@DaveTindallgolf‘s Race to the Premier League Player of the Year after Matchday 23.
(Last week: 1)
Not his usual unruffled day at the office as the now miserly Liverpool defence he so expertly marshals conceded three goals in a game for the first time this season. In truth, the big Dutchman wasn’t particularly at fault for any and Liverpool still have the lowest goals against column in the top flight. One plus from Saturday’s tense 4-3 win over Palace was that Van Dijk registered an assist as his deflected shot was turned home by Mo Salah. Stays top for the fifth week running.
(Last week: 2)
Was tempted to promote him to No.1 for the first time this season after two vital goals in the 4-3 victory over Palace took Salah two clear at the top of the Premier League scoring charts. However, Van Dijk has been the more consistent presence so Salah remains in second… for now. The Egyptian has 16 Premier League goals and seven assists and keeps coming up with the big moments when the Reds wobble.
(Last week: 4)
Back into the top three after supplying Man City’s crucial second goal against Huddersfield – with his head! Getting on the end of Leroy Sane’s curled cross into the six-yard box shows how Sterling has added striker’s instincts to his game and that took him into double figures for the season. Only three players have scored more than his 10 Premier League goals this term and Sterling has seven assists too. Also note his six man-of-the-match awards – four more than any City teammate.
(Last week: 3)
The Chelsea star had eight weeks at the top of these charts in the early months of the season and it looked as if he could smash personal records and help the Blues become genuine title contenders. He still has superb tallies of 10 goals and 10 assists but being played as a false striker has diminished his impact in recent times and Chelsea’s results have become inconsistent, as highlighted by the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.
(Last week: 6)
Man-of-the-match in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Huddersfield as he increased his Premier League goal count to eight with a cool finish and provided a ninth assist of the season to set up Raheem Sterling. Sane looks unplayable at times and could have a massive part to play in City’s bid to reel in Liverpool at the top.
(Last week: 5)
Harry did pop up with a last-gasp winner for Spurs at Fulham but that was Winks, not Kane. The winner of the World Cup Golden Boot is now two behind in the race for the Premier League version and faces a spell on the sidelines with injury. His 14 goals are worth a top five spot for the time being but expect him to slip down as he recovers from injury.
(Last week: 7)
Simply brilliant for the first few months of the campaign and I had the City playmaker ranked second for three weeks. However, he’s slipped a little after injury and subsequent reduced impact of late and the latter was the case again on Saturday as he came on as a sub with City already 3-0 up at Huddersfield.
(Last week: 9)
A new entry into the top 10 last week and up he goes again after netting a penalty in the 2-1 win over Brighton. From nowhere, Pogba now has eight Premier League goals this season and that includes five in his last three home games. And talking of players being rejuvenated under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer….
(Last week: N/A)
New entry klaxon! Solskjaer has been in charge for just seven games (United have won them all) and Rashford has scored in five of them. The last two have been the winner against Spurs at Wembley and what proved the decisive second against Brighton. Overall, he’s United’s joint-top scorer in the Premier League with eight and is one of the division’s hottest players after the frustrations under Jose Mourinho.
(Last week: 8)
His role as a holding midfielder means there are more brighter stars in the sky to gaze at but Fernandinho is absolutely crucial in City’s universe. They slumped to surprise losses when he missed a couple of games through injury and keeping him fit is vital as they hunt trophies on four fronts.