After a summer of ranking the continent’s top players at Euro 2016, FutbolPulse returns with a new series of Player Power Rankings for the Premier League.
This time around, with significantly more matches to be played and nobody getting knocked out, it should be much easier to write and hopefully more interesting to read.
After an opening weekend that gave us our first impressions of a huge list of new players, managers and teams, here is our top 20 players from the first round of fixtures.
- Anthony Martial (Manchester United)
- Adam Lallana (Liverpool)
- Martin Stekelenburg (Everton)
- Diego Costa (Chelsea)
20 – Leroy Fer (Swansea City)
Not only did Fer grab himself the only goal in Swansea’s 1-0 win over newcomers Burnley, the Dutchman absolutely bossed the midfield and showed why he could be such an important player in the Swans’ efforts to stay up.
19 – Curtis Davies (Hull City)
Davies was crucial in Hull’s incredible opening-day victory over reigning champions Leicester, helping his side keep hold of their one-goal lead in the dying moments of the game to complete the perfect start to their season.
18 – Sadio Mané (Liverpool)
Liverpool’s new big-money signing got off to a great start in his Liverpool career by scoring a great goal against Arsenal, but he was also fantastic in driving his side forward and got himself very involved in all of the Reds’ movements.
17 – Zlatan Ibrahimović (Manchester United)
There were doubts over whether the 34-year-old would be able to make the step up to the Premier League at such a late stage in his career, but he was able to provide everything Manchester United have been looking for up-front since Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign ended, with the 6’5″ target man creating chances and scoring a great goal on his Premier League debut.
16 – Daley Blind (Manchester United)
One of the more underrated performances of the weekend. While United’s new signing Eric Bailly stole the show at the back for the Red Devils, Blind did the dirty work which allowed the Ivorian to shine.
15 – Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)
While it may seem slightly unfair to have Cazorla in just 15th position considering he grabbed himself two assists, he did only play half an hour. If he can continue that type of performance every week for 90 minutes, he’ll soon be near the top of the rankings.
14 – Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United)
I never thought I’d be writing about Marouane Fellaini being one of the Premier League’s best players, especially when he’s playing as a holding midfielder, but credit must be given where credit is due, as the big Belgian was superb against Bournemouth.
13 – Étienne Capoue (Watford)
Capoue delivered the sort of performance against Southampton we used to see from Yaya Toure every week, scoring his side’s only goal and bullying the Southampton midfielders out of the game.
12 – Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City)
As well as scoring a beautiful free kick, Shaqiri was at the heart of everything Stoke had going forward, and the Swiss winger will be hoping to keep his form up in an attempt to improve on what was a disappointing first season.
11 – George Friend (Middlesborough)
Superb at the back for newly-promoted Middlesborough and brilliant bombing down the left wing, if George Friend can keep up this sort of form, I’m certain he will be vital for his side in their attempt to survive their first Premier League season in eight years.
10 – Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion)
Rondon continued exactly where he left off last season – scoring scrappy goals to give West Brom a 1-0 win – however he does seem to be the perfect player for a Tony Pulis side, and I can see him having a relatively successful season as long as his side doesn’t concede too many.
9 – Stephen Kingsley (Swansea City)
The 22-year-old left-back was superb against Burnley, doing a fantastic job of playing Andre Gray and George Boyd out of the game, and if he continues with that type of performance he could be crucial in the Swans’ efforts to restore some solidity to their back-line after the transfer of Ashley Williams.
8 – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Hazard will be looking to improve on his last campaign, but he certainly got off to a good start, scoring Chelsea’s first goal of the season against West Ham. Aside from that, he was at the heart of everything his team had going forward, and I think we can expect big things from the Belgian this year.
7 – Gastón Ramírez (Middlesborough)
Ramirez got himself his first assist of the season against Stoke as well as hitting the woodwork twice, and I think the Uruguayan will be looking to prove that the Premier League is where he belongs after his initial failed spell at Southampton.
6 – Eric Bailly (Manchester United)
It’s easy to get carried away quickly with new signings, as was the case with the likes of Memphis Depay last season, but it seems like Manchester United fans have a new hero in the form of Eric Bailly, who delivered what was a Vidic-esque performance against Bournemouth.
5 – Kyle Naughton (Swansea City)
While the whole of Swansea’s team played well, particularly their back four, there’s no doubt that Naughton was the star in what was an almost flawless display at the back.
4 – Łukasz Fabiański (Swansea City)
In my opinion, Fabianski was one of the most underrated goalkeepers in the league last season, and he got off to another superb start against Burnley. He could be what keeps his side up come the end of the season.
3 – Nathan Redmond (Southampton)
Redmond was a constant threat for Southampton throughout the game, and that paid off as he grabbed himself a debut goal. With the departures of Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle, there was significant pressure on Redmond to perform, and he’s certainly got off to a good start.
2 – Robert Snodgrass (Hull City)
Snodgrass was the difference for Hull in their victory over Leicester, scoring the winning goal and pulling the pants down off last year’s title-winning defensive line. Snodgrass is exactly the type of player Hull need at this time of insecurity.
1 – Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Whilst I am of the opinion that Coutinho can tend to be a bit of a one-trick pony, there can be no denying that he was absolutely box-office in Liverpool’s dramatic 4-3 win over Arsenal on Sunday. If he can keep it up, he’ll easily prove his doubters – including myself – to be extremely wrong.