5) Mohammed Salah
The Egyptian has been the driving force behind Liverpool’s potency in front of goals, scoring 12 goals for the Merseyside club. After an underwhelming time with Chelsea three seasons ago, Salah returned to the Premier League from Roma for a whopping 42 million Euros. Despite his impressive performances for the Italians, there were qualms about Salah’s ability to adapt to the physicality of the English football; however, two months in, and Salah looks like the signing of the season. He has denied claims that pace was his only attribute, displaying supreme agility and ball control. Against Manchester United, Salah was the only legit threat in the game as he used his technical ability to try and influence the game. In addition, Salah has taken a lot of pressure off from Sadio Mane. The African’s absence last season proved detrimental in many ways for Klopp’s men; nevertheless, this season, Salah has become Liverpool’s star in Mane’s absence, thus adding to the strength in depth.
4) Kyle Walker
Manchester City broke the transfer record for the most expensive full-back ever, signing the English defender for 50 million (only to break it again themselves a week later), bringing an end to a long transfer saga regarding Walker’s future. While it was inevitable that Walker would end up at City, there were some doubts about the fees Guardiola’s side were willing to pay for him. But, Walker has settled in seamlessly in Guardiola’s free-flowing side and has become a quintessential figure at the back. He has already provided 5 assists in the league this season demonstrating City’s decision was an astute one.
3) Kylian Mbappe
One for the future, KylianMbappe was arguably Europe’s best young player last season, evoking comparisons with the legendary Thierry Henry. It was only a matter of time before Mbappe left the principality club, but few expected him to leave for rivals PSG. The Parisians were keen on splashing the cash for the 18-year old, signing him on a loan deal with an obligation to buy him for 180 million next summer, which makes him the second most expensive player already. And his performances on the pitch have justified the hype surrounding him. Alongside Cavani and Neymar, Mbappe has formed a ferocious understanding tormenting the opposition defence apart. His performance against Bayern was one of his doubters as he absolutely eradicated Bayern’s defence on his own.
2) Nemanja Matic
Perhaps under-appreciated at Chelsea, Nemanja Matic has been an absolute beast for Manchester United this season. The Serbian was never a fan’s favourite at Stamford Bridge; however, it is difficult to overlook the fact that he won 2 league titles in his three seasons in London and was a fixture in those title-winning sides. Indeed, Matic was regarded as the best midfielder in England during the 2014-15 title win. Alongside Kante last season, Matic rediscovered his best form after an underwhelming season before, keeping Fabregas out of the squad for the most part. Chelsea signing Bakayoko was seen as a replacement for Matic, who quickly made up his mind to move on and join up with Mourinho again. At United, he has been by far the most consistent figure and has brought a much-needed balance to the Red Devils, which has transformed them into genuine title contenders.
Nobody deserves a place in this list more than the Brazilian powerhouse, Paulinho. Sighted as an emergency signing by many, Barcelona’s board faced great criticism for their decision to bring the former Spurs’ flop back to Europe that too for 40 million Euros. However, Ernesto Valverde stood firm in his decision and has brought the best out of Paulinho. He may not be the most technically gifted player but his energy is second to none, and something Barca’s midfield desperately needed last season. Three goals and an assist to his name, Paulinho has enjoyed a smooth transition to life in Spain and will surely progress as the season goes on.