The Premier League has some amazing talent. While the forwards often grab all the attention, midfielders are in fact the most important players on the football pitch. They act as a link between the defence and attack and are vital in setting up goals and breaking up opposition play.
All the top teams in the League have that one player capable of making the difference at the centre of the park. A player through whom all the attacks go through, or a player who stops the opposition with his incredible positioning skills and tackling.
Without much ado, let us take a look at the 5 best midfielders in the Premier League at the moment.
#5 Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba? That £89 million flop? Fans all around the world might be perplexed by Pogba’s inclusion in this list, but if you keep aside the world record transfer fee and all the hype that goes along with it, you will observe that the Frenchman has actually had an extremely decent 2016/17 season.
Playing in a slightly withdrawn and unfamiliar role under Jose Mourinho, Pogba after struggling initially hit top form and played a crucial role in many of United’s good performances this season. An integral part of United’s Europa League winning campaign, Pogba’s all action displays were extremely valuable to Mourinho.
With the arrival of Matic at United, Pogba will have the license to play in a more advanced role, and we might just see the best of the Frenchman in the 2017/18 season. Pogba at his best is capable of winning games single-handedly for Manchester United.
#4 Philippe Coutinho
When clubs like Barcelona and PSG are ready to break the bank for a player, you know that he is pretty special. Liverpool’s magician Philippe Coutinho has mesmerised the Premier League with his stunning performances in the last few seasons. Capable of the spectacular and a perfect fit under Jurgen Klopp, the little Brazilian has steadily enhanced his reputation as Liverpool’s standout performer.
Known for his agility and dribbling skills, Coutinho has largely improved on his passing and vision in the last few years and is now a regular provider of assists for his team-mates. A typical Brazilain number 10, Coutinho is most comfortable playing as an attacking midfielder though he has also played on the left-flank on a number of occasions.
Still only 25, Coutinho recently signed a long-term contract with the Reds and the Merseyside giants will be confident that the best from Coutinho is yet to come. The video below gives us a glimpse as to why Coutinho is rated so highly at the moment.
#3 Kevin De Bruyne
One of the most complete midfielders in world football, Kevin De Bruyne is undoubtedly the jewel in the Manchester City crown. Known for his immaculate technique, wide range of passing skills and ability to score spectacular long-range goals, De Bruyne has been key to City’ s consistent performances in both the Premier League and Champions League in the last 2 seasons.
De Bruyne’s importance to Pep Guardiola and the Manchester City team can be seen by these quotes from Guardiola himself. Speaking in an earlier interview, the legendary Spanish manager said:
"I think he is a special, outstanding player. He makes everything. Without the ball he is the first fighter, and with the ball he is clear – he sees absolutely everything."
De Bruyne started the 2016/17 season in blistering fashion and tailed off slightly in the second half of the season. However, if his performances in pre-season are anything to go by, the Belgian playmaker is ready to light up the Premier League in the 2017/18 season.
#2 Dele Alli
"We've got Alli, Dele Alli, I just don't think you understand, he cost us 5 mil, he is better than Ozil, we've got Dele Alli"
Tottenham fans take great pleasure in belting out this chant at every given opportunity and Dele Alli with his stupendous performances last season has justified the chant. Two-time PFA young player of the season and part of the PFA team of the year, Dele Alli had a stunning 2016/17 season.Having scored an incredible 18 goals in the Premier League, Alli along with Kane and Eriksen have made Tottenham genuine title contenders.
In fact, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has been so impressed with his performances, that he even compared the young Englishman to Neymar in terms of potential. Speaking to beIN Sports, Pochettino said:
“I think Dele Alli has a personality completely different maybe to Neymar. I think he’s a special player too. I don’t know if he’s in this level yet but the potential will be like him or better.”
It will be interesting to see whether Dele Alli will be able to maintain his high level of performances this season.
#1 N'golo Kante
Crowned the PFA Player of the Year recently, N'golo Kante has been undoubtedly the best and most effective midfielder in the Premier League. Having won back-to-back titles with two different Premier League clubs (Leicester City and Chelsea), the Frenchman has been a true revelation and he is finally getting the credit he deserves.
Kante's ability to regain possession in the centre of the park has been vital, while his willingness to storm forward with the ball at his feet has created many openings for Chelsea this season. Kante’s positional sense and awareness of the game is second to none and he is renowned for making vital interceptions and winning the ball back for his team.
Having greatly improved his attacking style of play as well under Antonio Conte, Kante along with Hazard was the standout player in Chelsea’s incredible Premier League winning squad. The Frenchman is now truly recognised as a global superstar across the world.