Running into the second international break of the season, the Premier League table looked bizarre, to say the least. Only seven or eight games had been played by each club, with a mere five points separating the league leaders and those in ninth place.
However, through the strange start to the Premier League campaign, several players have emerged as true world-beaters. With many of the recognized top teams underperforming, stars from the surging clubs have put the league on alert. So, which players have put up the most impressive stats sheets through the opening phase of this Premier League campaign?
A strange start to the season
With eight games played, the table saw Tottenham Hotspur as the closest chaser of Leicester City – just as it was in 2016 when the Foxes won the league. Regardless of this, the latest football betting odds, as of the 17th November, see Man City as the favorite to take the league at 7/5 even though they are down in 10th place. Just behind, however, are Liverpool and their 6/4 odds while sitting in third place.
The league leaders, Leicester and Spurs, were given odds of 22/1 and 17/2, respectively. As such, it looks as though the experts foresee the league table ironing out to something more familiar over the coming months. That said, in a campaign that’s just been tacked on to last season’s late finish, an unexpected winner might just emerge.
Through a start that’s seen the supposed top teams sink, which players have risen to the occasion?
Statistical studs of the Premier League so far
As Chelsea have come to realize, you need a talented goalkeeper to go anywhere in the Premier League. Chelsea replaced their world-record signing, Kepa Arrizabalaga, with Edouard Mendy, who conceded just one goal in four Premier League starts, winning three, and drawing once. As impressive as Mendy has been, he didn’t join the Blues in time to be graded among the early statistical leaders in net.
Easily the standout netminder so far has been Karl Darlow of Newcastle United. The Toon has only won three of their first eight games, but Darlow managed to limit his goals conceded to 13. This doesn’t sound overly impressive on its own, but when you consider that his 39 saves give him a save percentage of 75.0 percent, the English goalie has proven himself to be incredibly tough to beat.
Further up the pitch, Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has been down the left side. His drive towards goal and tricky feet have enabled the Englishman to notch six assists and four goals through just seven games, while also being one of the most-fouled players in Europe’s top league. The Birmingham-born midfielder’s commanding efforts have also earned him a place in the England squad.
While Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been the breakout star of the season so far, Harry Kane is proving to be the ultimate force in and around the box. Still only 27-years-old, just eight games into the season, the striker clocked-in seven goals and a massive eight assists. By the second international break, the ‘Hurri-Kane’ sealed an average of one direct goal contribution every 47.6 minutes.
In what likely hasn’t happened in several seasons, an English goalkeeper, midfielder, and striker sit atop the stats tables in the Premier League. The only question is if Darlow, Grealish, and Kane can maintain their flying form.