The Premier League's best
The last three months have felt more like three years. So much has changed that it's easy to forget much of what's happened in the Premier League season so far, particularly with regard to individual players.
Fear not, though, because FourFourTwo is on hand to bring you up to speed ahead of the restart. Here are the 50 best performers of the campaign to date...
50. Jordan Ayew
Crystal Palace's signing of their former loanee was met with shrugs rather than celebrations among the club's fan base.
But Ayew has exceeded expectations for Roy Hodgson's side, scoring eight times - including a goal of the season contender against West Ham - and expertly bringing his fellow attackers into play.
49. Aaron Ramsdale
Bournemouth's first true relegation scrap could well end with them going down; the Cherries haven't had much to cheer about this season, but Aaron Ramsdale has been a highlight.
Back from loan this season and drafted in as Eddie Howe's No.1, Ramsdale has been in excellent form, impressing with his shot-stopping and catching the attention of much bigger clubs. If Bournemouth stay up, this lad will no doubt play a part.
48. Mason Mount
Mount enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, his first as a Chelsea player. The attacking midfielder scored three goals in his first five games, establishing himself as one of the first names on Frank Lampard's team sheet.
Mount's form dipped a little as the campaign went on, but that's to be expected of a 21-year-old still making his way in the game. Six goals and four assists represents a solid return for the youngster.
47. Sebastien Haller
This season hasn't gone to plan for West Ham - but at least shiny new signing Sebastien Haller has looked promising.
In a difficult campaign for everyone involved, the French forward has shown his class, scoring seven goals in the league and linking up nicely with Michail Antonio and fellow new boy Jarrod Bowen.
46. Dwight McNeil
Breaking into Sean Dyche's starting XI isn't easy. The Burnley boss isn't one for squad rotation, preferring a settled side that tends to remain unchanged whenever possible.
McNeil forced his way in last season, though, and has started all 29 of Burnley's matches this time around. A left-footed winger who plays on the left, McNeil's surges down the flank and crosses into the box have become a key feature of Dyche's game plan.
45. Abdoulaye Doucoure
Watford endured a miserable first half of the season, but Nigel Pearson's appointment in December led to a dramatic upturn in form.
Doucoure has been integral to their revival. He's been deployed in a more advanced midfield role under Pearson, and Watford have reaped the rewards.
44. Cesar Azpilicueta
Now in his eighth season as a Chelsea player and quickly closing in on 400 appearances for the club, Azpilicueta remains a model of consistency in defence.
Able to play at left-back, right-back or centre-back, the Spaniard has set the example for Chelsea's young players this season. He's even chipped in with two goals and three assists.
43. John McGinn
Jack Grealish has deservedly earned plenty of plaudits this season, but he isn't the only British midfielder who's shone for Villa.
Indeed, Dean Smith's side would likely be in a healthier position had McGinn not got injured in December. Before that the Scotsman had scored three goals and set up two more.
42. Scott McTominay
Manchester United fans would have feared the worst had they been told that Paul Pogba would spend most of this season on the sidelines. McTominay has stepped up admirably in his absence, however, helping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side stay in the top-four race.
The Scotland international has caught the eye with his driving runs, unfussy passing and leadership qualities. He's also scored five goals, including a screamer in the Manchester derby.
41. Mateo Kovacic
Chelsea's most improved player this season, Kovacic has kicked on under Frank Lampard. The Croatia international has only scored one goal and provided three assists, but those statistics don't do justice to his influence.
Kovacic is never afraid to get stuck in, but his best quality is his ability to carry the ball forward from midfield.
40. Caglar Soyuncu
Leicester were linked with numerous centre-backs following the sale of Harry Maguire last summer, but in the end the club decided to keep their powder dry.
Instead, Soyuncu was promoted to become Jonny Evans' partner - and that proved a masterstroke. The Turk's speed has been an asset this season, as has his composure in possession.
39. Gabriel Jesus
It isn't easy being Jesus. A perennial back-up to Sergio Aguero, the Brazilian rarely gets a run of starts and has to accept almost half of his appearances coming as a substitute.
With that in mind, a record of 10 goals in 1336 minutes of action - 0.67 per 90 - is hugely impressive.
A £50m flop in his debut campaign at Old Trafford, Fred has demonstrated the value of patience this season.
The Brazilian has looked like a different player in 2019/20, with his all-action style making him an indispensable part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side. His driving runs through the centre have helped quicken United's transitions.
37. Allan Saint-Maximin
How can anyone not love Allan Saint-Maximin?
The classy Newcastle forward has been a bright spark on Tyneside, with his mazy dribbling, flair and flicks. He's been a favourite among neutral fans and bamboozled defenders a-plenty.
36. Anthony Martial
Martial has a tendency to blow hot and cold, but the numbers show that this has been his most productive season at Old Trafford.
The Frenchman, who has usually been selected as a central striker with Marcus Rashford operating from the left, has scored 11 goals and provided the assist for three more.
35. John Fleck
Sheffield United have been the surprise package of the Premier League season. Widely tipped for relegation at the start of it, they're now competing for Champions League qualification.
Fleck is the heartbeat of Chris Wilder's side. The left-footed midfielder sets the tempo for the Blades, while his five goals make him their joint-most productive player.
34. Harry Kane
Ruled out for the remainder of the season in January, Kane is now expected to play again in 2019/20 after the Premier League's three-month hiatus.
The Tottenham striker has scored 11 goals in his 20 top-flight outings so far, while simultaneously continuing to add to his attacking repertoire. Indeed, Kane's passing is now among his most impressive attributes.
33. Aaron Wan-Bissaka
The £50m Manchester United paid Crystal Palace for Wan-Bissaka last summer looks like money well spent. The right-back has enhanced his reputation this season and must now be regarded as the Premier League's best one-on-defender.
Wan-Bissaka has improved his attacking qualities too, although he will be keen to add to his two assists once the season resumes.
32. Emiliano Buendia
Norwich may be bottom of the Premier League, but they've acquitted themselves well this season. Daniel Farke spent very little last summer, instead opting to stick with the players who got the Canaries promoted in 2018/19.
Buendia has benefited from that decision. The Argentinian has dazzled in an attacking midfield role, providing seven assists and fashioning many more chances for his team-mates.
Willian's Chelsea career is coming to an end, and he could well be plying his trade with one of the club's London rivals next season.
The Brazilian will be keen to go out on a high, and he was certainly going about things the right way before the campaign was put on hold: Willian has five goals and five assists to his name so far in 2019/20.
30. Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Tim Cahill is one of the best headers of a ball in Premier League history, and Calvert-Lewin seems to have been studying the former Everton man closely.
The Sheffield-born striker has scored 13 goals in 27 Premier League games this term, four of which have been with his head. He's also impressed with his movement and hold-up play.
Rodri required little adaptation time following his move from Atletico Madrid to Manchester City last summer, despite the vast differences between the club's styles of play.
Composed on the ball and aggressive without it, the holding midfielder has seamlessly slotted into Pep Guardiola's midfield this season.
28. Raul Jimenez
Wolves won't be regretting their decision to sign Jimenez permanently one bit. The Mexico international has enjoyed a wonderful season to date as Nuno Espirito Santo attempts to take his team into the Champions League.
Jimenez has scored 13 goals and registered six assists so far this season. Adept at linking up with his fellow forwards, Wolves' focal point is one of their most important players.
27. Tammy Abraham
After firing Aston Villa to promotion last season, Abraham returned to parent club Chelsea ahead of 2019/20. Handed the No.9 shirt by Frank Lampard, he hasn't disappointed as the Blues' go-to centre-forward.
That status may change with the impending arrival of Timo Werner, but Abraham's record of 13 goals in 25 games underlines his importance to Chelsea right now.
26. Harry Maguire
Manchester United made Maguire the most expensive defender of all time when they paid £80m for his services last summer. A few shaky moments aside, the England international has enjoyed a positive first season at Old Trafford.
Strong in the air and comfortable on the ball, Maguire has helped United post the Premier League's fourth-best defensive numbers so far this term.
25. Roberto Firmino
In the past, it would have been unthinkable for the best team in the country to be content with a striker with eight goals (all away from home) in 29 games. But Jurgen Klopp wouldn't swap Firmino for anyone.
The Brazilian is first and foremost a facilitator, dropping deep to free up space for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to dart into. A selfless worker off the ball, he's one of the Premier League's most creative players on it.
Richarlison has played on both wings and through the middle this season, and he's performed well in all three positions.
Signed twice by Marco Silva, the Brazilian has continued to shine under Carlo Ancelotti. His physicality poses a problem for defenders, and he's made the net bulge 10 times so far.
23. James Maddison
Maddison was Leicester's star man in the early weeks of the campaign, with Brendan Rodgers' side tipped for a title tilt at one point.
The attacking midfielder's numbers are perhaps a little less eye-catching than you might expect - six goals and three assists - but that doesn't diminish the quality of his displays this term.
22. Oliver Norwood
Oliver Norwood missed out on playing Premier League football for Fulham and Brighton, as both were promoted but didn't want to take the Northern Ireland international with them.
Norwood has taken to the Prem like a duck to water, though. His in-swinging balls and high work ethic have typified Sheffield United's glorious season and he's been one of their standout performers.
21. Dean Henderson
David de Gea signed a new contract at Manchester United earlier this season, but his status at the club's No.1 is under threat from within.
Henderson has been magnificent on loan at Sheffield United this season, conceding only 22 goals and keeping 10 clean sheets.
20. Ricardo Pereira
If Trent Alexander-Arnold is the Premier League's best right-back, Pereira is probably No.2. The Portuguese has enjoyed another fine season at Leicester and looks set to be rewarded with a top-four finish.
A key part of Leicester's attack, Pereira routinely takes up advanced positions and contributes in the final third. But he's also a sound defender and is difficult to get past one-on-one.
19. Andrew Robertson
He's been overshadowed by Trent Alexander-Arnold to an extent, but Robertson is in the midst of another fantastic season at Liverpool.
The Scot's rampaging runs down the wing have resulted in him setting up seven goals in the Premier League. In 2019/20 Robertson has enhanced his claim to be Europe's leading left-back.
18. Joao Moutinho
Moutinho may not be as eye-catching as some of his Wolves colleagues, but he's surely one of the first names on Nuno's team sheet.
The midfield metronome is usually at the heart of everything positive that Wolves do. He rarely over-complicates matters, combining elegance with efficiency alongside Ruben Neves in the engine room.
17. Wilfred Ndidi
Leicester fans were no doubt worried about how they could replace N'Golo Kante in 2016, but Ndidi has done a masterful job of filling that void.
He's not quite as busy and all-action as Kante, but the Nigerian is similarly accomplished at snuffing out opposition attacks. A fine reader of the game, he's usually in the right place at the right time.
16. Danny Ings
After injuries threatened to derail his career, Ings has come back with a bang at Southampton this season.
The ex-Liverpool striker has notched 15 goals for a team that has spent much of 2019/20 in and around the relegation zone. Only four players have found the net more often.
15. Raheem Sterling
Sterling hasn't been quite as good in 2019/20 as he was in 2018/19, but make no mistake: the Manchester City man is still one of the best wide forwards in world football.
Interestingly, Sterling has scored 11 goals but provided just one assist this season, demonstrating that he is now more converter than creator.
14. Sergio Aguero
In Pep Guardiola's first season at Manchester City, Aguero's future was up in the air. Yet he remains at the Etihad three years on and has somehow become an even better player in that time.
Aguero has scored 16 goals this season at a ridiculous rate of 1.03 per 90 minutes. When the Argentinian gets the ball in the penalty area, you might as well cross your fingers and pray.
13. Son Heung-min
Whether he starts out wide or in a central attacking role, Son is a constant threat to opposition backlines.
The South Korea international, who recently completed his military service back home, has registered nine goals and seven assists in 2019/20. He's also one of the most two-footed players in the division.
12. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Out of contract in 2021, this could be Aubameyang's final season as an Arsenal player unless he agrees a new deal with the club.
The former Borussia Dortmund forward has carried the Gunners at times; indeed, his 17 strikes mean he's responsible for 42.5% of the goals his team have scored in 2019/20.
11. Trent Alexander-Arnold
There aren't many players in the history of the game who have regularly run games from right-back. Yet Alexander-Arnold has made that a habit this season.
The England international is Liverpool's primary creative force, and only one player in the Premier League has provided more assists in 2019/20. Alexander-Arnold is redefining the role of right-back - and he's still only 21.
10. Marcus Rashford
Rashford has come of age this season - both on and off the pitch. Having long been tipped to play as a centre-forward, the 22-year-old has instead thrived from the left in United's youthful attack.
Rashford has found the net 14 times in 22 matches and will now have the chance to add to that tally after recovering from injury.
9. Jack Grealish
Without Grealish in their side, Aston Villa may well already be preparing for life back in the Championship. The club captain has been magnificent throughout this season; if Dean Smith's side do avoid the drop, they will owe a debt of gratitude to the aspiring England international.
Grealish has scored seven goals and laid on another six in 2019/20. No player in the division is more important to their team.
8. Adama Traore
Traore's ability has been clear for several years now, but it's taken until this term for the winger to knit everything together.
Deployed as both a wing-back and a forward, Traore has combined his searing pace and dribbling skills with a new-found consistency of end product. Four goals and seven assists tells its own story.
7. Jordan Henderson
This has been the season in which Henderson has finally shaken off the critics that have been present throughout his Liverpool career.
The England international has been tremendous as the beating heart in Jurgen Klopp's team. Often lauded for his leadership, his driving runs, range of passing and unrelenting energy have been just as praiseworthy this campaign.
6. Virgil van Dijk
A peerless performer, Van Dijk is perhaps the biggest reason why Liverpool are now the best team in England. The Dutchman has enjoyed another immaculate campaign at Anfield, keeping opposition attackers at bay seemingly without even breaking sweat.
Van Dijk is not only the best centre-back in world football right now; he's also on his way to being considered the greatest in Premier League history.
5. Jamie Vardy
Any pre-season suggestions that Vardy might be about to slow down have been emphatically dismissed by the 33-year-old, who remains as sharp as ever as Leicester's spearhead.
Vardy still retains his pace but has restricted some of his movements this season in a bid to reserve energy for the moments that count. It's worked a treat: no one has scored more than his 19 goals.
4. Mohamed Salah
Salah's spectacular debut season at Liverpool sent expectations through the roof. He's therefore not received as much praise as he should have done this campaign.
The Egypt international is again among the division's leading scorers, having introduced ball to net 16 times. His six assists suggest he's less selfish than his detractors would have you believe.
3. Riyad Mahrez
Not always a guaranteed starter - eight of his 23 outings have come from the bench - Mahrez has nonetheless been one of City's best performers this season.
The silky Algerian has contributed seven goals and eight assists to the cause in 2019/20. A skilful dribbler, he possesses one of the best left foots in the league.
2. Sadio Mane
In a crowded field, Mane has been Liverpool's best player this season. The Senegalese possesses searing pace, a powerful shot and intelligent movement, a blend of qualities that make him one of the world's preeminent forwards.
Mane has 14 goals and seven assists to his name in 2019/20, which he will end with a league winner's medal around his neck for the first time since he left Red Bull Salzburg.
1. Kevin De Bruyne
Liverpool are 25 points clear of Manchester City and have undoubtedly been the Premier League's best team this season. Yet despite that, De Bruyne has been the division's standout performer so far.
The Belgium international has scored six goals and provided a league-high 16 assists in his 26 appearances to date. De Bruyne can shoot, pass, tackle and cross exceptionally well with both feet, making him the Premier League's - and perhaps the world's - most complete footballer.
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