We are almost at the halfway stage of the season and the Premier League has seen some very interesting developments. After the boring title fight last year where Chelsea strolled their way to the trophy, it seems as though no one is serious about winning the league this time out. The Premier League has already lost four managers that started the season and no one would have thought José Mourinho would be one of them. Then again, no one would have thought Leicester City would be top of the league table on Boxing Day.
This season is shaping to be one of the most enjoyable ones in recent history where a lot of individual performances are catching the eye. Here is a look at the five of the most improved players in the Premier League.
The Belgian was viewed as a player whose days at White Hart Lane were definitely numbered. It seemed as though Pochettino would be getting rid of the Belgian as he seemed intent on clearing the deadwood from his squad. But Dembele stayed and has proved that he still has a lot to offer. In a team of youngsters, his experience is very valuable and he adds the composure in the middle of the park where he has the young duo of Eric Dier and Dele Alli alongside him.
He has 2 goals in the league so far. His dribbling has always been strong and he boasts an impressive 3.6 successful dribbles every 90 minutes. His defensive contribution has of course been the most important facet of his game, and he currently averages 4.6 tackles and 2.5 interceptions every 90 minutes.
The record breaking Leicester striker has taken the football world by absolute surprise and is subsequently, the least surprising inclusion on this list. The England international only scored 5 goals all of last season and in less than half a season, Vardy has 15 goals in the Premier League, an astonishing improvement. The 28-year-old, however, has failed to score in 2 games which is a bit of a drought considering the season he is having!
After the record sum Everton paid for him last summer, Lukaku disappointed, like most of his teammates last season. The Belgian has ensured he proves his worth this time out. The former Chelsea striker, like Vardy, has also surpassed his last season’s tally of 10 goals as he currently has 13 goals in the league to his credit. It’s easy to forget that he is only 22 years of age and is some years away from hitting his peak but if he continues in the same manner, Everton have some player within their ranks and the £28 million would seem like a bargain.
Partnering his Everton teammate on this list is Ross Barkley. The midfielder has been regarded as one of England’s greatest emerging talents and over the past couple of years, Barkley has shown flashes of unadulterated brilliance. However, the end product in his game has been missing. The biggest criticism of his game seems to have been remedied a great deal already as he has six goals and six assists to his name which is a massive improvement on two goals and assists apiece last season. He too is only 22, so what’s in store for the future could be frightening if he continues on this path.
There seem to be some players whose mistakes are often blown out of proportion and Walker might be the best example of that. Even so, it can’t be debated that Walker has had bad patches in form and unfortunate injuries. However, this season, the England international looks like a player reborn.
His passing has improved massively along with his ability to track back after bombing forward. He has always been known for his offensive work, but his defensive contribution has been up there this season. He has more successful tackles and interceptions every 90 minutes this season than he has in his entire career highlighting the fact that he is enjoying his best form. Given he is 25 years of age, it isn’t all too surprising and makes you put all the lynching that happened previously in perspective.