It’s no surprise to see Dimitri Payet and Mesut Ozil make our list for the top 10 Premier League performers at Euro 2016 so far, but numbers six and four might come as something of a shock….
Using the help of Whoscored’s statistics, we’ve compiled a list of the Premier League’s best performers in France so far – and you won’t be hugely shocked to see a number of Welshman make the list.
Just imagine if we still had Gareth Bale too……
10. Joe Allen, Wales (average rating: 7.33)
The Liverpool man might find himself nothing more than squad man under Jurgen Klopp, but there’s no doubting his value for his country after a string of impressive performances in the Wales engine room.
Allen, who might find himself surplus to requirements at Anfield this summer, has played in all but 16 minutes for Chris Coleman’s side this summer, given suitors a reminder of his qualities and why he was once branded (by Brendan Rodgers) as the Welsh Xavi.
9. Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland (average rating: 7.38)
A goal of the tournament contender in the last-16 clash with Poland wasn’t quite enough to help Switzerland progress into the last eight as they were eliminated on penalties, meaning we’ll not see any more of the man once dubbed the Alpine Messi.
But the player can at least return to Stoke this summer with his head held high… and with team-mate Peter Crouch’s approval.
I’m glad shaqiri has been watching me in training 😉
— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) June 25, 2016
8. Ben Davies, Wales (average rating: 7.49)
The second Welshman on the list, Davies has been playing on the left-hand side of the Dragons’ three-man central defence, which, alongside James Chester (we’ll come to him later) has outperformed the rock at the heart of their backline, Ashley Williams (7.07 average rating).
Should Danny Rose (6.98 rating at Euro 2016) be concerned about his starting spot at Spurs next season?
7. Aaron Ramsey, Wales (average rating: 7.50)
He might be fiercely Welsh, and also have dyed his hair a rotten colour, but one goal and two assists in four games tells you everything you need to know about Ramsey’s importance.
Having been tipped to make an impact at the tournament by Arsene Wenger, the Frenchman will now hope Ramsey can bring some of his form back with him to the Emirates after an indifferent campaign for the Gunners last time around.
6. Lukasz Fabianski, Poland (average rating: 7.54)
Seen as something of a calamity keeper during his time with Arsenal, Fabianski has grown in confidence and maturity since moving to Swansea. Having ousted Premier League rivals Wojciech Szczesny and Artur Boruc for the No 1 jersey for his country, he’s rewarded the Poles by keeping three clean sheets in four games, with only Shaqiri’s unbelievable effort breaching his ranks so far.
To put his performances into perspective, the next highest rated keeper so far in France in Gigi Buffon (average rating 7.17) – and most people know exactly how good he’s been so far.
5.Mesut Ozil, Germany (average rating: 7.56)
Labelled as nothing more than ‘an assist king’ by our readers, it may surprise you to learn the Arsenal star has created just one goal so far for Die Mannschaft. In fact, Ozil makes the list after some impressive all-round stats for Germany thus far.
Playing alongside Julian Draxler and Thomas Muller in the three behind Mario Gomez, Ozil might not have grabbed the headlines so far, but there’s no doubting his effectiveness and importance for the second favourites.
4. James Chester, Wales (average rating: 7.71)
Wales’ second-best performer behind Gareth Bale (8.33), Chester’s displays may have come as something as a surprise given his lack of a look-in in his favoured position at West Brom. Used in a variety of positions by Tony Pulis (namely as left-back) Chester has been an absolute rock at the back for Chris Coleman’s side, winning an average of 2.5 aerials per game and making numerous important tackles and interceptions.
With Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley the preferred centre-half options for West Brom, Pulis may want to think about playing Chester centrally for the Baggies next season….
3. Dimitri Payet, France (average rating: 8.17)
No surprise given this man’s performances for the host nation so far, or the fact that another day brings with it another cash-rich European suitor join his growing list of admirers.
Two goals, one assist and some unbelievable performances have seen Payet rightly selected as most oberservers’ stand-out player of the tournament so far.
His rise to prominence for club and country over the past 12 months makes Marseille’s decision to allow him to leave for just £10.7million one of the biggest transfer misjudgements of recent years.
2. Eden Hazard, Belgium (average rating: 8.22)
The revitalisation of Hazard has been as pleasurable to watch as it has been frustrating, given his woeful performances for Chelsea last term.
Hazard arrived in France, having pretty much spent the majority of last season failing to get out of second gear, and it seems his half-baked efforts for the Blues are paying rich rewards for the Red Devils.
With one (brilliant) goal, three assists, is it any surprise to see Real Madrid back lurking around the Belgium playmaker once again?
1. Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium (average rating: 8.35)
Not just the Premier League’s best performer in France, the tournament’s best player in France so far, according to whoscored.com’s stats.
After a stellar first season with Man City, the £55million they spent on him last summer already looks an astute piece of business, and for all the struggles of his club mates, Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling, in France, De Bruyne at least can return to Manchester this summer safe in the knowledge that his place in Pep Guardiola’s side is as good as guaranteed.
The two-month injury absence of De Bruyne was blamed by some as a factor in Man City’s title failure last season. If they can keep him fit for the majority of this coming term, it’s more than fair to assume the Belgian will again be key for City’s trophy hopes.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with the new free-to-download WhoScored iOS app.