The Premier League is the most widely followed top-flight club competition in the world. The English first division is known for its exciting, end-to-end matches which never fail to entertain the fans. Having received a global reach much earlier than its peers, the Premier League has ardent fans all over the world.
As a direct result of that, Premier League clubs are also some of the richest in the world. The sheer revenue they rake in through broadcasting deals is bigger than what several other sides in Europe make over the course of a season.
The Premier League features some of the best players in the world
Due to their financial muscle, these English top-flight sides are also able to rope in some of the best players in the game. Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are widely known as the Premier League top six.
These teams are packed with superstars who have the ability to change the course of games all by themselves. Today, we're taking a look at one footballer from each of these clubs who is absolutely indispensable to his team. So let's dive right in.
#6 Tottenham Hotspur - Son Heung-Min
Son Heung-Min is one of the most endearing footballers in the world. The South Korean international is a world-class forward who has consistently performed at a very high level for Spurs since joining them from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015.
With all the clamour around Harry Kane's future forcing Spurs to be under the scanner in the opening weeks of the season, it was Son who carried the team. Kane's form suffered greatly due to the noise around him but Son kept his head down and did as well as he could for his side during a difficult time.
He showed a great amount of grit and dispelled the myth that Tottenham Hotspur is a one-man team overtly dependent on Harry Kane. In 33 appearances across all competitions for Spurs, Son has scored 12 goals and provided seven assists.
He is presently indispensable to this Tottenham Hotspur side and is a fan favorite for all the right reasons.
#5 Arsenal - Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka picked up the Arsenal Player of the Year Award in the 2020-21 season. The youngster is emblematic of the Gunners' efforts to produce quality homegrown talent who can go toe-to-toe with the most technically blessed players in the game.
Saka was handed a lot of unfair criticism for missing a crucial penalty in England's shootout loss to Italy in the final of Euro 2020. Although he struggled in the opening weeks of the 2020-21 season, Saka seems to be coming to his own once again.
His directness and deftness inside the final third gives Arsenal an edge every time they foray forward. Saka always looks like the player who's most likely to make the difference in the attacking realms for Arsenal.
In 30 appearances across all competitions for the Gunners so far this term, Saka has scored nine goals and provided five assists.
#4 Manchester United - Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes may be a little too wasteful and temperamental on the football pitch but take him out of this Manchester United side and they'd be lost. The Portuguese international is one of the very few players who has the ability to make a difference in every game he plays.
Fernandes ranks first alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah for most big chances created in the Premier League (14 each). The Portuguese international has not had a great season by his own lofty standards.
He has still scored nine goals and provided 14 assists in 36 appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils so far this season. Those numbers would have been even better if Manchester United's underperforming forwards had put away a large number of the chances Fernandes has created.
#3 Chelsea - Mason Mount
Chelsea are a team that are quite formidable defensively. Their problems mostly spring from the attacking side of things. Neither Timo Werner nor Romelu Lukaku have proven to be the kind of cut-throat striker they've been looking for.
Mason Mount has been one of the best things to have happened to the Blues over the last few years or so. The 23-year-old is a top attacking midfielder who never fails to put in a shift every time he is called upon.
Mount's movement, intelligence and decision-making in the final third has regularly helped Chelsea get the better of their opponents. As far as the Blues are concerned, the Englishman represents the present and the future.
In 37 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea so far this term, Mount has scored seven goals and provided eight assists. It is difficult to break onto the Chelsea senior setup from the academy and Mount has accomplished that with aplomb. He is presently indispensable to this Chelsea unit.
#2 Liverpool - Virgil van Dijk
The obvious question here is, why is Mohamed Salah not named ahead of Virgil van Dijk? Of course, Salah has been having the season of his life but Liverpool wouldn't be anywhere close to being as dominant as they are without Van Dijk.
The Dutchman missed a major chunk of the 2020-21 season after rupturing his ACL. Liverpool struggled during that time. Anfield used to be a fortress but all of a sudden, the Merseysiders were crumbling at home. Liverpool's attack was still good but they only just about managed to qualify for the Champions League.
Now that Virgil van Dijk is back from his injury layoff, things are back to normal. The legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson once said:
"Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles."
The famous quote is spot on in the case of Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool. We'll mention a stat just to underscore the fact that the 30-year-old is their most important player. In the 60 matches that Virgil van Dijk has played at Anfield since joining in January 2018, Liverpool have won 52 and drawn 8. They've never lost.
#1 Manchester City - Riyad Mahrez
Unlike the other teams, Manchester City are not entirely reliant on any one player. That's why they have no qualms thrashing opposition and drowning them in goals despite not having an out-and-out striker.
But if there has been one standout performer who has outperformed the multiple in-form world-class players around him this season, it's Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian international had already established himself as one of the finest attackers in the Premier League prior to the ongoing campaign.
However, he has taken it up a notch this season and has truly turned on the style for Manchester City. Mahrez has scored 21 goals and provided seven assists in 34 appearances across all competitions for the Premier League leaders this term.
Those are numbers that an out-an-out striker would be happy with and Mahrez is a winger. He has been City's best player this season and that says a lot given how many quality players they have on their payroll.