Every PL Club’s best player so far—23/24 edition

Aakash Rao
7 min readNov 9, 2023

Welcome back to my blog, and today I will be lavishing praise on each PL club’s best player this season. Do note that this is simply my opinion, and feel free to let me know if you feel someone else has been far better for any certain club.

Arsenal — Declan Rice

This might be a slightly outlandish shout from me, but I truly believe marquee signing Declan Rice has been Arsenal’s standout player of the season. If you had asked me two weeks ago, I probably would have said Saka, but in recent games, the Gunners’ talisman has been off-form, which is why I decided to go with Rice. The midfield general has made Xhaka’s absence feel insignificant, and while he has yet to make much of an impact in front of goal, he has scored an important goal against Manchester United and surely will improve by leaps and bounds this season under Arsenal mastermind Mikel Arteta.

Aston Villa — Ollie Watkins

One of the easiest decisions on this list, English striker Ollie Watkins, has cemented the No. 9 position at Aston Villa with some stellar performances in the first 11 games of the season. The former Bees’ forward has blossomed under Unai Emery, continuing his excellent run of form at the back end of last season with 5 goals and assists in 11 games this season. He has been constantly energetic and threatening for Villa, which has helped them ascend to the top half of the table.

Bournemouth — Dominic Solanke

Yet another English striker, but one who is experiencing a sort of Renaissance rather than continuing a sustained excellent run of form. The striker had been the Cherries’ top goalscorer last season, but whether he would make the same impact this season was anyone’s guess due to his inconsistent career so far. However, he has done his best to make a difference for the Cherries this season, with 4 goals and 1 assist in the PL, but has been helpless in arresting their terrible form and keep them out of the drop zone

Burnley — Lyle Foster

No one at Burnley really deserves a ‘best player’ award, but I guess we can give it to Lyle Foster? Despite his team’s abysmal form, the South African forward has chipped in with 3 goals and 2 assists. However, whether these goal contributions have translated to points is a whole different issue.

Brentford — Bryan Mbuemo

The Cameroonian is not really known for his mind-boggling goal contribution statistics but has gone through a purple patch this season to make up for the absence of Ivan Toney. 6 goals and 2 assists in 11 Premier League games are more than adequate to merit his inclusion here, and millions of FPL players will be praying the 24-year-old will continue this rich vein of form.

Brighton — Lewis Dunk

Lewis Dunk has been one of many Brighton players enjoying life under RDZ, and I thought it would only be fair to nominate the Seagulls’ captain for this award after he has consistently put in 8/10 displays for the south coast side over the past 3 seasons. While Evan Ferguson, Joao Pedro, Adingra, and Mitoma have all chipped in with numerous goal contributions, the English center-half has been quite exceptional for them this season too, leading from the back and ensuring the Seagulls see through each match with passion and discipline.

Chelsea — Cole Palmer

Chelsea’s season so far has been quite topsy-turvy, as Mauricio Pochettino’s side have played amazingly in some games but have been below the mark in others. However, one standout player who has consistently been a creative beacon despite his inexperience is Cole Palmer, Chelsea’s 45 million-pound signing from Manchester City. Despite my belief that Chelsea have overpaid for him (still), Cole Palmer has been nothing short of commendable, as he has done his best to make an impact in every game, contributing 3 goals and 2 assists in 8 games so far.

Crystal Palace — Sam Johnstone

We see our first goalkeeper entrant on the list, as Crystal Palace’s player of the season so far award goes to former Manchester United academy product Sam Johnstone. The Englishman has earned his position as Crystal Palace No. 1 with some exceptional performances and some fortunate circumstances. It was widely thought his days as England’s third-choice goalie were over after he rotted away on the Crystal Palace bench last season, but Vincente Guaita’s temper tantrum and departure, coupled with Dean Henderson’s injury, ensure he will continue to feature between the sticks for Palace and England in the near future.

Everton — Abdoulaye Doucouré

Doucoure has had quite the career in England, as he has gone from Watford’s best midfielder to a decent player at Everton, then an outcast under Lampard, and finally once again an integral part of his side. Doucoure has been performing quite well under Sean Dyche, popping up with important goals and assists as he adapts to the new No. 10 role handed to him this season. However, his combative nature and defensive capabilities have also ensured he has gotten stuck in and helped out at the back this season, making him Everton’s best midfielder and player by far.

Fulham — Joao Palhinha

From one combative midfielder to another, Joao Palhinha has looked as good as he was last season, despite his failed transfer to Bayern. The Portuguese destroyer has been quite phenomenal for Fulham in the middle of the park, carrying out his defensive duties exceptionally as well as providing some crucial goal contributions every now and then, such as his late goal against Arsenal, which saved the Cottagers an important point.

Liverpool — Mohamed Salah

This one is pretty obvious, isn’t it? If not for Erling Haaland, Mo Salah would be at the top of the goalscoring charts. Nevertheless, he has had the most goal contributions for Liverpool in the league so far, with 8 goals and 4 assists. The Egyptian appears to be aging like fine wine rather than slowing down, and if he continues to make such an impact, he could lead the Scousers onto some big things this season.

Luton Town — Carlton Morris

It was a bit tough to pick the ‘best player’ for a team second-bottom in the league, but I’ve ended up picking Carlton Morris. He’s been OK for Luton so far, scoring 3 goals and assisting 1 in 11 league games, but he will have to pick up the pace if he wants to keep his side in the PL for longer than a season.

Manchester City — Erling Haaland

Some of you may raise your eyebrows at this pick, but I am genuinely bemused at why so many fans believe Haaland is not City’s best player so far. The Norwegian is truly a victim of his own success, as his own high standards have led fans to believe that he is not at his best this season. This statement is not only naive, but it is also extremely untrue. Sure, he is not scoring match winners every week, but 11 goals and 2 assists in 11 matches is not a goalscoring record to scoff at. At the end of the day, he has been asked by Guardiola to get goals, and he does that, so the number of touches he takes per game or the amount of pressing he does doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things as long as he does his job and scores goals.

Manchester United — Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have been quite abysmal this season for their lofty standards, so this award is solely being awarded to the best of a bad bunch. Bruno Fernandes has consistently contributed through goals and creating chances since his arrival, and this season he has continued to do so, but a combination of terrible finishing by his teammates and a lack of opportunities means he has only contributed to 3 goals and 2 assists in the league. However, he scored arguably one of the most important goals of the season during the weekend against Fulham, which has kept Ten Hag’s job intact for now, and thus he wins this award comfortably.

Newcastle United — Callum Wilson

Callum Wilson has continued his goalscoring streak at Newcastle despite the signings of attackers like Isak or Barnes, which threatened to cut down his game time. However, the Englishman has continued to contribute to Newcastle’s goal tally, scoring an impressive seven in 10 games.

Nottingham Forest — Ibrahima Sangare

Nottingham Forest have been doing relatively well in the PL this season, and a lot of that success is down to their new look midfield. The additions of Sangare and Dominguez have ensured that Forest have had dominating midfield performances, but Sangare in particular has been pretty crucial since his arrival from PSV. The Ivorian destroyer has yet to record a goal or assist, but he has done well in controlling the tempo and helping out in defense so far.

Sheffield United — No one

The Blades are bottom of the league, and unlike Luton, their performances have been utterly uninspiring, which means I can’t really pick out a standout player since most have been abysmal.

Tottenham Hotspur — James Maddison

This was a tougher pick as I had to choose between two players who have arguably been the best two in the league so far: Son and Maddison. However, I have decided to go with James Maddison, as the English maestro has revolutionized Spurs’ midfield and has been a creative beacon for them so far. His 3 goals and 5 assists have been crucial to Tottenham’s success so far, and if he keeps this form up, he will be forcing Southgate’s hand into starting him for England in the Euros.

West Ham United — Jarrod Bowen

The former Hull City academy product has stepped up at the Hammers this season, leading the attack with bravado and creativity. The winger has been an important part of West Ham’s decent start to the season, and his eight goal contributions have been quite welcome considering West Ham forwards are often notorious for struggling in front of goal.

Wolves — Hwang Hee-Chan

The Korean attacker has established himself as a crucial player in the Wolves squad this season, turning over a new leaf under Gary O’Neil and contributing six goals and two assists to the Wolves’ cause. While he has always been a player with a lot of potential, he struggled to realize it at Leipzig and then Wolves, but now his recent run of form has allowed him to contribute quite a bit to Wolves’ decent start to the season so far.

That’s it for this article, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I am back on Medium for good, and I will be churning out articles regularly, so do look out for more exciting content. Till my next one, adios!



Aakash Rao

An avid Manchester United fan and football/music blogger!