10 Premier League Players Who Have Exceeded All Expectations This Season

So far, this season has provided many glorious goals, tasty tackles and sumptuous saves. This is not uncommon coming from arguably the best league in the world, however, some of these memorable moments have come from the most unlikeliest of sources.

Here are 10 players that have superseded previous expectations and set the Premier League alight. Enjoy:

10. Steve Cook – Bournemouth

Playing either in the centre or on the right of an impressive Bournemouth back four, the 25-year-old has played a huge part in the Cherries first half of the season. 

Cook was the driving force behind Bournemouth’s fantastic 4-3 victory over Liverpool, bagging a goal in the process. The Englishman has also completed the most successful clearances in the league so far, and as a defender that stat is rather important.

9. Antonio Valencia – Manchester United

Despite being on the fringes of the United team last season and only appearing 14 times in the league, the 31-year-old Ecuadorian international has been a regular at right back this season, providing blistering pace and his trademark driven cross.

Valencia seems to have adapted to full back very well so much so that it seems like a lifetime ago that he used to appear as a winger for the Red Devils.

8. Jordan Pickford – Sunderland

The young Sunderland goalkeeper has definitely had to be alert this season, as the Black Cats have conceded 37 goals in 20 games so far. 

The 22-year-old has produced 73 saves so far this campaign, with only Tom Heaton stopping more efforts on goal.

Despite there not being much for the Sunderland fans to shout about at the moment, Pickford’s impressive performances have provided a glimmer of hope that with a strong pair of hands between the sticks, the club from Wearside might just survive relegation (again).

7. Matt Phillips – West Brom

Matt Phillips was someone who was supposed to set the footballing world alight back when he was a promising teenager for Blackpool. 

The 25-year-old’s career however has stagnated in recent years, with a loan spell at Sheffield United and two uninspiring seasons at QPR. 

Last season’s improvement for the U’s drew attention from the Premier league in the form of West Bromwich Albion.

Now playing for the Baggies, Phillips has started showing signs of what was expected years before, with an impressive eight assists to his name; only City’s Kevin De Bruyne has more. 

Matt Phillips is one of the main reasons why West Brom currently sit 8th in the league.

6. Michail Antonio – West Ham

Michail Antonio had been receiving a lot of criticism from his own fans after a series of poor performances last season, so it’s been refreshing to see the 26-year-old prove everyone wrong this season. 

The ex-Forest winger has pitched in with eight goals this season and is currently the Hammers top goalscorer. 

With West Ham not producing the goods in front of the home fans at the moment, Michail Antonio is one of the only players offering a glimmer of light for the Clarets fans.

5. Jermaine Defoe – Sunderland

Jermaine Defoe never ceases to amaze with his goal scoring prowess and exquisite movement, and although the Sunderland forward is now at the twilight age of 34 he is showing no signs of slowing down. 

Defoe was the main reason why Sunderland survived the drop last season and if they are to do it again they will need the attacker to add to his 14 goals so far this campaign. 

The resurgence of Jermaine Defoe has surprised us all and if he keeps up his goal rate this term, he could be a dark horse to win the Golden Boot.

4. James Milner – Liverpool

With James Milner, what you see is what you get. A manager’s dream, as the ex-England international will do any job that is asked of him and not halfheartedly either. 

This season has been the perfect example as Milner has filled in at left back for Liverpool in a no-nonsense, professional manner, emphasising his importance to the team. 

Not only has he surprisingly been picked ahead of natural left back Alberto Moreno, but he’s also managed to help at the other end, with five goals and two assists so far this season.

3. Idrissa Gueye – Everton

After a rather forgettable season at Aston Villa, seeing the West Midlands side relegated from the Premier League, no one expected Idrissa Gueye to be one of the signings of the season for Everton.

The Senegalese midfielder has been solid for the Merseyside club, providing firm protection in front of the back four, topping the charts in terms of tackles made with 92, 18 more than any other player. 

The only issue for Everton moving forward, is if they can hold off top clubs around Europe who will have noticed the midfielders progression.

2. Etienne Capoue – Watford

The Hornets are currently having an indifferent season lying in 12th place at the moment, however one player has stood out in particular for the yellows and that is Etienne Capoue.

Not known for his goals, the Frenchman has managed to bag five so far this season, and has looked a more attacking threat in general for Watford than the previous year. 

His ability being displayed week-in-week-out isn’t the surprise, its where on the pitch that has pleasantly shocked us all.

1. Victor Moses – Chelsea

The biggest surprise this season has without a shadow of a doubt been Victor Moses.

The Nigerian has had to put up with various loan spells to Liverpool, Stoke and West Ham over the last couple of seasons, which led the Chelsea fans to believe that he would not be in the clubs future plans.

Antonio Conte however, had other ideas, bringing Moses into the fold as a regular on the wing for the Blues. Moses has not only contributed with three goals and an assist, but has also displayed impressive defensive skills and teamwork, covering for his full back. 

This season has certainly rejuvenated the 26-year-old, and has provided proof that a change of manager can turn a player from not even being on the fringes to being one of the first names on the team sheet. 

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