Football may well be a team game, but sometimes the performances of one player in particular can have a massive bearing on a club’s results. Just ask Tottenham last season.
Here are five players in the current campaign whose records are especially impressive and should be the first names on the teamsheets of their respective clubs.
This may be a slightly predictable inclusion given that Aguero is joint top-scorer in the Premier League this season on eight goals with Daniel Sturridge, but Manchester City have only triumphed in one of the four games in all competitions that the Argentine hasn’t started.
In comparison, City have won 75 per cent that Aguero has started and it is his change of pace, clinical finishing, workrate off the ball and unselfishness that make him such an asset.
When Flamini re-signed for Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer, few would have thought he would be such a vital cog in a first-team midfield that already had the likes of Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey battling for two places.
However, Arsenal are unbeaten in Flamini’s eight starts, which includes seven victories.
It is his leadership and organisation in front of the back four that has been especially noteworthy, alongside his protection of the full-backs when Arsenal’s wingers fail in their defensive duties and his ability to spread play quickly to launch counter attacks.
Across north London, Sandro mirrors Flamini’s record of eight games unbeaten with seven victories, but he goes one step further. Spurs are yet to concede a goal this season when the Brazilian starts.
A bit like Manchester City with Fernandinho and Yaya Toure, if Spurs play Paulinho and Mousa Dembele as their central midfield duo, they are both box-to-box players that wouldn’t count defensive protection as their best attribute.
Not only does Sandro have the strength to brush virtually every opponent off the ball, he is positionally aware, keeps things simple in possession and a solid tackler.
West Brom had taken just two points from four games before Sessegnon arrived for a club-record fee on transfer deadline day.
Since, the Baggies have lost just once in seven outings to climb the table, with Sessegnon flourishing in the role of chief chance creator.
Although Joe Cole’s performances this season have looked a little on the laboured side, a 100 per cent-winning record from the three games he has started is not to be sniffed at.
It is the signing of Stewart Downing that has chiefly brought about Cole’s lack of starts, but the Hammers’ win percentage drops by 40 per cent when Downing is in the starting line-up, with the former Liverpool midfielder securing three points just once in six starts.
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