The Most Impressive England Players This Season
A huge amount of football talent comes out of England. Over the years, there have been many world-class famous English players such as Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, David Beckham, Ashley Cole, Alan Shearer, Steven Gerrard and Pal Scholes. The present is no exception; there is a huge amount of English talent playing in the Premier League and abroad. Here we take a look at some of the current top English players.
Jamie Vardy – Leicester City
At present Jamie Vardy is the top goal scorer in the Premier League with 11 goals and averaging 98 minutes per goal. Unfortunately for England, Vardy is no longer available to the national team, which is a great shame as he is a fine striker. Vardy seems to have improved in recent times. He used to hunt down the goals himself but now he seems to be mainly taking advantage of whatever his teammates provide. While no striker with at least five goals has played more minutes than Vardy this season, no striker has touched the ball fewer times. Sergio Aguero is the next least active forward, and he has had 40 more touches than Vardy in 326 fewer minutes.
With Vardy managing to score so regularly from such little involvement, it is clear that he is currently a far more efficient player than anyone else in the league is. He has capitalised on 48 percent of his opportunities, a hugely impressive achievement. If he can maintain this form and his teammates can continue to give him chances, then Leicester City are likely to go a long way.
Kieran Trippier – Atletico Madrid
When Tottenham Hotspur decided to sell Kieran Trippier after what he admitted was a disastrous season, no one questioned it. The only complaint that Spurs fans had was that the team failed to buy a replacement for the right back.
However, while Spurs may have made £20 million from the sale, it seems that Atletico Madrid are very much reaping the rewards. After Mauricio Pochettino cut him out, Trippier has gone on to help Atletico Madrid maintain the best defensive record of any team in La Liga, and his impressive deliveries from the right have been compared to those of David Beckham. Trippier went from being the most impressive right back at the World Cup to not even featuring in England’s squad just one year later after a season in which he looked both physically and mentally exhausted. However, the move appears to have rejuvenated him and working under Diego Simeone he is going from strength to strength. It is no surprise that he was called back to Gareth Southgate’s recent starting XI.
Tammy Abraham – Chelsea
Many people didn’t expect Tammy Abraham to survive as Chelsea’s first choice centre forward, but they have certainly been proved wrong. Frank Lampard has said that the England forward was always going to be given a chance this season, regardless of the team’s transfer ban. While it is impossible to know if Lampard was being completely honest, had the team not had a ban, and had he failed to buy striker then he would certainly have been seen as negligent.
So far this season Abraham has certainly risen to the occasion and relished the opportunity to do so. He is currently the league’s second highest goal scorer with 10 goals and averaging just 90 minutes per goal. Having already proved his doubters wrong, if he maintains this form for the rest of the season then no one will be able to claim that he isn’t up to the job.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
Speaking before Alexander-Arnold made his one-hundredth appearance for Liverpool during their 2 – 1 win over Aston Villa recently, Pep Lijnders, Liverpool’s assistant boss, said “He plays as a playmaker on the right”.
Alexander-Arnold already has the same number of assists as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino this season, but far more impressively, he is not far behind Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne for chances created. He is on 42, 11 more than Lucas Digne and just 1 less than Kevin De Bruyne. He is also far ahead of Jack Grealish, a highly creative player. Many of the chances come from set-pieces while he has also been highly impressive in open play. In short, no matter what statistic you look at, Trent Alexander-Arnold is having a fantastic season.
John Lundstram – Sheffield United
Speaking about John Lundstram in August, Chris Wilder said, “I said to him last season, if we do manage to go up then don’t think ‘that’s me done!’, I always thought he had a part to play.”
Last season he certainly didn’t, was given just five starts for Sheffield United during their promotion campaign in the Championship, and it was assumed that over the summer Lundstram would be leaving the club. However, in stark contrast to expectations, the midfielder has been a constant in the team this season and scored three goals in his first eleven games in the Premier League.
Lundstram is one of the first to admit that he needed more time to develop and he wasn’t yet ready when he played at Everton. However, there is no doubt that now he is one of the most important players for a team that is currently in the Premier League’s European places.
Chris Smalling – Roma
Back when he played for Manchester United, Chris Smalling was probably the team’s third choice centre back. However, since the team couldn’t get rid of Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly or Phil Jones, Manchester United had no choice but to accept Roma’s loan offer for Smalling.
Things could hardly have turned out better for either the player or Roma. Smalling has been incredibly impressive since he started life in Serie A, to the point where Roma have now decided that they would like to buy him. His performances have been as impressive as those he used to produce under Louis van Gaal, when he was playing at his best. Any team that is looking for a defender to defend will struggle to find anyone better than Smalling in his current form.
Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund
Everyone is widely expecting this to be Jadon Sancho’s last season in the Bundesliga, but he has started the season with similar form to last season. No player in the league has produced more assists than the six Sancho has while also scoring three goals of his own. Only Robert Lewandowski and Timo Werner have been directly involved in more goals in the Bundesliga this season. However, Sancho has made fewer appearances than either of them.
Given his current form, the 19 year old will likely receive numerous offers from Premier League clubs next summer and if he impresses at Euro 2020 then he may also receive offers from elsewhere. However, it seems likely that Sancho will return to England. He is certainly wanted by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but unless United start improving, Sancho is likely to look to other teams.
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City
Raheem Sterling is certainly living up to his name at the moment, and producing sterling performances. He has been extremely consistent recently and some are even comparing him to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. While he may not reach those heights, he is still a fantastic player. He is an extremely consistent attacker who has managed to improve his game to the point where he is very much in demand.
Ben Chilwell – Leicester City
It isn’t clear why Ben Chilwell has not yet been given an extended run in the England side. While Gareth Southgate likes Danny Rose and he is a very loyal boss, it has reached the point where the contrast between Rose’s form and the Leicester City defender’s cannot be ignored and Southgate should certainly be using him more.
Chilwell is impressively calm on the left of the back four. He is an excellent defender with great pace, positional awareness and timing. Furthermore, while not being particularly tall, he is very strong in the air. There is a chance that Chilwell will improve going forward. However, he has matched Alexander-Arnold’s assists and goals tally so far this season, and just four other defenders have created more chances in open play.
Tyrone Mings – Aston Villa
There always seems to be action going on around Tyrone Mings. For the majority of this season, the Aston Villa defender has been impressing with performances that led to his England debut last month. He was also on the bench for England’s recent games.
He is not flawless and according to Opta Sports, no player has made more errors that have led to opposition shots. Furthermore, it very much looks as though he should have done more to prevent four of the goals conceded by Villa this season. However, if he can learn to avoid the mistakes then there is every chance that he will become an even more impressive player.