EPL 100: Ranking of Premier League's Best Players After Matchday 22
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.
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)
|1||Alisson Becker (+1)||Liverpool|
|2||Lukasz Fabianski (-1)||West Ham United|
|3||David De Gea (+5)||Manchester United|
|4||Ederson Moraes (+1)||Manchester City|
|5||Ben Foster (-1)||Watford|
|6||Martin Dubravka (-3)||Newcastle United|
|7||Hugo Lloris (-1)||Tottenham Hotspur|
|8||Bernd Leno (-1)||Arsenal|
|9||Kepa Arrizabalaga (New!)||Chelsea|
|10||Rui Patricio (New!)||Wolves|
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)
|1||Ricardo Pereira (+3)||Leicester City|
|2||Trent Alexander-Arnold (+1)||Liverpool|
|3||Aaron Wan-Bissaka (-1)||Crystal Palace|
|4||Matt Doherty (-3)||Wolves|
|5||Kyle Walker (Stay)||Manchester City|
|6||Pablo Zabaleta (Stay)||West Ham|
|7||Cesar Azpilicueta (Stay)||Chelsea|
|8||Hector Bellerin (Stay)||Arsenal|
|9||Martin Montoya (Stay)||Brighton|
|10||Kiko Femenia (Stay)||Watford|
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)
|1||Andy Robertson (Stay)||Liverpool|
|2||Ben Chilwell (Stay)||Leicester City|
|3||Lucas Digne (+2)||Everton|
|5||Luke Shaw (+2)||Manchester United|
|6||Marcos Alonso (-2)||Chelsea|
|7||Jose Holebas (-1)||Watford|
|8||Ben Davies (Stay)||Tottenham|
|10||Paul Dummett (Stay)||Newcastle|
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)
Defensive Midfielders/Central Midfielders
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)
|1||Fernandinho (Stay)||Manchester City|
|2||Bernardo Silva (+1)||Manchester City|
|3||David Silva (-1)||Manchester City|
|4||Declan Rice (+2)||West Ham|
|5||Georginio Wijnaldum (Stay)||Liverpool|
|6||Lucas Torreira (-2)||Arsenal|
|7||N'Golo Kante (+2)||Chelsea|
|8||Moussa Sissoko (Stay)||Tottenham|
|9||Idrissa Gueye (+4)||Everton|
|10||Paul Pogba (+7)||Manchester United|
|11||Abdoulaye Doucoure (-1)||Watford|
|12||Etienne Capoue (-1)||Watford|
|14||James Milner (-2)||Liverpool|
|15||Harry Winks (New!)||Tottenham|
|16||Joao Moutinho (-2)||Wolves|
|17||Ruben Neves (-2)||Wolves|
|18||Mateo Kovacic (-2)||Chelsea|
|19||Andre Gomes (Stay)||Everton|
|20||Ander Herrera (New!)||Manchester United|
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)
|1||Raheem Sterling (Stay)||Manchester City|
|2||Eden Hazard (Stay)||Chelsea|
|3||Leroy Sane (+1)||Manchester City|
|4||Heung-Min Son (-1)||Tottenham|
|5||Roberto Firmino (+2)||Liverpool|
|6||Felipe Anderson (-1)||West Ham|
|7||Anthony Martial (-1)||Manchester United|
|8||Ryan Fraser (Stay)||Bournemouth|
|9||Christian Eriksen (+1)||Tottenham|
|10||Sadio Mane (-1)||Liverpool|
|11||Jesse Lingard (Stay)||Manchester United|
|12||David Brooks (Stay)||Bournemouth|
|13||Gylfi Sigurdsson (Stay)||Everton|
|14||Roberto Pereyra (+2)||Watford|
|15||Dele Alli (-1)||Tottenham|
|16||James Maddison (-1)||Leicester City|
|18||Nathan Redmond (-1)||Southampton|
|20||Gerard Deulofeu (Stay)||Watford|
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)
|1||Mohamed Salah (Stay)||Liverpool|
|2||Harry Kane (Stay)||Tottenham|
|3||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Stay)||Arsenal|
|4||Sergio Aguero (Stay)||Manchester City|
|5||Callum Wilson (Stay)||Bournemouth|
|6||Marcus Rashford (New!)||Manchester United|
|7||Salomon Rondon (-1)||Newcastle|
|9||Troy Deeney (New!)||Watford|
|10||Raul Jimenez (-1)||Wolves|
All statistics via WhoScored.com.