After the busy summer where we have had the Euro Cup 2016 and the Copa Centenario, English Premier League’s 2016/17 season started on 13th August and so far we have had three rounds of matches already. The usual fiery and combative nature of the league has already been on display this season with the superstar coaches applying their new methods on the squads and some tactical changes to catch their opposition off guard. It has been thoroughly entertaining so far but now the league will have a little international break of 1 week and it will resume again on 10th September. Let’s look at the top 5 players who impressed the most in the 3 game weeks.
Without a doubt, Curtis Davies has been the most impressive player so far with his exceptional defending allowing relegation favourites Hull City to secure 6 points from a possible 9. The Tigers put up some spirited displays grabbing a win against current champions Leicester City and Swansea City and losing to a last minute goal by Marcus Rashford for Manchester United.
Davies has been nothing short of invincible at the back, averaging 11.7 clearances, 7 interceptions and an astounding 3.3 blocks per game. His defensive performance against Manchester United was without a doubt one of the best ever of his career and arguably one of the best ever by any player in the Premier League as well. Davies got 2 man of the match awards in his 3 appearances.
After the inconsistent performances of last season, it seems like we are getting to see the Eden Hazard we all admire under Antonio Conte. He has been breathtaking individually for his team so far scoring 2 goals and averaging 5.7 successful dribbles, 2 key passes and 4.7 shots on goal per game.
Having weaved his magic around the defences of all the three oppositions which helped Chelsea make a perfect start to the season so far, Hazard has already been one of the top performing players till now.
Stuani has been a standout performer for the surprise package Middlesbrough so far who have shown some brilliant defensive solidity as well as good attacking potential. Aitor Karanka’s men have picked up 5 points so far and Stuani has contributed in both the halves of the field with his 2 goals and 1 key pass per game.
The Uruguayan has only played two games but has made 3 tackles, 3 clearances and 1 interception per game reflecting the defensive discipline of the unit. Stuani has been impressive so far.
The £30m pound signing from Villarreal has already been under huge pressure to live up to his massive transfer fee in a difficult position and he has thoroughly impressed so far. The young Ivorian has averaged 2.3 successful tackles, 5.3 clearances, 2.7 interceptions per game.
On the ball, the defender looks very refined and composed as well executing 3.3 long balls successfully per 90 minutes with an overall passing accuracy of 95%. Despite his young age and price tag, Bailey has already looked to be worth every penny and can grow into an excellent defender for the Red Devils.
The Points tally of 1 after three games would suggest that Watford has been disastrous in their start but Mazzarri’s men have been very impressive on the pitch. They just weren’t able to execute their game plan to perfection. While it will take a bit of time for the Italian manager to impose his philosophy and tactics on the team fully, one player who has been the fulcrum of everything that has been good for The Hornets so far is Etienne Capoue.
Capoue has been excellent so far with his displays contributing heavily in both the attack as well as the defence. The French defensive midfielder has already made 3.3 successful tackles and interceptions in the middle of the pitch per game while scoring two goals and executing 2 successful dribbles, 2.7 long balls, 1.3 crosses and 1 key pass per game with an overall passing accuracy of 81.5%. Capoue thus completes the list of the top 5 most impressive players till game week 3.
Stats via Squawka.com