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Every Premier League club’s most important player

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Bruno Fernandes

Taking a look at every Premier League sides most important player. Not necessarily the best player, but the one who means the most to his particular team.

Arsenal- Thomas Partey

Possibly a controversial selection to begin with. Many people would choose Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal’s most important player. However, Thomas Partey’s arrival at the club can not be overlooked.

A commanding central midfielder, Partey was brought into the club by Mikel Arteta on deadline day for a fee of £45m. The Ghanaian has impressed tremendously thus far and taken to life in the Premier League like a duck to water.

He is what Arsenal have been missing since the days of Patrick Vieira, already drawing comparisons to the Arsenal legend. Without Partey in the side, Arsenal do not pose the same kind of threat.

Partey takes control of games from the centre of the pitch. He has great vision, works hard to win back possession and holds a commanding presence on the field.

He has been a welcome addition to the Premier League and long may his performances continue in this manner. Well, if you are an Arsenal fan that is.

Aston Villa- Jack Grealish

This probably goes without saying, but Jack Grealish is Aston Villa’s most important player. Not many would argue that he is also the club’s best.

Grealish is vital to everything Villa do. He is a great ball carrier, has a great range of passing and this season proving he has an eye for goal.

Grealish is always one of, if not the most, fouled player in a Premier League game. Most teams resorting to hacking the England international down as he is so difficult to tackle.

Many were surprised Grealish signed a new deal at Villa Park in the summer, after persistently being linked with a move away. However, Villa fans will be ecstatic he remained with the club, hoping they can push on from narrowly surviving the drop last season.

Brighton and Hove Albion- Tariq Lamptey

Although Tariq Lamptey is new to life in the Premier League, the Chelsea academy graduate has impressed many a spectator.

Standing at only 5’4, the diminutive full-back is no pushover. Lamptey is quick, dangerous going forward and very solid defensively also.

He is crucial to the way Graham Potter’s side play, possibly not having a suitable replacement if Lamptey were to ever pick up an injury.

He has bought a new dimension to Brighton, already proving his worth chipping in with assists and his first senior goal. England have many top-class right-backs at their disposal currently, with this young man certainly on that list.

Burnley- Dwight McNeil

Burnley have not been very active in the transfer market recently, but keeping hold of Dwight McNeil is potentially the best piece of business the Clarets pulled off this summer.

McNeil is a bright spark in a Burnley side who tend to struggle for creativity at times. He has a great left foot and gets crosses into the box as often as possible. Perfect for the likes of Chris Wood and Ashely Barnes who require this type of service.

Without McNeil in the team, Sean Dyche’s side lack that special something that he provides. If Burnley were to ever sell a player of McNeil’s ability, it would cost a significant amount to replace him. With Burnley being renowned for not splashing the cash, this may prove to be a difficult task.

Chelsea- Edouard Mendy

Since the arrival of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy in the transfer window, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have looked a lot more assured at the back. Mendy signed from Rennes in Ligue 1 and has settled in nicely as Chelsea’s new first-choice keeper.

As a result of poor displays from Kepa for a prolonged period of time, Lampard via Petr Cech’s advice, brought Mendy to Chelsea, increasing competition in goal. Mendy has barely put a foot wrong so far attaining several clean sheets, which proved hard to come by with Kepa between the sticks.

Along with a brand new defence, Mendy has proven his worth within weeks of becoming the undisputed number one. He is much more commanding of his box, unlike the lack of confidence Kepa had towards the end of last season.

Chelsea have many attacking options with a busy transfer window proving so. But Mendy is the most important signing of the lot. In an area which desperately needed addressing, Chelsea looked to have solved this particular problem.

Crystal Palace- Wilfred Zaha

The easiest choice of the lot. Wilfred Zaha is undoubtedly the best and most important player at Crystal Palace.

Barring a brief spell away from the club, Zaha has become vital in allowing the Eagles to survive in the Premier League for as long as they have. With constant speculation over his future, Zaha has really stepped up this season and has been one of the best players in the entire division.

With his lightning pace, unpredictable movement and improved decision making, Zaha has been unstoppable. Without him, Palace would be a lot closer to the bottom of the table, in line for a possible relegation scrap.

If Zaha were to once again attain that big move he seemingly desires, Palace would be affected immensely. With all the money the transfer may provide, Hodgson would struggle to lure a player of Zaha’s quality to Selhurst Park.

Everton- Richarlison

Everton have a plethora of options to choose from – be it the mercurial talent of James Rodriguez or the recent goalscoring exploits of Dominic Calvert Lewin. However, Richarlison is the player most important to Everton.

The trait setting Richarldison apart from the rest of the options is his movement. With his pace and energy, Richarlison creates the space for Calvert Lewin to run into. With a creative midfield, the newfound space for Calvert Lewin, created by Richarlison, allows the midfield to pick the pass with less hassle.

As proven in the games Everton have played without Richarlison this season, the space for Calvert Lewin does not exist. Alex Iwobi and Bernard may be decent stand-ins, but lack the clever quick movement that Richarlison possesses. The lack of goals in recent fixtures further proving this point.

Fulham- Alexander Mitrovic

If Fulham can get Alexander Mitrovic firing this season, they will stand a much better chance of staying in the division.

Mitrovic has not hit the height many expected so far this season, possibly being one of the reasons Fulham are struggling this term. He has missed a penalty and subsequently been taken off penalty duty.

His link-up play seems to be improving, bringing runners into play, but he is in the team to score goals. He does require good service from his teammates, if this comes to fruition, the goals will inevitably come with it.

Fulham need to keep Mitrovic fit also. If he were to pick up and injury, Fulham do not have a suitable replacement for the big Serbian. Scott Parker will need to figure out how to get the best of the striker, or the cottagers may be in for a long season ahead.

Leeds United- Kalvin Phillips

Leeds are a very system based side. Marcelo Bielsa has drilled his particular philosophy into the entire club and its players. But ironically enough, the clubs most important player is a man who was already at the club before Bielser took over.

Kalvin Phillips has impressed many this season thus far. Controlling games from the centre of the field, spraying passes left and right and is the beginning of many Leeds attacks. His performances have earned him his first England call-up, not too soon in Leeds fans’ eyes.

Since Phillips picked up an injury, Leeds have not looked the same dynamic and progressive side compared to the start of the season. They lack the dictator in the midfield, the player than can create something out of nothing.

Results have taken a turn for the worse since the injury to Phillips. When he regains full fitness, you can be sure Leeds performances and results will pick up again. Bielsa will be desperate for this to happen as soon as possible, as the intense system generally revolves around Phillips.

Leicester City- Jamie Vardy

Leicester City are simply not the same proposition without Jamie Vardy. The whole system has revolved around since the Foxes arrived in the Premier League. Vardy was also regarded as the sides most valuable asset in their title winning season.

Leicester have always been dangerous on the counter attack. With Vardy up top, the option to play in behind or direct is always there. If Vardy is not available for whatever reason, the whole teams style has to adapt and change.

Like a fine wine, Vardy is only getting better with age. He does not seem to be slowing anytime soon and Brendan Rodgers will hope this continues.

With lightening pace and lethal finishing, Vardy is once again in contention for the golden boot this season. Avoiding injury who is to say this will not happen. Vardy will prove to be a tough player to replace when he finally hangs up his boots. For Leicester’s sake, they will hope this will not be soon.

Liverpool- Virgil Van Dijk

Now, this was potentially the trickiest one to decide. With the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Allison all in contention, Virgil Van Dijk seems to be the correct conclusion.

Although results have remained solid since the season-ending injury for the Dutch defender, Liverpool do not look as convincing. The composure and natural leadership skills of Van Dijk are sorely missed when not in the side.

He is considered by many to be the best centre back in the world. Any team would miss a player of Van Dijk’s calibre and Liverpool are no different. Jurgen Klopp and his men face a tough challenge maintaining the standards they set last season, especially now without their leader of men.

Take any teams best player away from them for the season and it goes without saying it will be difficult. However, taking an elite player like Van Dijk, who is so instrumental in Liverpool’s recent success away, standards will most likely slip.

Manchester City- Aymeric Laporte

Like Liverpool, this proved to be a tough one to call. Kevin De Bruyne is considered one of, if not, the best overall player in the Premier League. Sergio Aguero is one the Premier League’s all-time top scorers and Raheem Sterling is now Pep Guardiola’s go-to man. Nevertheless, Aymeric Laporte is still Man City’s most important player.

A fantastic centre back, Laporte’s importance to this City side cannot be underestimated. Without the Frenchman, Pep’s side looked significantly weaker defensively last season. This giving Liverpool the edge in the title race.

With Laporte now fit again, alongside the arrival of new man Ruban Dias as a central partner, City look increasingly sound at the back.

Man City’s recent issues have been defensive, and not having a fit Laporte contributed to this fact massively. With a now settled partnership, a fit Laporte could boost Pep’s chances of reclaiming the Premier League title.

Manchester United- Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes saved Manchester United’s 2019/2020 season. Without him, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not still be the manager of the club. Fernandes guided the Red Devils into Champions League places and transformed the fortunes of the club.

Before the signing of Fernandes, Manchester United’s season was set to end in disaster. Fernandes seemed to completely increase the quality of all the players around him, as well as putting in stellar performances in his own right.

His season this time around has held mixed fortunes. With Manchester United’s early form being very much hit and miss, with the latter being more prominent. However, with two goals against Everton last time out, Fernandes may lead United to another successful season.

Without his talent and graft in the centre of the park, United would struggle to create as many opportunities as they currently do. He is United’s main man, a lot of pressure of a relatively new signing. Fans have no reason to doubt Fernandes as of yet, that’s for sure.

Newcastle United- Alan Saint-Maximin

Newcastle and particularly Steve Bruce, have been labelled a boring and too defensive. They tend to set up to sit back and hope to catch the opponent on the break. Accepting the fact they will retain the ball less than the side they are facing, Alan Saint-Maximin is a real bright spark in this current dark time for the club.

Frighteningly quick, extremely agile and almost impossible to tackle, Saint-Maximin is almost the antithesis of the Newcastle style. Every time the wide man receives the ball, it must give the fans just that glimmer of hope that they are about to witness something special.

He repeatedly gets fouled, giving the chance for Newcastle to utilize set pieces, which may be their biggest strength. Although, with a little more coaching and experience Saint-Maximin could become a target for many a club worldwide.

He is not quite the finished article as of yet, but losing Sint- Maximin to another club may be the last straw for many Magpies fans. Without him, the team really does lack that spark and entertainment factor.

Sheffield United- Sander Berge

Sheffield United, like Leeds United, are a system based side, proving difficult to determine a stand out player. Nevertheless, Sander Berge is too hard to ignore.

Signed from Belgian club Genk, Sander Berge has proven to be a wonderful piece of business by the Blades. Standing at 6 feet 5 inches tall, Sander Berge is a towering presence in the centre of midfield. Aged just 22, time is also on his side to further develop physically.

He is crucial to Chris Wilder’s team, being unlike any other player in the entire squad. The Norwegian has proved his worth, chipping in with a few goals already and being a real nuisance from set plays.

Highly thought of, Sheffield United will do well to keep hold of Sander Berge for a long period of time. Taking him out of this team would be a disaster for Wilder, but making a huge profit on the player in the process unquestionably.

Southampton- Danny Ings

There was not too much to split between James Ward- Prowse and Danny Ings here. Ultimately deciding on the sheer goal threat and return of Ings.

After many doubted he would ever be the same player after sustaining horrific injuries at Liverpool, Danny Ings has proven any doubters wrong. Clinical in front of goal, there is rarely an occasion where Ings in through on goal and he misses.

Coming close to winning the golden boot last season, Ings started this campaign in the same manner. Picking up where he left off, the goals kept coming for Ings until an injury brought a halt to his season.

Saints and England fans alike have a right to be concerned seeing Ings injured, especially with it being another knee issue. Southampton can ill afford to be without Ings for too long as he is their primary source of goals, as well as creating many chances for his teammates.

Only time will tell whether or not high flying Southampton can cope without Ings, it will be a tough ask given the form the striker was in.

Tottenham Hotspur- Harry Kane

A pretty simple selection here. Harry Kane has started this season better than any other Premier League player. He has been at the top of his game now for years and does not look like slowing down.

Now showing a more creative side to his game, Kane is not just Spurs primary goalscorer, he is the chief creator as well. He has got to be placed on the same pedestal as the best players in the world and Spurs will be delighted he has not moved clubs as of yet.

Clearly Jose Mourinho’s main man, Kane has taken his game to new heights. There are many talented players around him, but with the quality Kane possesses, who knows where Tottenham will finish this season.

With many injury issues in the past, Kane will be hoping they indeed stay and remain in the past. Without him in this Spurs side, they look a completely different outfit, not in a positive way.

West Bromich Albion- Matheus Pereira

West Brom had a fantastic season last time out, achieving promotion from the Championship. Slaven Bilic did a remarkable job transforming the style of the club into an attractive, entertaining one. The man most influential in this change is midfielder Matheus Pereira.

Paying a 750k loan fee, Pereira joined from Sporting CP whilst the Baggies were aiming for promotion. He was a class above the division and guided Bilic’s men to their goal. Joining on a permanent basis in the summer, it was a real coo for the club.

Being the most creative player in the team, West Brom will look to find Pereira as much as possible. Playing on the right, Pereira will cut in onto his favoured left foot into the danger areas. He is also a huge threat from set-pieces, scoring many free kicks for the club already.

Take Pereira out of a struggling West Brom team, there are not too many other players in the squad who can do what he can on the ball. West Brom need that touch of class and skill at the moment to get the team out of the situation they are in. More than likely, Pereira will be the man to provide this.

West Ham United- Declan Rice

West Ham have had a terrific start to the season thus far. With an incredibly tough run of fixtures, they have come away with some remarkable results. At only 21 years of age, Declan Rice has been a key factor in this good form.

Being the air to Mark Noble in central midfield, Rice has made the position his own. Being linked with a move to Chelsea on an almost daily basis, the writing does seem to be on the wall for the Hammers.

Rice was at Chelsea as a youngster and was picked up by West Ham on a free transfer. Proving to be an excellent piece of business, Rice has been a fantastic servant to the club.

Being able to play at centre back as well as defensive midfield, Rice has broken into the England squad and rightly so. His versatility, leadership and composure on the ball will put Rice in good stead for the future.

In a realistic world, West Ham and David Moyes cannot expect to have Rice at the club for too much longer. He will be sold for a lot of money, whether or not the funds will be reinvested into the team is anybody’s guess.

Wolverhampton Wanderers- Conor Coady

Joining the club in the 2015/2016 season, Conor Coady has pretty much seen it all at Wolves. Signing for around 2.5m pounds, Coady has been one of the best signings in terms of value for money in recent memory.

Converting from a central midfielder to a centre back, Coady is now the leader of this Wolves team. Being in the middle of a back three, Coady can see the majority of the play and bellows out instruction to his team-mates.

An ever-present since Wolves return to the Premier League, Coady is essential to the way Nuno Espirito Santo sets up his team. Being such a leader, Coady’s captain traits and experience will for sure help the young squad of players around him.

Finally earning an England call-up, Coady has come on leaps and bounds since being let go by his home town club of Liverpool. If Nuno Espirito Santo wee to ever be without his reliable captain, Wolves would really miss his leadership abilities on the pitch.

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