The best player at every Premier League club, according to …


The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world and boasts almost unrivalled talent.

But who can lay the claim to being the best in the division, or at least the best at their respective clubs?

We asked football writers from up and down the country to nominate the best player at the teams they cover.

MAN CITY — KEVIN DE BRUYNE

As a team which is the essence of the word, picking a best player is almost heresy.

Poll Man City fans and the names David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and even Aymeric Laporte will be thrown at you.



Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City

But in Kevin De Bruyne they have a complete player — an ultimate competitor who runs and tackles for 90 minutes but who also breaks records for assisting goals as well as scoring plenty himself.

Stuart Brennan, MEN

LIVERPOOL — VIRGIL VAN DIJK

Virgil van Dijk is the best defender in the Premier League.

That isn’t an opinion, it’s a fact. The big Dutchman has transformed Liverpool’s backline since arriving in January 2018 for £75m from Southampton.

Big things were expected from Van Dijk, such was the fee and the transfer saga that came before it, but I don’t think anyone believed that he’d be quite as good as he turned out to be.



Van Dijk and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Just look at the facts, Liverpool now have the best defence in the Premier League, conceding just six goals at the time of writing.

Before Van Dijk arrived at the club that was just unthinkable. Jurgen Klopp’s defence was regularly ridiculed and seen, quite rightly, as the Reds’ Achilles heel.

Now it’s their biggest strength. And not just that, but Van Dijk has also become the vocal leader on the pitch that many fans felt the Reds have lacked since Jamie Carragher retired.

He’s a colossus, and there’s nobody better in the league.

Joe Rimmer, Liverpool Echo

CHELSEA — EDEN HAZARD

The Belgian has been one of the best players in the Premier League for some time now and has been one that Chelsea have leaned on when things get tough.

The talisman of the side, the 27-year-old is a constant threat and has started to add even more goals to his name under Maurizio Sarri. Skill, power and pace, Hazard really does have it all as an attacking force.



Chelsea’s Eden Hazard celebrates

The Premier League might not be graced with his presence too much longer though if Real Madrid come in big for him, with just 18 months left on his current contract.

Oliver Harbord, Football.London

TOTTENHAM — HARRY KANE

Who else but the England captain?

Even when he’s not playing at full throttle he’s a goal threat at all times.



Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane

Kane is having an below-par season for Tottenham by his own ridiculously high standards, but he’s still got 13 goals in 20 matches for his club.

How he managed to only finish 10th in the Ballon D’or standings is beyond me, particularly with his amazing goal tally for club and country over the past year, not to mention finishing as the top scorer at the World Cup in Russia.

Alasdair Gold, Football.London

ARSENAL — LUCAS TORREIRA

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may be leading the Premier League goalscoring charts, but there is no doubt that Arsenal’s player of the season so far is Lucas Torreira.

Aubameyang’s exploits in front of goal are certainly generating the headlines, but behind him Torreira is firmly establishing himself as the new darling of the Emirates.



Lucas Torreira of Arsenal

The impact the little Uruguayan has made since arriving from Sampdoria in the summer has been incredible, he is the type of midfielder Arsenal fans have been calling out for since the days of Vieria and Gilberto.

Sitting in front of the back four he provides a formidable screen for the defence. He may be small in stature, but he has the heart of energy of a lion.

He reads the game superbly which sees him constantly nipping in ahead of the opposition to win the ball back.

And, as he has demonstrated in recent weeks, he also has an eye for goal when he gets in and around the box. At just £27 million he is without doubt one of the bargains of the season.

Charles Watts, Football.London

MANCHESTER UNITED — PAUL POGBA

The Frenchman hasn’t been consistent this season, or under Jose Mourinho at all. But the sacking of the Portuguese has liberated Pogba, who was so impressive for France during the World Cup.

United have talent bursting at the seams with the likes of Anthony Martial, David De Gea and Marcus Rashford among others.



Paul Pogba of Manchester United

But a fully functioning Pogba is right up there with the Premier League’s best. We haven’t seen it all too often at Old Trafford, but there’s a sense that it’s now or never for the enigmatic star of social media to turn that ‘brand power’ into goals and assists on the pitch.

You don’t pay a fee verging on £100million for a player not capable of challenging the world’s elite.

Dominic Booth

EVERTON — RICHARLISON

Despite Everton “ruining the transfer window” according to one pundit to bring Richarlison to the club in the summer, he’s proven to be more than worth his fee.

The winger instantly has become the best player in the side with a fantastic blend of skill, pace and power — with the latter not something you’d usually expect from a Brazilian international.



Everton’s Brazilian striker Richarlison celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Watford at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 10, 2018. (LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

When he plays well, Everton play well.

And he’s only 21, too.

Adam Jones, Liverpool Echo

LEICESTER CITY — JAMIE VARDY

He may not be the best player technically, but there is no doubting how crucial Jamie Vardy is to Leicester City.

Vardy has now scored 93 goals for City in 247 games but it isn’t just his goals that makes him almost indispensable.



Jamie Vardy of Leicester City scores a penalty

The 31-year-old’s work rate and willingness to chase lost causes sets the tone for the whole side and his ability to play on the shoulder of the last defender always gives City an outlet.

The Foxes simply don’t have a striker who can fill the void when he isn’t playing.

Rob Tanner, Leicester Mercury

BOURNNEMOUTH — DAVID BROOKS

While David is still in his first season of Premier League football, he is already causing defences problems and fitted straight into Bournemouth’s team.

He has excellent vision in playing other players and has started scoring goals himself.



David Brooks celebrates scoring his first goal for Bournemouth

At 21 he has years a head of him to improve further and playing for the Welsh national team he will pick up more winger tips from Ryan Giggs, while he is already learning from one of the best young coaches around in Eddie Howe.

Peter Bell, Cherry Chimes

WATFORD — ETIENNE CAPOUE

The midfielder has certainly proven why he’s Watford’s most influential player this term.

Capoue has forged an excellent partnership with Abdoulaye Doucoure in midfield, with the latter taking a lot of the plaudits which have led to interest from the likes of Everton and Paris Saint-Germain.

However it’s Capoue who is the most integral to the way that Watford play, with the midfielder often occupying a role more suited to an NFL quarter-back as he sits deep and sprays the ball around the park.



Etienne Capoue of Watford runs with the ball against Leicester

Capoue is central to every piece of build-up play that the Hornets create, and we’ve seen that the team do struggle to play when he’s out of the side.

He might not be the highest profile name in the dressing room, but in terms of importance he’s got to be at the top of the list.

Phil Spencer, Football.London

WEST HAM — MARKO ARNAUTOVIC

It’s actually tough to make a case for who is the “best” player at the club as there are three standout candidates, with honourable mentions to the technically gifted Felipe Anderson and Lukasz Fabianski, who had been a rock in goal.

But in terms of all round game and being able to have an impact every time he steps out on the pitch then it’s Marko Arnautovic.



Marko Arnautovic of West Ham United

A revelation since former manager David Moyes deployed him as a centre forward, he ended up top scorer for the team last season despite only really figuring in the final six months of the campaign and netted five times under Manuel Pellegrini before he recently picked up an injury that will keep him out until 2019.

No-one has an impact on the team and the outcome of a game quite like the Austrian does.

Sam Inkersole, Football London

WOLVES — MATT DOHERTY

The Irish right wing-back is as consistent as they come — and, to Nuno Espirito Santo’s delight, has a knack of popping up in the right place, at the right time.

Doherty is Wolves’ second top scorer in the Premier League, with three at the time of writing.



Matt Doherty of Wolves wheels away after scoring a goal

The latest of those goals came right at the death at Newcastle on Sunday — bursting 70 yards up the pitch to head in on the rebound after Diogo Jota’s shot was saved by Martin Dubravka.

For all the money Wolves have spent over the past couple of years on players who, for the most part, have impressed in old gold, long-serving Doherty — signed in 2010 for £23,000 — is the one who has shone the brightest so far in the top flight.

Joe Edwards, Express & Star

BRIGHTON — LEWIS DUNK

Lewis Dunk has always been a powerful centre-back with the ability to play a bit and in the last couple of years has cut out occasional errors which had blighted his game.

This season he has added a couple of goals at set-pieces — and made his England debut.



Lewis Dunk of Brighton

It’s hard to compare his influence with, for example, a striker like Glenn Murray or right-back Bruno. But, like that veteran pair, Dunk is playing better than ever.

Brian Owen, The Argus

CARDIFF CITY — VICTOR CAMARASA

The search engines of Cardiff City fans got some use when Victor Camarasa signed on loan from Real Betis on deadline day in the summer, but the Spaniard has proven a superb aquisition.

Boasting ball skills rarely seen in a Bluebirds midfield in recent years, Camarasa has enabled Neil Warnock’s side to develop a more attractive style of play fitting for the Premier League.



Victor Camarasa of Cardiff City celebrates after scoring against Arsenal

He got Cardiff’s first goal of the campaign with a neat turn and emphatic finish against Arsenal and he’s become integral to the side already. Warnock would love to sign him permanently.

Dominic Booth, WalesOnline

CRYSTAL PALACE — WILFRIED ZAHA

No question, the best player at Crystal Palace is Wilfried Zaha.

Palace’s record when he is not in the side in recent years says all you need to know, with the Eagles not winning in the Premier League without him since September 2016.



Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha (left) celebrates scoring against Leicester

He is the Eagles’ talisman, and is one of the few players outside of the top six clubs who can win matches on their own with moments of magic.

He has been strongly linked with moves to the top sides, and it is understandable with his pace, skill and ability to take on — and beat — defenders.

Robert Warlow, Football.London

NEWCASTLE — MARTIN DUBRAVKA

When the Slovakia international first arrived in January, he was an almost complete unknown on Tyneside — but, less than a year on, he is arguably one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the Premier League.

Not only does he regularly keep Newcastle United in matches with a succession of excellent saves, his vocal nature and confidence with the ball at his feet has helped transform the way the Magpies play.



Martin Dubravka in the Newcastle United goalkeeper

Dubravka has been linked with a move to Juventus in recent weeks, and there is no doubt some of Europe’s top clubs will be taking notice of him now.

At 29 years of age he is coming into his prime as a goalkeeper and, considering Newcastle signed him for £4.5million following a £1.5m loan, they really have landed an absolute bargain.

Chris Waugh, Chronicle

BURNLEY — STEVEN DEFOUR

Steven Defour has made only six Premier League appearances since the end of January, and is currently out as a precaution with the knee which kept him out for nine months and saw him miss the World Cup.



Burnley’s Steven Defour

But you can’t look beyond the former Belgium international midfielder as Burnley’s best player — 52 caps as part of a his country’s golden generation says everything.

A former Manchester United target, who played at Porto, Defour makes the Clarets tick with a mix of silk and steel.

Chris Boden, Burnley Express

SOUTHAMPTON — MARIO LEMINA

With the absence of Danny Ings, Mario Lemina is starting to stand head and shoulders above the rest of Saints’ squad.

The midfielder is a dominating presence in the heart of midfield and has the ability to not only win the ball back, but to beat a player with it too.



Mario Lemina drives Southampton forward

In his most recent game against Cardiff (at the time of writing), Lemina would have impressed Ralph Hasenhuttl with his energetic display.

He just now needs to churn out these performances in a more consistent manner, which will elevate not only his standing at Saints, but also in the Premier League.

Dan Sheldon, Daily Echo

HUDDERSFIELD — CHRISTOPHER SCHINDLER

Huddersfield Town’s rock at the back, Christopher Schindler has become an icon in his two-and-a-half seasons with the Terriers.

The centre back was exceptional in Town’s 2016/17 promotion season from the Championship, after signing from 1860 Munich for a then-record fee of £1.8m and became a club legend with his winning penalty in the play-off final win over Reading at Wembley.



Christopher Schindler of Huddersfield Town

Since then, Schindler has settled into Premier League life with minimal fuss and was awarded the club’s Player of the Year award in his first season in the top flight of English football.

Rory Benson, Huddersfield Examiner

FULHAM — ALEKSANDR MITROVIC

You’d be hard pressed to find a better player at Fulham than Aleksandar Mitrovic at the moment.

Despite the club sitting at the bottom of the Premier League table he’s managed to bag seven goals — the same number as the likes of Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah this season.



Aleksandar Mitrovic of Fulham

His physicality causes untold problems for defenders while his work rate has been outstanding, mucking in with the defensive side of things as well as scoring the goals.

One pundit recently claimed he could walk into the Real Madrid team, and while that’s a huge push, he is certainly one of the best strikers in the division at the moment.


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Ryan O’Donovan, Football.London

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