This Premier League season has been one of the most exciting seasons in recent years. It has been a season filled with impressive individual performances and surprising results. Defending champions Manchester United have had a shockingly bad season and currently sit in seventh position after a 3-0 defeat to great rivals Liverpool on March 16th. While United are not contending for the title for the first time in decades, the title race has nonetheless been very exciting. Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and surprisingly Liverpool have emerged as the top teams vying to be champions. Coinciding with such an exciting season have been several notable performers. Despite losing last season’s Premier League Player of the Year, Gareth Bale, in the summer, the league has had no shortage of great players this season. This article lists the best 11 players in the Premier League so far this season. The team would be set up in a 4-3-3- formation.
If the season ended today, this would probably be the team of the season and would be quite a formidable team. The top three players on the list are the frontrunners for Premier League Player of the Year. Unsurprisingly the list is composed of players whose teams are near the top of the league table. The list has four players from league leaders Chelsea, four players from surprise second placed Liverpool, two players from title favorites Manchester City and one player from eighth placed Southampton.
11. Petr Cech – G – Chelsea
Petr Cech has undeniably been the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. He has been the last line of defence on a team that has allowed the fewest goals this season. In 30 Premier League games this season, Chelsea have only allowed 23 goals. Cech is a huge reason why and the ever present keeper has managed to keep 13 clean sheets along the way. At 6 ft 5, Cech is a commanding presence in Chelsea’s penalty box and his height and reach make his shot-stopping one of the highlights of his game, regularly pulling off world-class saves. The 31 year old keeper will unfortunately miss the upcoming World Cup in Brazil as the Czech Republic failed to qualify.
10. Branislav Ivanovic – RB – Chelsea
Another main reason why Chelsea possess the stingiest defence in the Premier League is their imposing right back, Branislav Ivanovic. The 6 ft 2 defender is versatile enough to play in the center of defence or on the right as he has done all season. Ivanovic is highly dependable and very strong in the air. His deployment at right back has also been beneficial in an attacking sense. Apart from just defending, Ivanovic can be regularly seen marauding forward with purpose on the right flank. In 28 league appearances this season, Ivanovic has scored three goals and has contributed one assist. Unfortunately he is another Chelsea standout performer who will not be playing in the World Cup this summer.
9. Vincent Kompany – CB – Manchester City
The Premier League team that has conceded the second fewest goals so far is Manchester City. In 27 league games they have conceded 27 goals. The one consistent performer at the back for Manchester City has been their captain and leader Vincent Kompany. Despite spending huge amounts of money on their squad, City have not found a consistent center back partner for Kompany this season, while goalkeeper Joe Hart has been shaky. Despite letting in several soft goals this season, City are in a position to win the Premier League and their defence has been underrated, while Kompany has been the most reliable player. The big Belgian has played 18 of the 27 league games and has even scored three goals so far.
8. John Terry – CB – Chelsea
The leader of the Premier League’ stingiest defence is the Chelsea captain John Terry. After having an injury hit season in 2012/2013, Terry has been a commanding presence at the heart of the Chelsea defence. Terry has been the inspiration behind Chelsea’s back line and he has probably been the best defender in the Premier League this season. One of Terry’s many strengths is his ability in the air and this has helped him score important goals for Chelsea at the other end. Terry has scored two goals and has one assist in 28 games so far this season.
7. Luke Shaw – LB – Southampton
Luke Shaw has had a sensational season so far. The 18 year old has come out of nowhere to possibly being the starting left back for England in the 2014 World Cup. Shaw has been a regular in a surprise Southampton team this season, as he has started in 27 of their 30 league games. Shaw’s performances have been so consistent that he has been linked to almost every big team in England this season. Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all have had issues at left back this season and Shaw has been linked with a summer switch to all those teams throughout the season. Shaw’s lack of experience may prevent him from being England’s starting left back this upcoming World Cup, but it would be a surprise if he did not at least warrant a spot on the bench.
6. Jordan Henderson – CM – Liverpool
One of the major story lines of the Premier League season has been the title challenge of Liverpool. A major reason behind Liverpool’s resurgence has been the improvement of Jordan Henderson. After Henderson signed with Liverpool for 16 million GBP from Sunderland in 2011, he struggled mightily. This season he has been the most consistent midfielder on the team and he has played in virtually every minute of Liverpool’ 29 league games this season. He has shown great versatility, has played in a number of positions and his energy has been essential to Liverpool’s success. Henderson has scored three goals and has also provided six assists so far. He has forced his way into the England squad and should feel aggrieved if he is not awarded a starting spot in Brazil.
5. Steven Gerrard – CM – Liverpool
Even at the age of 33, Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League this season. Gerrard has had to adapt to playing a deeper midfield position but the change has not impacted his influence on the team. In 25 games this season, Gerrard has scored ten goals and provided nine assists. Liverpool have scored the most goals from set pieces and penalties this season and Gerrard is the main reason why. His set piece deliveries are the best in the league and he has converted eight out of nine penalties so far this season. Playing in a deeper role has allowed Gerrard to conserve more energy and this could insure he remains a fixture of the Liverpool team for years to come.
4. Yaya Toure – CM – Manchester City
The driving force behind Manchester City’s title challenge has been their midfield giant Yaya Toure. The 6 ft 3 Ivorian international has had a stellar campaign this season. In 26 league games so far, Toure has scored thirteen goals and has also provided five assists. Manchester City have scored the second most goals in the Premier League this season and Toure is second on the team behind Sergio Aguero in that department. When Toure arrived at City from Barcelona, he was known as a defensive midfielder who could operate as a central defender. His stint at City has shown that he is more than capable of scoring goals and this season has been his most prolific.
3. Eden Hazard – LW – Chelsea
Chelsea have not been as prolific in front of goal compared to their main rivals Manchester City and Liverpool this season. That is due to the disappointing performances of their strikers. Their leading scorer has been attacking midfielder Eden Hazard. In 30 games so far this season, Hazard has scored 13 goals and has also chipped in with 7 assists. Hazard is only 23 years old and the Belgian international has drawn comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi this season. He has stood out as the best player for Chelsea this season and he is one of the leading contenders for Player of the Year. The one thing against Hazard’s bid to win the award is that he has not been the Premier League Player of the Month in any single month this season.
2. Daniel Sturridge – ST – Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge is not expected to win the Premier League Player of the Year award, but his performances warrant stronger consideration. He has won the Premier League Player of the Month award twice already this season. He is second in the league with 18 goals and he has scored those goals in only 21 games. At one point, he scored in eight consecutive appearances which has only been eclipsed by Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2003/2004. Sturridge has also been an effective provider of goals as he has six assists. His partnership with Luis Suarez has been the best in the league and a major reason why Liverpool have scored the most goals so far. When Suarez was suspended at the start of the season, it was Sturridge who led Liverpool to three straight 1-0 victories with important goals in each game.
1. Luis Suarez – RW – Liverpool
The best player in the Premier League this season has been Luis Suarez. He has cleaned up his disciplinary issues and put all his energy into his play to great effect. Suarez leads the league in both goals and assists despite being suspended for the first five games of the season. In 24 games, he has scored 25 goals and provided 10 assists. It is a genuine surprise when he does not score a goal in a game. At the beginning of the season, Suarez was intent on leaving Liverpool and joining Arsenal, citing the lack of Champions League football. Liverpool refused to sell him and are a near certainty to be in the Champions League next season. They sit above Arsenal in the league table and defeated them by a score of 5-1 earlier this year. Suarez has been the catalyst for Liverpool’ offensive dominance this season and if they do win the title, he will be a major reason why.