7 matches in, 31 to go. The embryonic Premier League table is slowly but surely beginning to take shape, and we are gradually gaining more and more clues as to which teams will be fighting it out at either end of the table in the coming weeks and months. In spite of this, the Premier League has naturally thrown up its fair share of surprises in September, making for a very interesting team of the month.
GK: Rui Patricio (Wolves)
Ruben Neves may be the star of Wolves’ Portuguese contingent, but Rui Patricio is quickly staking a claim for signing of the season. Arriving from Sporting CP on a free transfer, the stopper has kept three clean sheets and conceded just one goal all month. If he and his team keep up this kind of form, a European spot could beckon.
RB: Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Solid in defence and imperious in attack, Kyle Walker has been part of a Manchester City backline that has also kept three clean sheets in September, conceding just once. By now fully established as the best right back in the league, the England man displayed a hidden side to his game with a spectacular long range winner in City’s 2-1 win victory over Newcastle.
CB: Willy Boly (Wolves)
A monster in the air and the heart of the Wolves back three, Willy Boly has been one of the surprise stars of this Premier League season. The towering Frenchman should claim as much credit as anyone for Wolves’ admirable defensive record, as well as their rapid acclimatisation to a new league in which they seem to be having no problems with so far.
CB: Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea)
Sarri-ball strikes again. After enduring a difficult debut season in English football and being thrown in and out of the starting XI, Antonio Rüdiger is thriving this time around under new boss Maurizio Sarri. Strong, fast, and intelligent, the German is rapidly becoming a mainstay of the Chelsea defence, and his magnificent goal line clearance against Liverpool demonstrates that his place is very much justified.
LB: Jonny (Wolves)
Completing the defence is yet another Wolves star, namely their flying fullback Jonny. Impressive both when tracking back and bulldozing forward, the Spaniard has contributed to his team’s solid defensive record by keeping it tight on the left hand side consistently. On top of this, he also managed to net his first Premier League goal against Southampton, thereby securing yet another great result for those in black and gold.
CDM: James Milner (Liverpool)
Are there any English players in better form right now? Having signed established stars like Naby Keita and Fabinho, you could be forgiven for thinking just a few weeks ago that Milner’s time at Liverpool is slowly winding down. However, at 32, he is playing some of the best football of his career and has been a mainstay in midfield during the Reds’ barnstorming start to the season. The ultimate professional.
CDM: Lucas Torreira (Arsenal)
What a magnificent few months it has been for Lucas Torreira. After announcing himself to the world during a great World Cup campaign with Uruguay, the diminutive midfielder joined Arsenal and has been brilliant so far. Composed, solid defensively and always looking to get the ball forward, the young star looks like he could be the player that the Arsenal midfield has been crying out for for so many years.
LAM: Eden Hazard (Chelsea) (C)
The little magician who just keeps getting better and better. After inspiring Belgium to a third place finish at the world cup, the winger has scored five Premier League goals in September alone, including a spectacular hat trick against Cardiff. The best player in the world right now? Maurizio Sarri certainly thinks so.
CAM: James Maddison (Leicester City)
It has been a month of mixed fortunes for Leicester City, but not for their new number 10 James Maddison. Brought in from Norwich to fill the gap left by Riyad Mahrez, the young Englishman has transitioned seamlessly into the Leicester starting XI, contributing two goals and two assists over the course of the month, earning him a place in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.
RAM: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
The early days of this season have been business as usual for Manchester City and Raheem Sterling, who seems to improve week after week. The winger has scored three Premier League goals and grabbed two assists in his past four games, helping Manchester City to earn a 100% record during the month of September. Still only 23, it’s frightening to think how good he could become.
ST: Marko Arnautovic (West Ham)
Despite suffering a difficult start at West Ham, and having his attitude questioned several times, Marko Arnautovic has developed into the focal point of the team over the past few months. After starting the season with four losses in a row, the big Austrian has helped the Hammers turn their fortunes around by chipping in with two goals and one assist over the past month. Although many players joined West Ham over the summer, Arnautovic is undoubtedly still the key man.