The Most amazing 5 players. We are approaching the final matchday of the Premier League season after a crazy 249 days and 370 matches. In which the truly unpredictable became the norm.
Even though the title decides and the relegation battle was ended somewhat prematurely. There is still a lot to play for in each of the three European competitions.
The Football Writers’ Association, on the other hand, had the foresight to announce their Footballer of the Year. In that vein, here are the five players who stood out the most during the Premier League’s 2020/21 season:
5) İlkay Gündoğan
lkay Gündoan gets a spot in our list ahead of the likes of Jack Grealish, Mason Mount, and Luke Shaw. Which is a little controversial (although there will inevitably be debates at every position).
On paper, 11 of Gündoan’s 13 league goals came in that incredible run between December 15 and February 13, leading many to believe he has been inconsistent this season.
However, it’s important to look beyond the numbers to determine why the German midfielder scored so many goals in this particular period of the season.
The answer is simple: Manchester City was without Kevin De Bruyne at the time due to injury, and with their striker-less system in full swing. Gündoan promoted to a more attacking midfield role.
He still had to get the job done, and boy did he do it in style, scoring 11 goals in ten games. Displaying his incredible footballing intelligence as his late runs to the edge of the box often paid off handsomely for his team.
In the rest of his 28 league appearances, Gündoan has played in a less glamorous role deeper in midfield. Which has kept him out of the spotlight.
He continued to perform at a high level throughout the season. Averaging 61.2 passes with a 91.7 percent accuracy while also contributing defensively with 1.6 tackles and interceptions.
If anything, Gündoan’s stints at both ends of midfield demonstrated his incredible versatility and adaptability, bolstering his case for inclusion on this list. The Most amazing 5 players.
4) Mohamed Salah
Liverpool’s season has been disappointing, but they still have a realistic chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season, and Mohamed Salah deserves a lot of credit for that.
While Liverpool’s defensive injuries spilled over into attack this season. Causing midfielders to drag out of their natural positions, their attackers were not particularly good either.
Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino, and Diogo Jota have scored fewer than ten league goals this season, with the latter frequently sidelined due to injuries. At the same time, the other two developed an acute case of failing to take big chances, underperforming their xG by a league-high 5.5 and a marginally more respectable 3.6, respectively.
On the other hand, Salah has continued to shine with a league-leading 22 goals and an unrivaled xG of 20.7. Without his goals, Liverpool would be way down in 12th in the league as they have been worth 21 points overall.
Despite a hat-trick and three braces, the Egyptian forward has been remarkably consistent. With his longest goal drought in the league lasting only four games.
Salah has clearly played a key role in helping Liverpool salvage what has otherwise been a disastrous season. And he has to include it in this list based on that alone.
3) Bruno Fernandes
If Salah is vital to Liverpool, Manchester United would have been as dumb in attack this season without Bruno Fernandes as ten theoretical physicists talking string theory.
The Portuguese midfielder’s 18 goals and 12 assists account for 42.25 percent of his team’s league goals. Making him the competition’s second-highest individual contributor.
While it is true that he has scored half of his goals from the penalty spot. It is important to remember that converting spot-kicks is by no means an easy task (just ask Man City). Fernandes is one of the best in the world at it, with a 90 percent conversion rate this season thanks to his refined technique.
The underlying figures for the ex-Sporting player are also extremely impressive. He has nine goals on 7.8 npxG (non-penalty xG) and 12 assists on 11 xA. Demonstrating that he is scoring and generating chances at a high rate.
His standing as United’s most progressive passer and progressive pass receiver highlights the lack of support he has gotten in midfield. Where he has frequently assumed practically whole responsibility for his team’s attacking duty. A fact emphasized by the fact that he has not missed a single league game, starting only two.
Fernandes was awarded Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year at United for the second year in a row, and that should tell you all you need to know about his value to the club. The Most amazing 5 players.
2) Harry Kane
Only one of Tottenham Hotspur’s own (for the time being) – Harry Kane – has scored as many league goals as Salah and has a larger influence in his team’s triumphs in front of the opposition net.
This season, the English striker has been spectacular, leading the league in goals scored with 22 and assisting with 13 and assisting on a remarkable 70.31 percent of Spurs’ goals.
Kane’s consistency has been outstanding this season. As he has never gone more than two games without scoring or providing an assist.
Although there has been a modest overperformance in both metrics. Where his projected totals are 19.9 and 7.3, we may thank José Mourinho for that.
In 34 Premier League starts, he averaged 3.9 shots, 1.4 crucial passes, and as many dribbles per match. Indicating that he has worked hard enough to achieve these stats. He did benefit from the Spurs’ early-season xG overperformance run.
In any case, Kane has done a wonderful job in an otherwise dismal squad. And he would have been the top player in most seasons. But, not this one, as his future teammate has outshined everyone else.
1) Rúben Dias
We started our list with a Man City player and will finish it with a title-winning guy. In accord with the FWA, Ruben Dias is the clear standout player of this Premier League season.
It doesn’t get much better than this in terms of fresh signings. Dias joined a Manchester City defense that was in complete chaos. Pep Guardiola had one of the strongest backlines in Europe at his disposal when he slipped in.
The Portuguese international has established himself as a leader among men in a squad that features Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, and Raheem Sterling, to mention a few. He has marshaled a defense that has seen the likes of John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Joo Cancelo resurgent thanks in part to his influence.
Manchester City has only conceded 21 goals while preserving 14 clean sheets, seven of which were back-to-back, with him on the pitch.
Dias is also a natural passer, averaging 84.4 passes per game with a 93.2 percent accuracy rate that no one else in the league can equal.
Dias isn’t supposed to be average but transforming a once-helpless defense in your first season overseas. While being eligible for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award isn’t either. The Most amazing 5 players.