Liverpool and Arsenal are both missing their main man while Manchester United’s highest-rated player is no longer Casemiro…
Here’s every side’s best player so far according to WhoScored’s ratings, ruling out those who have played just a few minutes.
Arsenal: Gabriel Jesus – 7.59
Even before the injury, the goals had dried up somewhat – scoring fewer goals than 18 other players was never the plan – but his overall contribution remained exemplary. Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka have all scored more but Jesus beats players, wins fouls and bizarrely, rather a lot of headers.
Aston Villa: Emiliano Martinez – 6.84
The World Cup winner and pantomime villain heads a list of slim pickings at Aston Villa despite not even having a particularly good season.
Bournemouth: Marcus Tavernier – 6.94
Has a whole four Premier League assists and a decent amount of credit in the bank to suggest his first top-flight season might not be his last. Dango Ouattara is off to a decent start, with 6.96 average in his first two appearances.
Brentford: Ivan Toney – 7.32
Thirteen Premier League goals in just 19 games. Was it ever going to be anybody else?
Brighton: Solly March – 7.15
Scores, creates, tackles, works damned hard. While other Seagulls were linked with moves away, Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi believes March is in the same bracket: “Mac Allister, Caicedo? All people understand Mac Allister and Caicedo are two big players and I would like the people to understand that March too is a big player.”
Chelsea: Kepa – 7.22
The statistics show that Kepa has saved his club from conceding more goals than any other keeper this season. Which is an astonishing revival. And how ludicrous that nobody else has been more impressive for an expensively assembled Chelsea?
Crystal Palace: Joachim Anderson and Wilfried Zaha – 6.87
Zaha is still Palace top scorer with six Premier League goals while Andersen has kept it together at the back. Eberechi Eze (6.86) is pushing both close.
Everton: James Tarkowski – 6.96
Even before Sean Dyche turned up to get the old band back together, Tarkowski was sticking his head on whatever was hurled towards the Everton box.
Fulham: Aleksandar Mitrovic – 7.20
Only Harry Kane and Erling Haaland have taken more shots in the Premier League, with Mitro scoring with 11 of them.
Leeds United: Pascal Struijk – 6.91
One of the low-key successes of Jesse Marsch’s doomed tenure was Struijk’s conversion into a decent left-back who is defensively stout while still being comfortable on the ball. Two goals and an assist help the algorithm too. Still, Struijk is probably happy to move back into the middle now Max Wober is around.
Leicester City: James Maddison – 7.29
Eight goals and four assists is quite the record from 15 games and the Foxes miss him badly when he’s not available. Which is likely to become more of a problem since he would probably quite like to leave for a better club now, thank you.
Liverpool: Luis Diaz – 7.28
In a sea of at-best mediocrity, Diaz has been less culpable than most. He conjured three goals and two assists from just seven Premier League starts and Liverpool have missed him terribly.
Manchester City: Erling Haaland – 7.69
Just the 25 Premier League goals. Ridiculous.
Manchester United: Bruno Fernandes – 7.32
Fernandes has replaced Casemiro at the top of United’s list, with the Brazilian’s red card on Saturday not going down well with the algorithms. Five goals and four assists this season for Bruno, the team skipper if not yet the club captain.
Newcastle United: Kieran Trippier – 7.68
Bruno Guimaraes might want a word but Trippier plays in the Premier League’s meanest defence while simultaneously creating chance upon chance. What a signing for a club forcing talk of a Big Seven sooner than expected.
Nottingham Forest: Serge Aurier – 6.94
Forest have lost only two of the 11 Premier League games started by the veteran Ivory Coast full-back. Tackles like a full-back, clears the ball like a centre-back. Scoring the equaliser v Chelsea as a lovely bonus.
Southampton: James Ward-Prowse – 6.94
Tottenham: Harry Kane – 7.50
Just the 17 Premier League goals this season and still no chance of winning the Golden Boot. He will have to console himself with other landmarks and records.
West Ham: Declan Rice – 6.94
No Premier League goals or assists since mid-October as West Ham have slumped. But Rice is still going about his job of winning the ball in the middle of the pitch.
Wolves: Ruben Neves – 7.01
Nobody at Wolves has scored more goals, made more tackles or made more interceptions. Somebody give him a hand FFS.