With votes due to be cast by fellow professionals next month, we make an early prediction as to the likely nominees and contenders for the Premier League’s best player this season.
As per previous seasons the Premier League will narrow the number of final candidates to just 6 players who they believe have made the biggest impact in the division since the beginning of the campaign in August. As such, we will follow suit and in no particular order elect who we feel to be the 6 greatest Premier League performers so far in season 2012/13.
ROBIN VAN PERSIE
Last year’s winner has made the most seamless of transitions from Arsenal to champions elect Manchester United. The striker currently leads the League’s scoring charts with 18 goals so far this season. His knack for producing goals at crucial moments has been instrumental in United’s stranglehold of the League’s top spot.
Just 1 goal shy of Van Persie’s total, Suarez has embarked upon his most prolific season in front of goal in a Liverpool jersey. The Uruguayan has benefited from the patient passing style that Brendan Rodgers has imposed upon the Reds as well as the greater consistency of captain Steven Gerrard and the recent signing of Daniel Sturridge.
The Welsh winger’s recent strike at Carrow Road illustrated once more his ability to produce moments of magic out of nothing and his capability to change a game on his own accord. Bale has been a catalyst for Spurs push towards Champions League qualification in a season that he has thrived under the guidance of Andre Villas Boas. His inspirational performance at Old Trafford in September helped clinch Tottenham’s first win at Old Trafford since 1989.
Everton’s left back has grown in maturity and consistency every year since he was bought from Wigan in 2007. His performances this season have arguably led him to become his club’s most valuable asset as his defensive reliability and potency in attack have become focal reasons behind the Toffee’s push towards the Champions League. Ashley Cole’s peg in the England dressing room has never looked so shaky.
Whilst everything around him has been slowly falling apart at Stamford Bridge, Juan Mata has remained a beacon of inspiration. The Spaniard has benefited from Chelsea’s tactical shift to a 4-2-3-1 where he has been the leading example beside youngsters Oscar and Eden Hazard in a role that has given him freedom to demonstrate his guile, artistry and creative ability.
Many people’s ‘bargain of the season’ after his £2million move from Rayo Vallecano, Michu has been the poster boy for Michael Laudrup’s successfully evolving Swansea team at the Liberty Stadium and deservedly so. The striker’s clinical finishing has been a key factor in the Welsh side’s run to the League Cup Final and their impressive performances in the league in which he has scored 13 goals.
Notable exceptions include Marouane Fellaini, Frank Lampard, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere, yet with 13 games remaining in the Premier League season, there’s still time to play themselves into contention.
The Mazy Run