Premier League 2018/19: How these 10 players make the difference for their teams.
Last season gave birth to some of the finest talents in the history of the sport; From Kevin De Bruyne emerging as the golden boy for Manchester City, to an experienced Mo Salah being the most valuable asset for Liverpool, we've seen it all through a swinging melody of club football sung throughout the world, however, as a new season sets itself on the platform of one of the biggest football leagues in the history, it only seems to get better and more competitive for all the teams. Which player can make the difference and stand above the rest to be called the true 'Ace of Spade'?
Here are our top picks for the 'Money Makers' of the current Premier League season:
10. Benjamin Mendy - Manchester City
Mendy arrived at the Etihad in the beginning of the 2017/18 season as a replacement for veteran Manchester City Left-back Kolarov for a fee of about £52 million. The transfer fee eclipsed the previous record for a defender, set 10 days prior by City on teammate Kyle Walker for about £53 million, labelling Mendy, at that time, as the second most expensive defender in the world. Despite the lack of game time due to injuries and fitness issues, Mendy continued to perform within the number of games he was offered. The world cup winner, however, stood by his commitment during the 6-1 victory over Huddersfield this season, playing more aggressive as a left wing-back, as well as delivering some of the most accurate crosses the sport has ever seen. Currently leading in the number of assists provided, Mendy truly is the mechanism that drives both the offense as well as defense from the left flank. Being one of the gutsiest and quick left backs in the world, this season Guardiola could use him on either side of the pitch and could be a threat to the opposition in terms of playmaking and pace.
9) Alisson Becker - Liverpool
After a not so satisfying season with AS Roma and a disappointing world cup performance with the Brazil International team, Alisson still continues to shine as a goalkeeper who you'd like to have in your collection. Liverpool faced a major setback after their champions league defeat against Real Madrid due to the two obvious blunders made by Loris Karius; it was time for Jurgen Klopp to finally sign an alternative. Without much of a surprise, Alisson Becker arrived at the Anfield for a fee of £65 million, making him, at that time, the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. But what truly makes him an asset? Well, Alisson has been described by pundits and sports analysts as one of the most consistent 'sweeper keepers' in the world, simultaneously a keeper you could rely on when facing aggressive counter attacks from the opposition. Having kept a total of 3 clean sheets and 6 saves this season, the former Roma keeper knows what his job is and could be a breakout star for Liverpool in the upcoming matches. After all, a complete goalkeeper is what they truly lacked!
8. Jorginho - Chelsea
New era, new hopes. So as they say after the departure of Antonio Conte and the much awaited yet surprising appointment of Maurizio Sarri, a manager who excels in possession football and distributing deep-lying roles among the players. This was justified as a reflection of the 3 - 0 victory over Huddersfield, as well as Arsenal and now Newcastle. However, managerial talks apart, there is always that one key to the nonparallel locks of the defenses provided by the opposition. A holding midfielder, who not only makes the job of the attackers easier but builds the game in terms of passing and possession. Sarri's first signing? Well, we all saw that coming! Jorginho has it all, be it a midfielder who could stand alone and disrupt waves of attacks imposed by the opposition, or situate himself as a box to box midfielder for the team itself. Ever since the arrival of the Italian International, Ngolo Kante, a fellow midfielder at Chelsea is allowed to play a more aggressive role upfront, as he was not allowed to before Jorginho arrived, making Chelsea's attack even more competent and enabling width to be a part of the game. Jorginho is often compared to the likes of Luka Modric and Xavi Hernandez, who play/played in the same deep-lying role. Currently holding the record for the most number of passes this season, He is the engine that drives the current unbeaten run of Chelsea FC, and is a good news for all the supporters.
7. Sadio Mane
Mane arrived at the Anfield in 2016 and was criticized by many for the lack of showmanship and the number of goals scored. Many considered him to be shadowed by former teammate Phillipe Coutinho and was lacking that one special factor, something that would set him on top. However, in late 2016, Mane discovered what he truly lacked: A position he could be confident with. The right-wing flank was on fire after the Senegalese star took the handle. Scoring some of the most important goals of the season and earning him a place in the FIFA Ballon d'Or nominations. However, he was set to see a much bigger breakout, as the departure of Phillipe Coutinho and the arrival of Mohammed Salah formed one of the best football trios of the 2017/18 season; Taking his team all the way to the Champions League finals, as well as laying a foundation of quick, counter-attacking football along with Salah and Firmino. The 'most expensive African player' is doing no less this season, as Liverpool continue their 100% win record due to the 3 goals scored this particular, engraving him in the list of the top scorers. Together with a team that believes in counter-attacking football, as well as a manager who appreciates his doings, Sadio Mane is an unstoppable force that needs to be reckoned with. Providing assists to fellow teammates, as well as initiating quick, agile runs inside the box will only make him one of the bests wingers in the world as he climbs the ladder of the current season.
6. Dele Alli - Tottenham Hotspur
'He only cost 5 mil, he's better than Ozil!' Such is the chant revolving around the Tottenham Hotspur supporters when this 22 - year old attacking midfielder steps foot on the pitch. Dele is regarded as one of the most technical playmakers of the modern era. His playmaking ability, along with his eye for the goal has had teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona crave his signature to the point where they were ready to offer any kind of sum for the Spurs star. This season, however, things are more different for the young English International; after leading his national side to the world cup semi-finals, Pochettino has employed Alli in a more aggressive role, playing up front with the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura and H.M Son, building what many call as the 'most complete attacking lineup' in the league. The golden boy is here to stay; after scoring against Newcastle United, and performing exceptionally well against a resurrected Fulham FC, his real test is yet to come as the Spurs face the much underestimated Manchester United side. Will he be what he is? Only the time can tell!