5 foreign midfielders with the best start to the Premier League season (2021-22)

Fornals and Kovacic have been excellent in the Premier League so far
Fornals and Kovacic have been excellent in the Premier League so far

Most Premier League players aspire to start the new campaign on a high. The English top-flight is so often regarded as being the most competitive league in Europe and it delivers time and again. The competition for places at each club only goes on to become more cut-throat every season.

As a result, no individual feels irreplaceable at their clubs and a starting spot cannot be guaranteed if purple patches don’t last longer. Due to the sheer popularity and appeal of the Premier League, there is plenty of talent on display in the English top-flight at the moment.

Foreign midfielders are making themselves heard in the Premier League

However, the bulk of such talent has arrived in the form of foreign players in recent years. Few foreign midfielders have enjoyed a blistering start to the campaign in the Premier League this season, with the aim of becoming an integral part of their gaffers' plans.

It’s still early days in the season and the critics don’t take long to surface but these players will hope they can carry the momentum for as long as possible. After five matches in the 2021-22 Premier League season, here are the foreign midfielders who have enjoyed the best start:

#5 Pablo Fornals

Fornals credits David Moyes for helping him adapt to Premier League
Fornals credits David Moyes for helping him adapt to Premier League

When Manchester United and Jesse Lingard decided they were both willing to give their marriage a second chance, West Ham supporters' hearts sank. Lingard was nothing short of a revelation for West Ham United in the Premier League last season during his loan stint at the London Stadium.

Luckily for the Hammers, Pablo Fornals, who has shown the pedigree of being a promising playmaker, is enjoying a productive start to the new campaign. Under David Moyes’ shrewd management, Fornals has been able to transform his game for the better and has netted two goals and provided one assist so far.

Pablo Fornals thanks Hammers boss David Moyes

No doubt those figures could have been more impressive but Fornals has been central to West Ham’s rhythm while attacking alongside Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma. If those two had been any more clinical in their finishing than they already have been, Fornals could have bagged a couple more assists.

The Spanish midfielder has been impressive with his distribution and though he can be more consistent, his passing skills have helped his team-mates substantially. The transformation and increased efficiency in his game was spotted by Luis Enrique, who restored Fornals to the Spanish national side after nearly three years.

Fornals decorated his comeback for the Spanish side with a goal against Kosovo in World Cup qualifiers. He will now hope to replicate his form from the Premier League in the Europa League as well.

#4 Abdoulaye Doucoure

Doucoure is finally getting to play the box-to-box midfielder at Everton
Doucoure is finally getting to play the box-to-box midfielder at Everton

At a club like Everton, the presence of a decorated player like James Rodriguez can sometimes shadow those around him who are equally pivotal to the system. However, Rodriguez is yet to attain match fitness this term for Everton and is still angling towards a move away from the Premier League club. New manager Rafa Benitez, though, has established his own system and is happily utilizing those at his disposal.

This has allowed French midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure to hit an impressive purple patch in the Premier League. He has put his newfound freedom to good use in the new system. Doucoure has always been a box-to-box midfielder; a quality he showcased in the Premier League with Watford. His relentless running has always been crucial in the middle of the park.

Abdoulaye Doucoure has been seriously productive in the final third after being unleashed.In just four Premier League games, he has already matched his assist tally for the whole of last season.He is close to equalling other stats too before…

Under Benitez, his movement without the ball has been crucial for Everton’s counter-attacking part of the game. The former Watford midfielder has been given the license to roam around the field and he’s paired that up with some clever movement that’s helped him provide crucial assists on three occasions. He’s playing more with the ball at his feet rather than chasing and man-marking.

He’s also been able to challenge the keeper frequently this season, which got him a goal against Southampton. Benitez has freed Doucoure of deep-lying duties to protect the back four, something that Ancelloti hesitated to do. The Toffees will hope that Allan stays fit from injury for a major chunk of the season so that Doucoure can continue to run riot in midfield.

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Edited by Nived Zenith
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