5 surprise performers in the Premier League this season
Outside the top six clubs, who have been the Premier League's standout performers?
Every season, there are Premier League players that emerge to the attention of both supporters and experts alike. The top six clubs always produce world-class and standout performers in the league, but this term has seen a host of big performances from individuals who have affected their own respective clubs in pursuit of their goals.
Each club has their own top performers and star players respectfully, but who have been the five surprise players to emerge thus far this campaign?
#5: Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford)
The Watford central midfielder has emerged as one of the top players in his position this season, throughout all of the Premier League. The powerful Frenchman found himself involved last season, without ever really producing enough on the pitch to hold down a regular first-team position, as he's featured in a range of different positions.
However this season has been a superb one for the player, having asserted his quality with his defensive contributions as well as netting seven goals in his 22 Premier League appearances.
Having joined Watford in the January transfer window two seasons ago for an undisclosed fee from Ligue 1 side Rennes, he immediately found himself loaned to sister club Granada in La Liga. Despite his spell there, it's hard to imagine him having the level of success that he has found this term.
At the age of 25, he's certainly got more to add to his game and build on in his professional career, and whether a move away this summer could be on the cards is a genuine possibility.
Tottenham have been linked with a move for the midfielder, whilst speculation has surrounded both Arsenal and Liverpool too. Whether he joins one of the league's better sides remains to be seen, but he continues to develop and it's refreshing to watch.
The qualities he possesses are improving with every game - his passing range has improved significantly, he's shown capabilities to control the pace of matches in the heart of a strong midfield and his energetic style is tough for opponents to effectively deal with.
Although his positional discipline is perhaps not on the same level as his compatriot N'Golo Kanté, similarities between the pair have been made. Doucoure's considered more of an old fashioned box-to-box midfielder, one who has fantastic timing of attacking runs in the final third and utilises them to great efficiency too, wrecking havoc in the opposition area.