EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 12
We head into the final international break of the year on a Premier League high, with the Manchester derby concluding what was yet another electrifying weekend of top-tier English football.
To help you chew over all the action and assess how every team and player got on, B/R returns with another edition of the EPL 100, ranking the best players in the Premier League by position.
Only performances in the 2018-19 Premier League season affect this ranking. Reputations, cup performances and European showings matter not.
To be eligible, players need to have started at least 50 per cent of the games—so, in this case, six (or more) out of 12. Some players like Riyad Mahrez and Pedro are teetering on the edge of that halfway mark, coming in and dropping out. We do our best to include them again in a sensible position when eligible.
Players who have appeared in multiple positions (examples: Bernardo Silva, Richarlison) are categorized by the spot they've played most. If those values are level, they fall into the category they played most recently.
The idea is for our rankings, on a week-to-week basis, to give you an idea of who the best in each position has been this season. So, if the "best in each position" award were given out this week or a Team of the Season was crowned this early, the No. 1s in each category would be our choices.
Martin Dubravka retains the No. 1 spot after producing several excellent interventions in Newcastle's win over Bournemouth this weekend. His run of clean sheets stopped, but he was vital to the three-point haul nonetheless.
Hugo Lloris came up big for Tottenham when they needed him (again), launching him into third, while Jordan Pickford joins the party in sixth.
The Everton shot-stopper started this campaign slowly, with his performance defined more by errors than anything else, but over the last six weeks, Pickford has bucked up considerably and single-handedly kept Chelsea at bay on Sunday at times in a scoreless draw.
Despite keeping another clean sheet each, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Alisson Becker don't feature. It's very hard for the Chelsea and Liverpool keepers, respectively, to shine on a week-to-week basis as they're often left with little to do. Keeping a clean sheet doesn't always mean a goalkeeper played well, and in their cases, it's very often the suffocating defence in front of them that's most impactful.
Biggest rise: Hugo Lloris (+3)
Biggest fall: David De Gea (-3)
|1||Martin Dubravka (Stay)||Newcastle|
|2||Lukasz Fabianski (Stay)||West Ham|
|3||Hugo Lloris (+3)||Tottenham|
|4||Rui Patricio (-1)||Wolves|
|5||Ben Foster (-1)||Watford|
|6||Jordan Pickford (New!)||Everton|
|7||Joe Hart (Stay)||Burnley|
|8||David De Gea (-3)||Manchester United|
|9||Mat Ryan (Stay)||Brighton|
|10||Ederson Moraes (-2)||Manchester City|
There were a fair few strong performers at right-back this past weekend, but sadly that hasn't necessarily translated into a lot of movement in these rankings.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka swaps with Cesar Azpilicueta after another good individual showing, while DeAndre Yedlin's contribution on the first of Hector Rondon's two goals bumps him up one.
We have two new entries at the bottom of our top 10. Ricardo Pereira is now playing enough games at right-back to qualify, and Seamus Coleman is enjoying a good patch of form after his return from injury.
Biggest rise: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, DeAndre Yedlin (+1)
Biggest fall: Cesar Azpilicueta (-1)
|1||Kyle Walker (Stay)||Manchester City|
|2||Matt Doherty (Stay)||Wolves|
|3||Pablo Zabaleta (Stay)||West Ham|
|4||Aaron Wan-Bissaka (+1)||Crystal Palace|
|5||Cesar Azpilicueta (-1)||Chelsea|
|6||Hector Bellerin (Stay)||Arsenal|
|7||Trent Alexander-Arnold (Stay)||Liverpool|
|8||DeAndre Yedlin (+1)||Newcastle|
|9||Ricardo Pereira (New!)||Leicester City|
|10||Seamus Coleman (New!)||Everton|
After three weeks on the slide, Jonny put in a super, combative performance against Arsenal and earned himself a two-place rise. He nips in ahead of Benjamin Mendy, who wasn't poor against Manchester United but seems to be lacking the attacking swagger we usually associate with him.
Lucas Digne and Paul Dummett are a little unfortunate to be moving down—the former contributed to a clean sheet, the latter played well against Bournemouth—but Jose Holebas' goal rockets him above both of them and into sixth.
Biggest rise: Jose Holebas (+3)
Biggest fall: Luke Shaw (-2)
|1||Marcos Alonso (Stay)||Chelsea|
|2||Andy Robertson (Stay)||Liverpool|
|3||Ben Chilwell (Stay)||Leicester City|
|5||Benjamin Mendy (-1)||Manchester City|
|6||Jose Holebas (+3)||Watford|
|7||Luke Shaw (-2)||Manchester United|
|8||Lucas Digne (-1)||Everton|
|9||Paul Dummett (-1)||Newcastle|
|10||Chris Lowe (Stay)||Huddersfield|
That swagger we spoke of with regard to Benjamin Mendy? Perhaps John Stones stole it. His performance levels have been through the roof this season, and he's completely owning the stage on the big occasion. He moves above Antonio Rudiger despite the German keeping a clean sheet.
Issa Diop's steady rise up the rankings stops here, as he drops three after a poor performance against Huddersfield Town. He can thank Steve Mounie's profligacy for the fact one of his errors did not lead to a goal.
One player whose performances may well have flown under the radar is Federico Fernandez. He's been excellent at the heart of Newcastle's defence—so much so that Jamaal Lascelles' absences no longer basically guarantee losses.
Biggest rise: Conor Coady (+4)
Biggest fall: Nathan Ake (-4)
Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders
Some might have expected Jorginho and Georginio Wijnaldum to be moving down the rankings this week. Neither were great, but for now, they're firmly entrenched in fifth and sixth, as one off day doesn't negate a generally excellent season so far.
Idrissa Gueye is a big mover in the right direction, with the Senegalese impressing at Stamford Bridge on Sunday during Everton's 0-0 draw with Chelsea. The player he is often compared to, N'Golo Kante, was on the opposite side and was arguably outshone on the day.
All three of Huddersfield Town's central midfielders are now in the top 20, highlighting what a good job they do in the middle. Creativity and work rate are not their issues.
Biggest rise: Idrissa Gueye (+7)
Biggest fall: Multiple (-2)
|1||Bernardo Silva (Stay)||Manchester City|
|2||David Silva (Stay)||Manchester City|
|3||Fernandinho (Stay)||Manchester City|
|4||Etienne Capoue (Stay)||Watford|
|6||Georginio Wijnaldum (Stay)||Liverpool|
|7||Lucas Torreira (+1)||Arsenal|
|8||Idrissa Gueye (+7)||Everton|
|9||Ruben Neves (-2)||Wolves|
|10||Abdoulaye Doucoure (-1)||Watford|
|11||N'Golo Kante (-1)||Chelsea|
|12||Declan Rice (-1)||West Ham|
|13||Joao Moutinho (+1)||Wolves|
|14||James Milner (-2)||Liverpool|
|15||Mateo Kovacic (-2)||Chelsea|
|16||Aaron Mooy (+1)||Huddersfield Town|
|17||Philip Billing (-1)||Huddersfield Town|
|18||Paul Pogba (Stay)||Manchester United|
|19||Jonathan Hogg (New!)||Huddersfield Town|
|20||Jonjo Shelvey (-1)||Newcastle|
It's still tight between the top two, but Raheem Sterling is still edging the battle. He didn't find the scoresheet against Manchester United, but his movement was sublime. It's enough to hold off a huffing, puffing Eden Hazard performance that looked good, but one that lacked end product.
Richarlison has moved to the strikers' section as a result of his new role at Everton, creating a nice easy shift upward for several players in the top 10.
His colleague, Gylfi Sigurdsson, turned in a rather different performance to what you'd usually expect, but it was excellent nonetheless. He focused on defensive duties, disrupting Jorginho's rhythm and playing a big part in the nullification of Chelsea.
Roberto Pereyra dropped down after doing little versus Southampton. Riyad Mahrez jumped back in after he had enough starts to qualify, while Felipe Anderson rose again.
Biggest rise: Mohamed Salah, Felipe Anderson (+5)
Biggest fall: Will Hughes, Roberto Pereyra (-3)
Last week we toyed with placing Sergio Aguero ahead of Callum Wilson but ultimately opted not to. This week there was no toying; it was an easy choice to make the switch.
The Argentinian's tireless performance in the Manchester derby, one that yielded his eighth goal of the league campaign so far, secures him a spot at the summit.
Richarlison transfers over and lands in third, with his seasonal score good enough to beat out almost everyone else, while Raul Jimenez—king of the lay-off assist—moves up to sixth after yet another selfless performance up top for Wolves.
Biggest rise: Multiple (+1)
Biggest fall: Glenn Murray (-3)
All statistics via WhoScored.com.