5) David Silva
David Silva easily ranks amongst the finest playmakers the Premier League has ever seen. While his diminutive figure makes it easy to shake him off the ball at times, Silva’s close control means he hardly gives away the ball. In a league as physical as the premier league, David Silva has managed to create havoc with his fine vision and dribbling skills. Silva played in a much deeper role for Guardiola’s men last season and blossomed. The World Cup Champion will be hoping for yet another excellent year at the Etihad, as Manchester City look to reclaim the league title.
4) Juan Mata
Like his fellow countryman, Juan Mata’s arrival to the Premier League attracted cynical eyes due to his tiny figure. However, Mata won over his critics with his creativity, winning the Player of the Year for Chelsea consecutively during his time in London. While Mourinho deemed Mata unfit to flourish in a No.10 role as he sold him to United, the Spaniard has won over the Portuguese, who is now at the helm at United, with his efficiency and performances in the big games for United last season.
3) Jesus Navas
Another Spaniard in our list, Navas arrived at Manchester City with great fanfare. While Navas did play a crucial role in City’s title win of 2013, he never really reached the level he played at during his time with Sevilla. Inconsistency was perhaps the biggest flaw in his game, as most of his dribbling skills ended with a poor delivery. Guardiola tried Navas in an unfamiliar right-back position at times last season, but the idea was never going to work out as Navas lacked the necessary physicality and attention to play in the defence. He finally ended his time at Manchester City this summer, as a move to Sevilla was completed.
2) Angel Di Maria
On his day, the Argentine is an unremitting force. His performance against Barcelona in the first leg of the knockout stages last season was a testament to his unquestionable talent. It was Di Maria’s tenacity that allowed him to flourish at Real, despite Real Madrid bringing in Gareth Bale in his position. It was the Argentine’s zig-zag run that created the goal for Bale in the Champions League final against Atletico in 2014. While his move to Manchester United did not work out, Di Maria has found his feet at PSG. With the French club bringing in Neymar, Di Maria has been touted as a possible replacement for the departed Brazilian at Barcelona.
The most expensive player in the world is quite easily one of the weakest players in terms of physicality. However, the physicality is well compensated for by Neymar with his exquisite playing style. As such, it is his lean figure, which allows him to run as quickly as he does. The attacker is arguably the best player in the world behind Messi and Ronaldo. Nevertheless, he is the most expensive player in the world, owing to his world-record move from Barcelona to PSG. A desire to move out of Messi’s shadow has been touted as a possible reason behind his unpredictable move from Barcelona. Whether the move does indeed bring the Ballon d’Or to Neymar’s hands remains to be seen; however, his transfer does place PSG as big favourites for the Champions League title this season.