Are transfer fees growing ever more beyond belief? Yes. Was the World Cup hugely entertaining? Absolutely. Did football come home? Not quite. But after a summer of near non-stop football that triggered both widespread happiness and beer showers up and down the country, a short three-week break has seen the new Premier League season emerge and explode into life.
Managers have changed, players have changed, and new youth talents are projecting their name to the world, with this all making for a fascinating opening month. New signings have burst onto the scene and established stars have recaptured their form, but which players deserve to be in August’s team of the month?
GK: Neil Etheridge (Cardiff City)
Zero wins, Zero goals, Zero creativity. Early season life is looking tough for Cardiff City, but at least they can take comfort in the fact that goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has enjoyed a fantastic start to this campaign. The Bluebirds’ keeper has already saved two penalties and kept two clean sheets, and looks ready for the difficult task of trying to keep Cardiff away from the relegation zone.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
It has been a whirlwind 12 months for young Trent Alexander-Arnold, who found himself go from being a Liverpool substitute to a World Cup semi finalist in an extremely short space of time. Now blossoming into a masterful fullback, the 19 year old is part of a backline that hasn’t shipped a single goal so far this season.
CB: Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)
Aymeric Laporte must be devastated at having been snubbed by the France squad and missing out on a World Cup winner’s medal this summer. However, he has put that disappointment behind him to dislodge Manchester City defensive stalwarts Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi, and even grabbed his first goal for the club in the draw against Wolves.
CB: Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) (C)
Has one player ever improved a defence this much? In his short time at the club, Van Dijk has transformed Liverpool’s backline from being a disorganised mess to an impregnable unit. The Dutchman has maintained a monstrous presence in the Reds’ defence and has arguably been the most impressive player in the league during these opening weeks.
LB: Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City)
After all the buzz generated last summer, last season quickly fell into disappointment for Benjamin Mendy, who missed many months with a serious knee injury. Now fully recovered, the Frenchman has raced out of the blocks with a combination of unlimited energy and frighteningly accurate crossing. 3 assists already speaks volumes of what he can offer to such an attack minded side.
CDM: N’golo Kante (Chelsea)
Some players are just able to maintain an unbelievable level of consistency game after game, and N’golo Kante is one of them. Always the key man in Chelsea’s midfield, the diminutive dynamo has enjoyed yet another impressive start to a Premier League season, and even grabbed a rare goal in the opening day win over Huddersfield.
LCM: Jorginho (Chelsea)
Sitting next to Kante in Chelsea’s new look midfield is Italian playmaker Jorginho. Not only has he settled in to English football quickly and proven he is the main man to engineer ‘Sarri-ball’, but in the recent match against Newcastle he managed to complete more passes than the entire opposition team. Simply a midfield maestro and fascinating to watch.
Roberto Pereyra (Watford)
Despite having a relatively quiet summer transfer window, Watford have raced out of the blocks to earn maximum points and midfielder Roberto Pereyra has been key to these three victories. With three goals already, including a volley against Brighton which is surely the goal of the season so far, the Argentine looks to be the magic man for Javi Gracia’s Hornets.
CAM: Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur)
No Son Heung-Min? No problem. Brazilian attacker Lucas has started to rediscover some of his finest form under Mauricio Pochettino, and has fired Tottenham to three wins out of three at this early stage. His pace frightens the life out of defenders, and demonstrated this in abundance by ripping Manchester United apart at Old Trafford. Three goals already highlight the threat he poses going forward.
ST: Alexander Mitrovic (Fulham)
Many Newcastle fans were unhappy when Serbian striker Alexander Mitrovic was sold to Fulham and after scoring three goals in three games, it is not hard to see why. One of the best headers of the ball in English football, the powerful striker will be key in deciding Fulham’s top flight future over the course of the coming months.
ST: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Salah, Mane, Firmino. Liverpool’s golden trio have been at it again right from the word go, but Mane has certainly looked the most ready. Clinical finishing and a continuing ability to terrorise defenders both centrally and out wide has seen the Senegal forward grab three goals to start the season, and stopping him will be a nightmarish task for any fullback in the Premier League.