The opening weeks of the new Premier League season has seen mixed fortunes for the division’s traditional top six, as English football’s biggest clubs bid for successful seasons.
The league table is beginning to take shape as we head into October, with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool the early pacesetters at the top. We’ve decided to look at each of the Premier League’s top six and their beginnings to the new season, with each club’s stand-out performer of the campaign so far…
Arsenal – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The Gabon international finished level with Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah for a share of the Premier League’s Golden Boot last season, and has begun the new season in similarly ominous fashion.
Whilst Arsenal’s performances have remained inconsistent as Unai Emery oversees a transitional period, Aubameyang’s ruthless streak in front of goal has remained a constant.
The 30-year-old has thrived in English football since arriving in a club-record £56m deal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, and after firing six goals in six games to start the new campaign, he now has 38 goals in just 55 league appearances since his switch to the Emirates.
Undoubtedly amongst the division’s leading attacking players, Aubameyang has also emerged as a leader for Emery’s Arsenal and his decision to give new signing Nicolas Pepe a penalty to score his first goal for the club showed his class.
Reportedly being considered amongst the candidates to become the club’s new vice-captain, the forward is crucial to the North London side’s hopes of a successful season.
16 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 16 goals in his last 16 games across all competitions for Arsenal, including in each of the last four games in a row (five goals). Solution. pic.twitter.com/Glozu3oHwS
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 22, 2019
Chelsea – Tammy Abraham
Frank Lampard has been given plaudits for handing opportunities to Chelsea’s best young talent so far this season, and whilst the likes of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have impressed, it is forward Abraham who has made the biggest impact at Stamford Bridge in the opening weeks of the new campaign.
Handed the club’s number nine shirt and given his opportunity, the 21-year-old endured a difficult start following his return from a loan spell at Aston Villa, missing the decisive penalty in the club’s UEFA Super Cup shoot-out defeat to Liverpool in August.
To his credit, Abraham has bounced back from that disappointment – which included disgusting racial abuse online – and emerged as one of the Premier League’s most in-form players.
Having registered his first goals for the club with a double at Norwich, Abraham would fire five more over the next two weeks including a superbly taken hat-trick at Wolves. Few would have anticipated the impact Abraham would have in Lampard’s new-look side, but after scoring seven times in just six league games, the forward has certainly seized his opportunity under the new regime.
Tammy Abraham(21)??????? in the Premier league this season:
Shots on Target:8️⃣
Aerial Duels won:1️⃣4️⃣
Big Chances Created:1️⃣
Catching the eye? pic.twitter.com/Sn7OqZ0HiY
— The Scout (@TheScoutRole) September 20, 2019
Liverpool – Fabinho
Liverpool’s flawless start to the new season has been nothing short of impressive, with several players in the frame as the club’s stand-out star.
Roberto Firmino’s understated brilliance is perhaps being appreciated greater than ever before after his start to the season, whilst the unsung Joel Matip has emerged as a fan favourite following his impressive performances at the heart of the defence.
Despite the performances of that duo, however, Fabinho has been central to their success so far this season. Having had to remain patient for his chance after arriving last season, the Brazil international is now one of the very first names on Jurgen Klopp’s team sheet.
In an era when holding midfielders have rarely been more important, the 25-year-old midfielder destroyer has emerged as arguably the division’s finest. Powerful, composed and tactically intelligent, Fabinho’s passing can often be vastly underrated.
The defensive foundation which allows others around him to flourish, particularly flying full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, the former Monaco star is the glue that often holds the Liverpool side together.
Fabinho 1st half vs Chelsea
1/2 aeriel duels
Priceless ? pic.twitter.com/4VH3hdhoph
— LFC Stats (@LFCData) September 22, 2019
Manchester City – Kevin De Bruyne
Sergio Aguero’s blistering start to the new season has drawn plaudits, as has Raheem Sterling’s continued upward progression into Europe’s elite, however, the star at City is De Bruyne.
The Belgian seems to have overcome the injury problems of last season to return in arguably career best form, having scored twice and provided a league leading seven assists in just six appearances so far this season.
The complete midfield player, the 28-year-old is the creative heartbeat of Pep Guardiola’s champions whilst his effortless ability to produce high quality delivery makes him a potent weapon in the attacking armoury.
Having become the fastest player in Premier League history to reach 50 assists, De Bruyne will hope to continue his fine form and will have one eye on eclipsing Thierry Henry’s record of 20 for most assists in a single season.
Kevin de Bruyne has provided more assists (6) than any other player in Europe's top five leagues this season.
Usual service resumed. ? pic.twitter.com/bqvkmBPxUY
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 21, 2019
Manchester United – Daniel James
The pressure may be increasing ever so slightly at Manchester United after a mixed start to the new season, though the surprising impact of summer signing Daniel James has been a highlight of their campaign so far.
Eyebrows were raised when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to take a chance on the Swansea City winger, though he has adapted seamlessly to life in the top flight since his move from the Championship to Old Trafford.
A goal on debut against Chelsea was followed by further well-taken strikes against Crystal Palace and Southampton, whilst the 21-year-old’s blistering pace has brought a new dimension to Solskjaer’s attack.
United are undergoing a transitional phase under their former forward and the Norwegian is keen to implement youth, though whether he will be handed the time if results do not improve remains to be seen.
James is undoubtedly raw and has much to learn to truly establish himself as a top six player, though the early signs have been promising and his willingness to improve and work could see him become a favourite in Manchester.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 7, 2019
Tottenham – Erik Lamela
Another top six side to have suffered a difficult start to the new season, Mauricio Pochettino’s side currently sit seventh after winning just twice in their opening six fixtures of the new season.
Uncertainty over the futures of several key players has led to an unsettled start, and few Spurs stars have produced their best performances thus far. Harry Kane has scored four goals so far, whilst South Korea international Son Heung-Min’s return from suspension has been a welcome boost.
Perhaps Tottenham’s best performer, however, has been Argentine Erik Lamela. Having enjoyed a frustrating period at the club in recent times, many felt the former Roma star may be surplus to requirements during Pochettino’s overhaul this summer.
The 27-year-old has made a mockery of those predictions to emerge as a regular once more, scoring twice and providing one assist in five Premier League appearances so far. Lamela has never truly fulfilled expectations since his hugely anticipated arrival from Serie A side Roma six seasons ago, but having returned to fitness he can provide a useful and versatile creative option for Tottenham again this season.
Erik Lamela’s first half by numbers vs. Leicester:
100% take-ons completed
100% tackles won
most final third passes (11/14)
most chances created (3)
Really impressive first half. ? pic.twitter.com/WhuF4BgDC8
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) September 21, 2019
Read Also: All-time Premier League Brazilian XI