate. It’s been a fairly sluggish start to 2019/20 too.
But doubt him at your peril. Kane is arguably the best all-round frontman in the Premier League: a fine finisher from all angles, strong in his hold-up play and a leader by example. If he stays fit, another 20-goal campaign is a virtual dead cert.
8. Sadio Mané (Liverpool)
Last season’s joint-top goalscorer in the Premier League has carried on where he left off, scoring four goals in his opening five matches for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The Senegalese forward’s direct running and link-up play with his Liverpool team-mates makes him one of the most feared forwards in the league – especially if you don’t pass to him, as Mohamed Salah found out at Turf Moor. Don’t be surprised if he manages to go one better and claim the Golden Boot for his own this year.
7. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
“Mo Salah, world class but not every day. Sadio Mané, world class but not every day. Roberto Firmino, world class pretty much every day.”
Hard to find a better endorsement than that – not least when it comes from your own manager. Firmino is the string that links Liverpool’s exciting front three together, dropping deep to give Salah and Mané more space in behind and generally facilitating the excellence around him.
That outrageous cameo against Newcastle was the brilliant Brazilian in a nutshell: selfless, skilful and oh-so-effective.
Roberto Firmino was at his brilliant Brazilian best this afternoon
"You think you'd swap him for Messi or Ronaldo...
...but for what he gives to this football team, there aren't many better!"
His role in Mohamed Salah's goal was just sublime pic.twitter.com/ftdhEdIqVk
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 14, 2019
6. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Aguero has the best minutes-to-goal ratio in Premier League history, having found the net with his 171 strikes every 107 minutes on average.
While the striker is sometimes rotated in Manchester’s City starting line-up with fellow team-mate Gabriel Jesus, the 31-year-old is a clear first choice after adapting brilliantly to Pep Guardiola’s demands. When the Argentine is through one on one, expecting him to score is a safe bet.
Aguero’s elusive movement and finishing precision make him one of the most prolific strikers in English football history. Consistency personified.
5. N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea)
Find a person in the world who doesn’t love N’Golo Kanté. The diminutive Frenchman is a shy and retiring figure off the pitch, but transforms into a ruthless ball-winner on it and has demonstrated his class and consistency with different Premier League champions.
After being given more license to push forward under Maurizio Sarri last campaign, the 28-year-old was also able to display the more technical side of his game in registering four goals and four assists.
A look at his achievements is enough: back-to-back Premier League titles in 2015/16 and 2016/17; PFA Player of the Year; World Cup 2018; Europa League 2018/19.
4. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Anfield’s Egyptian king has also enjoyed a positive start to the current season, scoring four in five matches to take his total up to 58 in 79 league games for the Merseyside club. Salah has also registered a couple of assists in the Premier League, and looks well on course to reach double digits in both categories after narrowly missing out on that feat in 2018/19.
How do you stop him? It doesn’t matter if he cuts inside the defender on his left or bustles down the line to score with his right: Salah usually finds a way. Defenders don’t seem to have an answer.
3. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
After a couple of seasons filled with injury struggles, De Bruyne in back in his usual groove. The Belgian has six assists for Manchester City already this season, and it’s perhaps not surprising that they struggled most (against Norwich) in a game he didn’t start.
Should De Bruyne stay fit, the 28-year-old looks primed for his best season to date at the Etihad Stadium. There’s simply no better passer in the Premier League.
2. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
The England winger is in the form of his life for club and country. Sterling has kicked off 2019/20 with five goals in his opening five league matches, before grabbing two goals and three assists during the September international break with England.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has helped bring Sterling’s positional play to new levels, and the 24-year-old – yes, he’s still only 24 – is now among world football’s greatest goalscorers at the very highest level.
“You look at young players who can be crowned the future best in the world and you still think of Neymar, Mbappe, Salah, and of course Sterling. I look at the moment – and Sterling is winning that race,” said former Barcelona midfielder Xavi this week.
1. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Who else? The towering Dutchman was one of the main reasons why Liverpool recorded 21 clean sheets in 38 Premier League games last season, continuing his transformative effect at Anfield and ending the campaign with Champions League victory to show for it.
No defender has won the Ballon d’Or since 2006, but Van Dijk doesn’t even have a World Cup win behind him for his 1/5 favourite status. He’ll likely win, keeping the Messi-Ronaldo in tatters – and he'll deserve it too.
The 28-year-old instills Reds fans with a long-forgotten sense of confidence at the back, improving those around him and helping full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson thrive further upfield.
As Liverpool fan Matt Ladson put it earlier this week for us: “[There's] laughter when he hits the afterburners and you watch the attacker think: ‘How has he done that?’ Laughter when a shot blasts and he stands still like a mannequin on the training ground to nonchalantly block the attack. Even defending is now enjoyable to watch.”
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