EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 22

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 15, 2019

EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 22

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    Bleacher Report

    It's been just over two weeks since the last EPL 100 dropped. For those of you who have been tearing your hair out waiting for this: We apologise, but now you can finally tuck in.

    This edition covers the last two Premier League match rounds (Gameweeks 21 and 22), which constitutes the first two games of 2019. Bear that in mind as you gauge the movements of players.

    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, 11 (or more) out of 22. That rules the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho out for the time being.

    Players who have appeared in multiple positions (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah) are categorized by the spot they've played most. If those values are level, they fall into the category for the role they played most recently.

    The idea is for our rankings to give you an idea on a week-to-week basis of who the best in each position has been this season. So, if a Team of the Season was crowned this early, the No. 1s in each category would be our choices.


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    Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

    The biggest individual performance this weekend, at any position, came from David De Gea at Wembley Stadium.

    The Spaniard racked up 11 saves as he kept Tottenham Hotspur at bay; several of them were superb and in one-on-one situations against elite finishers. It gives him a big boost into third, his highest rank of the season so far.

    There's more intrigue ahead of him, as Lukasz Fabianski loses top spot to Alisson Becker. That may seem strange given the former just kept a clean sheet against Arsenal, but this edition of the EPL 100 measures his unsteady performance against Brighton and Hove Albion too. 

    Kepa Arrizabalaga cracks the top 10 for the first time this season largely thanks to his positive showing against Southampton.

    Biggest rise: David De Gea (+5)

    Biggest fall: Martin Dubravka (-3)


    Top 10 Goalkeepers
    1Alisson Becker (+1)Liverpool
    2Lukasz Fabianski (-1)West Ham United
    3David De Gea (+5)Manchester United
    4Ederson Moraes (+1)Manchester City
    5Ben Foster (-1)Watford
    6Martin Dubravka (-3)
    Newcastle United
    7Hugo Lloris (-1)Tottenham Hotspur
    8Bernd Leno (-1)Arsenal
    9Kepa Arrizabalaga (New!)Chelsea
    10Rui Patricio (New!)Wolves

Right-Backs/Right Wing-Backs

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    James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

    Matt Doherty's rough start to 2019 is enough to create a change at the top, and surging in to take his spot is Ricardo Pereira.

    He played superbly on New Year's Day as a left-winger, assisting Jamie Vardy's winner against Everton, and although he did have some troubles defensively against Southampton on Saturday in his natural position, he was still able to spring forward and create a consolation goal in the 2-1 defeat.

    With dominant showings against Manchester City and Chelsea at the end of 2018 in the bank, he's good value for top spot.

    Kyle Walker's fall has been halted, his performance against Wolves was initially pretty ropey, but he steadily improved to the point where he looked a lot like his old self.

    Biggest rise: Ricardo Pereira (+3)

    Biggest fall: Matt Doherty (-3)


    Top 10 RBs/RWBs
    1Ricardo Pereira (+3)Leicester City
    2Trent Alexander-Arnold (+1)Liverpool
    3Aaron Wan-Bissaka (-1)Crystal Palace
    4Matt Doherty (-3)
    5Kyle Walker (Stay)Manchester City
    6Pablo Zabaleta (Stay)West Ham
    7Cesar Azpilicueta (Stay)Chelsea
    8Hector Bellerin (Stay)Arsenal
    9Martin Montoya (Stay)Brighton
    10Kiko Femenia (Stay)Watford

Left-Backs/Left Wing-Backs

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    PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

    There's not one, but two star left-backs on Merseyside. Andy Robertson has been excellent for Liverpool all season, but with regard to recent form, Lucas Digne of Everton is giving him a run for his money.

    Luke Shaw has been one of many outfield players to benefit from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's arrival at Manchester United, and he's up into the top five—his highest position for months.

    Marcos Alonso's fall continues. He's gone quiet from an attacking perspective, and he's never been a defensive machine so can't even fall back on that body of work like others can.

    Biggest rise: Lucas Digne, Luke Shaw (+2)

    Biggest fall: Marcos Alonso (-2)


    Top 10 LBs/LWBs
    1Andy Robertson (Stay)Liverpool
    2Ben Chilwell (Stay)Leicester City
    3Lucas Digne (+2)
    4Jonny (-1)
    5Luke Shaw (+2)Manchester United
    6Marcos Alonso (-2)Chelsea
    7Jose Holebas (-1)Watford
    8Ben Davies (Stay)Tottenham
    9Bernardo (Stay)Brighton
    10Paul Dummett (Stay)Newcastle


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    Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

    Virgil van Dijk and Aymeric Laporte have been a cut above the rest this season not only in terms of performance, but also endurance. There have been others who have hit their heights but none so consistently and without injury disrupting their path.

    Michael Keane, David Luiz, Kurt Zouma, Victor Lindelof and Jannik Vestergaard have all been impressive of late, so they are rewarded either with a rise or a new spot in the top 20.

    Conor Coady (scored an own goal), Willy Boly (sent off) and Nathan Ake (part of defence that conceded five goals in two games) all drop in their wake.

    Biggest rise: Kurt Zouma (+8)

    Biggest fall: Willy Boly, Nathan Ake (-6)


    Top 20 CBs
    1Virgil van Dijk (Stay)
    2Aymeric Laporte (Stay)Manchester City
    3John Stones (Stay)Manchester City
    4Antonio Rudiger (+1)Chelsea
    5Joe Gomez (-1)Liverpool
    6Toby Alderweireld (Stay)Tottenham
    7Michael Keane (+1)
    8David Luiz (+1)Chelsea
    9Federico Fernandez (-2)Newcastle
    10Issa Diop (+2)West Ham
    11Kurt Zouma (+8)Everton
    12Ryan Bennett (-1)Wolves
    13Victor Lindelof (+5)Manchester United
    14Lewis Dunk (-1)
    15Shane Duffy (+1)Brighton
    16Willy Boly (-6)Wolves
    17Harry Maguire (Stay)Leicester City
    18Conor Coady (-3)Wolves
    19 Jannik Vestergaard (New!)Southampton
    20Nathan Ake (-6)Bournemouth

Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders

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    Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

    With this edition taking into account the last two Premier League gameweeks, Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva are being judged on their monster performances vs. Liverpool and their strong showings against Wolves. Consider them both well clear of the rest.

    Declan Rice jumps into fourth after not only controlling the midfield against Arsenal but scoring the goal that won the game too. It was just the latest in a string of superb displays this season.

    Paul Pogba's excellent form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is rewarded with a top-10 spot. His jump (+7) is so big it even outweighs Jorginho's drop (-6); the Italian hasn't been particularly effective of late.

    Biggest rise: Paul Pogba (+7)

    Biggest fall: Jorginho (-6)


    Top 20 DMs/CMs
    1Fernandinho (Stay)Manchester City
    2Bernardo Silva (+1)Manchester City
    3David Silva (-1)Manchester City
    4Declan Rice (+2)West Ham
    5Georginio Wijnaldum (Stay)
    6Lucas Torreira (-2)
    7N'Golo Kante (+2)Chelsea
    8Moussa Sissoko (Stay)
    9Idrissa Gueye (+4)Everton
    10Paul Pogba (+7)Manchester United
    11Abdoulaye Doucoure (-1)Watford
    12Etienne Capoue (-1)Watford
    13Jorginho (-6)Chelsea
    14James Milner (-2)Liverpool
    15Harry Winks (New!)Tottenham
    16Joao Moutinho (-2)Wolves
    17Ruben Neves (-2)Wolves
    18Mateo Kovacic (-2)
    19Andre Gomes (Stay)Everton
    20Ander Herrera (New!)Manchester United

Attacking Midfielders/Wingers

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Three of the players we've become accustomed to watching excel were a little quiet over the weekend. Heung-Min Son, Felipe Anderson and Anthony Martial weren't their usual, destructive selves.

    Instead, it was left to Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane to make the headlines in this section, each turning in impactful, creative performances against Wolves on Monday night in the 3-0 victory.

    Willian's thunderbolt to secure Chelsea's win over Newcastle United brings him back into the top 20, but most movements outside of that are subtle, either up one or down one, as the rankings naturally shift.

    Biggest rise: Roberto Firmino, Roberto Pereyra (+2)

    Biggest fall: Multiple (-1)


    Top 20 AMs/Wingers
    1Raheem Sterling (Stay)Manchester City
    2Eden Hazard (Stay)Chelsea
    3Leroy Sane (+1)Manchester City
    4Heung-Min Son (-1)Tottenham
    5Roberto Firmino (+2)Liverpool
    6Felipe Anderson (-1)West Ham
    7Anthony Martial (-1)Manchester United
    8Ryan Fraser (Stay)Bournemouth
    9Christian Eriksen (+1)Tottenham 
    10Sadio Mane (-1)
    11Jesse Lingard (Stay)Manchester United
    12David Brooks (Stay)Bournemouth
    13Gylfi Sigurdsson (Stay)
    14Roberto Pereyra (+2)Watford
    15Dele Alli (-1)Tottenham
    16James Maddison (-1)Leicester City
    17 Willian (New!)Chelsea
    18Nathan Redmond (-1)
    19Pedro (New!)Chelsea
    20Gerard Deulofeu (Stay)Watford


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    Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

    Mohamed Salah's penalty conversion against Brighton not only kept Liverpool clear at the top of the Premier League, it also kept him clear at the top of the striker rankings.

    Those who had any sort of chance of threatening his position—Harry Kane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang—played poorly anyway, ensuring no change at the top was warranted.

    The big news here is Marcus Rashford's entry at No. 6. His form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed Manchester United manager has sky-rocketed; he's scored in each of his last three league games, with his movement and speed over the top unstoppable and his finishing unerring. 

    Biggest rise: Marcus Rashford (New!)

    Biggest fall: Multiple (-1)


    Top 10 Strikers
    1Mohamed Salah (Stay)Liverpool
    2Harry Kane (Stay)
    3Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Stay)Arsenal
    4Sergio Aguero (Stay)Manchester City
    5Callum Wilson (Stay)Bournemouth
    6Marcus Rashford (New!)
    Manchester United
    7Salomon Rondon (-1)Newcastle
    8Richarlison (-1)Everton
    9Troy Deeney (New!)Watford
    10Raul Jimenez (-1)Wolves



    All statistics via WhoScored.com.