With the 2018-19 Premier League season now in the books, theScore is ranking the top 50 performers from a topsy-turvy campaign. Who shone brightest over the past nine months? Let the debate begin.
50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 (May 15) | 20-11 (May 16) | 10-1 (May 17)
40. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
Arsenal have an enormous hole to fill after the club’s previous regime bottled Ramsey’s contract, permitting the Welshman to make a free move to Juventus. An 11th and final season with the Gunners was one of his best, and while statistics tell part of the tale, Ramsey’s professionalism coupled with his goal against rival Tottenham at Wembley and celebratory cry, “This is my f—— pitch!” only endeared him further to the Arsenal faithful.
39. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton)
When Sigurdsson was on form, so were Everton. The Icelander’s 13 goals tied Paul Pogba for the most among midfielders in the 2018-19 Premier League season. He also did an admirable job acting as the Toffees’ sole creator in many matches. Sigurdsson turns 30 in September, so Everton should seek another inventive midfielder before the next term kicks off.
38. Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City)
The contrast between Pereira’s attacking contributions this season and those of his predecessor, Danny Simpson, has been stark. Pereira, alongside Ben Chilwell, form one of the league’s more promising full-back duos, and Pereira also proved his worth as a reliable two-way player at the King Power. Content to run at defenders, the 25-year-old contributed two goals and seven assists in 35 league appearances for Leicester City.
37. Ederson (Manchester City)
Considering the fees Liverpool and Chelsea paid for Alisson and Kepa Arrizabalaga last summer, the £35 million that Manchester City handed over for Ederson a year earlier was solid business. The Brazilian is an underrated shot-stopper, and he passes around aggressive presses with a thrilling nonchalance. Picking a favorite between Alisson and Ederson will be the subject of pub debates for years to come.
36. Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
An asset both as a central defender – whether as part of a two- or three-man backline – or as a full-back amid a slew of injuries and two transfer windows sans additions, Vertonghen’s importance for Spurs is immeasurable. He’s a slick passer who rarely commits to rash challenges, and did not make an error that led to a goal for a side that conceded the third-fewest times in the league.
35. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
It’s remarkable that City won the title without a principal contribution from the former PFA Team of the Year member, though that’s not to say the Belgian playmaker’s season was all for naught. De Bruyne appeared in half of the club’s league outings despite a pair of knee injuries. A man-of-the-match, two-assist performance versus Crystal Palace in April was a clear reminder of the 27-year-old’s sublime wizardry.
34. James Maddison (Leicester City)
The Leicester City playmaker’s jump from the second tier to top flight has been seamless. A stud with Norwich City, Maddison, 22, has been the creative epicenter of a side with heaps of potential. Certain to be on Gareth Southgate’s radar, the Englishman has paired seven league goals with seven assists this season and was the only player in the Premier League to create 100 goal-scoring opportunities.
33. Felipe Anderson (West Ham)
The Brazilian’s five years at Lazio held much promise but were blighted by inconsistency. The latter point may remain an issue – Anderson converted one Premier League goal from the end of December – but the first half of his campaign and the excitement he brings to the London Stadium are worth a spot on this list. Deft dribbling skills and a keen work rate made him a fan favorite at West Ham.
32. Leroy Sane (Manchester City)
You would be hard-pressed to find somebody who refutes Sane’s quality, but what appears to irk Guardiola is the German’s sullen demeanor and tendency to overlook tactical instructions. These are perhaps the reasons why Sane is rarely trusted in matches against the “big six” and is often enduring touchline tirades from his manager. Regardless of his supposed issues, Sane reached double figures in goals and assists for City in the 2018-19 league campaign despite 10 of his 31 appearances coming as a second-half substitute.
31. Alisson (Liverpool)
If there was any question that the stately Brazilian shot-stopper was one of the best in the world, ask Roma fans how Robin Olsen has fared in Alisson’s absence. A massive upgrade on the error-prone Loris Karius, Alisson snatched Golden Glove honors with a league-best 21 clean sheets. That the Reds conceded a league-low 22 goals – their Expected Goals against forecast was 29.15 – is a testament to their outstanding netminder.