Ranked! The 10 best Premier League players from the first 10 games of 2017/18
10. Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal)
The first thing that strikes you about Kolasinac is his sheer body mass. Lantern-jawed with the torso of an Olympic weightlifter and a backside that puts Kevin Davies to shame, Arsenal’s new left-back is an antithesis of the fragility that has blighted Arsenal for years.
Yet there’s a deceptive level of subtlety to the Bosnian’s game too, and for a man seemingly built to defend it’s his attacking that has impressed the most. His performance against Swansea on Saturday was a masterclass in smart movement and shrewd link-up play, capped with a wonderfully composed finish.
9. Richarlison (Watford)
The most entertaining player in the league? Certainly there are few who possess the ability to place themselves at the heart of the action like Watford's Brazilian forward. The results can vary – this season has already produced three goals and at least as many spurned sitters – but there’s little argument that Richarlison has that cocktail of fearlessness and attacking unpredictability which can turn a well-drilled side into one capable of beating anybody.
As it stands, Marco Silva’s Watford are edging towards the latter category. While their excellence is very much a collective effort, you sense that they’d miss their impulsive attacker a whole lot more than they would anyone else.
8. Maya Yoshida (Southampton)
When Yoshida first came to Southampton, in their first season back in the top flight, he was a largely uninspiring regular in a side that conceded as many goals – 60 – as that season’s bottom-placed club. The next season he was promptly dropped, and their defence has drastically improved over the four years since.
Yet the story hasn’t quite been as straightforward as that. In the background, Yoshida has been steadily working himself back into the fold, and this term proven himself to be a one-man remedy to the crisis that threatened to ensconce Southampton’s season.
Having spent the summer pining for a move, Virgil van Dijk wasn't picked until mid-September, but Yoshida’s steady presence at centre-back – his side have kept clean sheets in half the games he’s started – ensured Southampton’s star player wasn't missed a jot.
7. Ben Davies (Tottenham)
The most impressive aspect about Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs project is the team’s remarkable ability to absorb the loss of any one player. Danny Rose has been one of the club’s standout performers over the last three years or so – perhaps the country’s most improved player in that time, with his tireless engine vital to the team’s style.
Yet his absence has not dented Spurs in the slightest. His replacement at left-back has offered greater composure and final-third delivery, all while compromising very little of the scampering energy that’s so critical to his side. His alertness in denying Marcus Rashford a tap-in at Old Trafford last weekend was supreme defending. Rose has his work cut out to win his place back.