Each Premier League club is where it is thanks to contributions from a whole heap of players, but there are some that are greater among equals. That’s what this is about: trying to find the most valuable player for each team. It’s actually harder than it looks, but thankfully I’m here to give it a shot.
Arsenal: Aaron Ramsey
It’s no coincidence that Arsenal’s traditional cliff-dive in form happened last year when Ramsey was hurt. He’s not only a prolific goal scorer, he’s also one of the main engines in midfield. His game has become exactly what Arsene Wenger thought it would when he signed him all those years ago, and now despite many protestations from Piers Morgan, the gaffer’s faith has been rewarded.
Aston Villa: Brad Guzan
Since Alan Hutton has been re-introduced, the goalkeeper for Villa will naturally be the team’s MVP. And no, this has nothing to do with the fact I’m a quite large US National Team fan. Guzan’s heroics were often a large part in why Villa stole enough road points to stay up last season since their home form was so woeful. The team still has many issues, so Guzan may once again have to be the hero.
Burnley: Danny Ings
When a team is promoted, they often have one or two prolific championship goal scorers that need to replicate their form in order to keep the team up. Burnley’s example is Danny Ings. Long linked with clubs away from Turf Moor, Ings has stayed the course and banged in 26 goals in total last season. While he probably won’t approach that number this year, he’ll need to get close to keep the Clarets up.
Chelsea: Nemanja Matic
He might be the perfect example of a Jose Mourinho player. Physically gifted, a destroyer in midfield but also possessing the tactical and technical game that is required to beat the big teams in England and Europe. He completely changed Chelsea’s game last year and it would not have been a stretch to say that if he was available during their Champions League run they may have well won it. He’s the Premier League’s best defensive midfielder, and that’s saying something.
Crystal Palace: Mile Jedinak
When your team is under-talented, sometimes it’s the graft and grit of the captain that can pull the team through, and Jedinak emerged as one of the Premier League’s best captains last season. He led from the front and by example anchoring the Palace midfield against far better opposition to steal points, and there was no better example of that than the comeback against Liverpool at Selhurst. His form even won him a goal in the World Cup for Australia.