Forget the usual headline makers, TEAMtalk takes a look at 10 players who have caught the eye this season who we may not have otherwise expected to shine.
- Hector Bellerin. It’s often all about Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal, but Hector Bellerin has established himself as one of the best full-backs in the world this season.
2. Gerard Deulofeu. He looked lightweight at times during his first stint at Everton, but Deulofeu has emerged as one of the Premier League’s most creative players and has developed a telepathic understanding with Romelu Lukaku.
3. Manuel Lanzini. We didn’t know what to expect from the Argentine when he joined West Ham this summer, but he’s settled into the Premier League quickly. He’s nicknamed the ‘Jewell’ and we can see why.
4. Jack Butland. With Asmir Begovic moving to Chelsea in the summer, Butland has really taking his chance with both hands and has arguably been the Premier League’s best goalkeeper this season. Will push Joe Hart hard for England’s No 1 spot if he continues as he has.
5. Matt Ritchie. Impressed for Bournemouth last season, but there’s always that element of doubt when a player steps up to the Premier League. Ritchie has, however, impressed, although we’re not sure he’s quite yet of Manchester United calibre.
6. Dele Alli. From League One to near-certainty in England’s Euro 2016 squad. Hands up all those who expected Alli to have such a huge impact in such a short space of time at Spurs?
7. Odion Ighalo. Looked good in the Championship, but has truly excelled in the Premier League. Plenty of kudos to Troy Deeney though – and the management of Quique Sanchez Flores – for getting the best out of the Nigerian.
8. Chris Smalling. Another where we wish we could have been wise with hindsight. How many of you knew that Chris Smalling wouldn’t just be Manchester United’s best defender, but the Premier League’s best defender this season?
9. Alberto Moreno. Rejuvenated under Jurgen Klopp, but we’re not fans of the way his agent has touted him as a contender to join Real Madrid, given he probably owes Liverpool a degree of loyalty first.
10. Jamie Vardy. Premier League goalscoring records, England caps, a possible movie about his rise to super-stardom, there’d not have been a soul in the universe who could have predicted the Vardy success story this season.
Is there anyone you feel we’ve missed? Let us know in the Your Say box below.