It’s early days but as the Premier League heads for its second international break of the campaign, many pundits feel that the title race is already over. After just eight games, it may seem ridiculous to come to that conclusion but we could certainly state that the trophy is Liverpool’s to lose.
Jurgen Klopp’s men enjoyed a 100% record of eight wins from eight matches and, to complete the perfect symmetry, Liverpool are eight points clear of their closest challengers Manchester City. Building a team has been pivotal to Klopp’s ethos at Anfield but ultimately, trophies are decided by individuals. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at 2019/20’s standout players so far.
Ahead of that international break, Liverpool’s dominance made the side clear odds on favourites to win their first Premier League trophy. The majority of football tips are pointing solely in the direction of the red half of Merseyside but who are the players that have driven them to the top?
It’s actually been a subdued start to the campaign for last season’s top scorer Mohammed Salah. The Egyptian international has found the net four times in eight EPL matches and while that’s a healthy ratio, teammate Sadio Mane is the club’s top scorer with five.
The attack is key to Liverpool’s success but perhaps their biggest hero is a man who would have expected to have spent the entire campaign on the substitutes’ bench. Summer signing from West Ham, Adrian was called up to deputise for first-choice goalkeeper Allison when he hobbled off on the opening day of the season. Liverpool have conceded just six times in those opening eight games and while the entire defence, marshalled by Virgil Van Dijk, has played its part, Adrian has been a key component.
Liverpool are undoubtedly going to provide contenders for Player of the Season but what about the clubs below them? Few pundits would have expected Norwich City to provide the Player of the Month for September but Finnish striker Teemu Pukki fully deserved that accolade. The Canary scored five times in August, including a hat-trick against Newcastle and he was instrumental in Norwich’s shock win over Champions Manchester City.
Elsewhere, Leicester City have been reliving the glory days of 2015/16 and currently sit inside the Top Four. The loss of Harry Maguire would have been a blow to manager Brendan Rodgers but Caglar Soyuncu has slotted in seamlessly in his place.
Soyuncu displays good all round stats but his pass success rate of over 86% is particularly outstanding.
In the Frame
After just eight games, a number of contenders, including Premier League top scorer Sergio Aguero are making a claim to be named Player of the Season.
If Liverpool continue their march, it’s likely that a Reds player will win the award. Perhaps Virgil Van Dijk is the man who transformed Klopp’s side but, much can happen between now and the end of the campaign.