While we wait for the Premier League to return on December 26, it’s worth reflecting on the early season’s standouts in the meanwhile. It was unlikely that Newcastle would finish in the top four, and even less likely that Arsenal would be ahead of Manchester City.
Those two chaotic agencies in the Premier League account for half of the players on this list. Up to this point, these ten players have been the season’s best.
Harry Kane has scored 12 goals in 15 games, which is the best start to a Premier League season in his career. Kane, who is on pace to score 30 goals in the Premier League this season (a feat accomplished only ten times in the last 30 years), isn’t playing second fiddle while Erling Haaland bows his violin until it smokes because the bar has been set so high.
There are others in the Newcastle team who benefit from the coaching and management, but Almiron stands out as the most glaring case. Where once opponents could breathe easy when the ball was at Almiron’s feet—knowing that, at most, he’d only end up beating one or two men—now, his possession of the ball causes widespread panic.
Although Almiron is the most egregious example, there are others on the Newcastle squad who have improved under the guidance of the coaching staff. When the ball was previously at Almiron’s feet, opponents could relax knowing that he would only have to beat one or two men. However, now that Almiron has improved as a player, his possession of the ball causes widespread panic.
It’s hard not to root for someone who’s clearly enjoying his football, even if he has been the punchline of a joke that has since become much funnier now that it has backfired on his mockers. He has scored some beautiful goals this season.
You heard it here first, the best central midfielder in Premier League history. Although many have displayed intelligence, what sets them apart is their consistent intelligence. With either foot, he can take a shot and score from wherever on the field. Whether they have the ball or not, he easily outpaces them.
Most remarkable, however, is his ridiculously good vision and passing, which allow him to spot openings and open teammates before we in the stands or at home can shout out our observations, and before his teammates realise they are open to receiving passes from him.
The numbers are clear and that might be discouraging. A certain “je ne sais quoi” is missing. Is there less cause for celebration because of his unbiased greatness? What if we could strip away the mechanics and see his genius through the cracks.
He probably doesn’t give a hoot that his presence in the Premier League has prompted a newfound existentialist outlook on the beautiful game. He will have plenty of opportunities to score goals and win while playing for Manchester City.