After each matchday in the English Premier League, Sportsnet will rank the top 20 players for the 2018-19 season. Regardless of reputation, everyone starts from scratch at Matchday 1, and will steadily move up, down, or out of the rankings as the games progress.
1. DAVID SILVA, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 1)
Was strongly debating having Sergio Aguero in the top spot, but it seems more fun to let the two City stars duke it out next week when they face Manchester United.
Silva struck a sumptuous volley for City’s third and had his merry way in the middle of the park and in the final third against an overmatched Southampton side.
Most chances created from open play in Europe's top five leagues this season:
• David Silva (29)
• Lionel Messi (26)
• Suso (23)
Left-footers ruling the world. pic.twitter.com/7cpjZGNSpL
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 30, 2018
2. SERGIO AGUERO, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 3)
Aguero became the ninth player in Premier League history to score 150 goals over the weekend, and the second-fastest to do so behind Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers legend Alan Shearer. He also joins Thierry Henry (Arsenal) and Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) as the only players to score that many for a single club.
If that wasn’t enough, he assisted on both of Raheem Sterling’s goals as well.
3. EDEN HAZARD, Chelsea (Previous matchday: 2)
Once again, he suffers due to a lack of playing time. He came on as a substitute after Crystal Palace scored a shock equalizer, and provided an assist to Alvaro Morata with virtually his first kick of the match on a set piece and was a probing threat till the end.
Chelsea just have a different swagger about them when he’s on. He also joined Canadian Tomasz Radzinski and Dutch legend Arjen Robben as the only players to provide a helper in three consecutive substitute appearances.
3 – Eden Hazard is only the third player to assist a goal in three consecutive substitute appearances in the Premier League, after Tomasz Radzinski for Everton in March 2004, and Arjen Robben for Chelsea in April 2005. Magic. pic.twitter.com/XXRsafmD0K
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 4, 2018
4. VIRGIL VAN DIJK, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 5)
Van Dijk’s performance against Arsenal was about as spectacular as your can get for a defender. He was heading set pieces away, bodying Arsenal players off the ball in one-on-one scenarios and even came within inches of scoring on two occasions.
Yes, he failed to track Alexandre Lacazette’s run and it ultimately cost Liverpool a goal, but punishing him for that would be like punishing a striker for missing out on a hat trick. He was a superstar on this night.
5. AYMERIC LAPORTE, Manchester City. (Previous matchday: 4)
It’s not so much that Laporte did anything wrong, but rather that van Dijk just deserved to move up a spot facing a stiffer challenge.
He’ll have his own chance to shine against tougher opposition against the red side of Manchester next week, where he’ll put his formidable Premier League record on the line once again.
Man City are unbeaten in all 19 #PL matches when @Laporte has played (W17 D2 L0) – he has played more games without losing than any other player in the history of the competition#MCISOU pic.twitter.com/olmFQTeS1p
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 4, 2018
6. RAHEEM STERLING, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 11)
Two goals, two assists and a Man of the Match performance earn Sterling a five-place jump in the rankings. He is peaking at the right time with the Manchester derby next weekend, but more importantly with the news that Kevin De Bruyne is set to miss another five weeks with injury.
The only man to have been directly involved in more goals since the beginning of last season is next on this list.
7. MOHAMED SALAH, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 6)
The Egyptian’s got his groove back, and while he didn’t score against Arsenal, he was heavily involved in Liverpool’s attack and very nearly provided a superb assist to Sadio Mané with a sweeping low cross.
Salah’s performances over the past couple of weeks suggest he’s at or very near peak form, but apparently playing at that level for all of last season couldn’t earn him a statue that, you know, actually looked like him.
Everyone: "The Ronaldo sculpture was the worst ever made!"
Mo Salah sculptor: "Hold my beer" pic.twitter.com/IgQVOIaWtg
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) November 5, 2018
8. ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE, Arsenal (Previous matchday: 8)
The Frenchman is making a habit of coming through for Arsenal in times of need, and hosting Liverpool was no different. Trailing 1-0 with under 10 minutes remaining, Lacazette found space to run into and behind the Liverpool defence and Alex Iwobi did well to send the ball through.
Lacazette then evaded goalkeeper Bernd Leno from there and slotted into the far corner from an acute angle for the equalizer.
9. RYAN FRASER, Bournemouth (Previous matchday: 7)
Missed a fantastic chance to put his side early by having a touch that took him too far wide to get a great shot off but was his lively self once again. Was subbed off in the 74th minute for Jordan Ibe as he seemed to tire, but Scotland has a special talent in this one.
10. MARCOS ALONSO, Chelsea (Previous matchday: 12)
Marked his appearance for the club in style, providing stability in defence and dependable option when attacking from the left flank. Tallied another assist to give him more helpers this season than any defender recorded all of last season.
— Marcos Alonso (@marcosalonso03) November 5, 2018
11. SADIO MANÉ, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 13)
Was terribly unlucky to have a perfectly legitimate goal disallowed for offside, and who knows how the match plays out after that. Arsenal had strong periods with the ball, but he and Salah were key to asking questions of the Gunners defence on the counter.
12. JORGINHO, Chelsea (Previous matchday: 9)
The Italian maestro just keeps chugging along week after week, becoming the first to 1,000 passes in the Premier League over the weekend.
Some will criticize the lack of forward play, but that’s not his role. He is the man stitching together defence and offence, but his role is to put each of those players in the best position to succeed. Watch the number of times he directs players to where they are supposed to be and you will see the value of Jorginho. Maurizio Sarri’s on-field manager.
13. PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG, Arsenal (Previous matchday: 10)
Thought the Gabonese striker was wasteful this week. There were a couple of occasions where he had time to pick out a corner but dragged and scuffed his shot both times.
He’s got a bit of Chicharito about him in that he’s fantastic in getting to the right spots and being clinical from close range, but becoming a bigger threat from long range will make him a complete striker.
14. LUCAS MOURA, Tottenham (Previous matchday: 16)
Moura needed a bounce-back performance after struggling against City and delivered in spades. It was a fantastic header to put Tottenham two goals ahead, and ultimately a vital one in what was an absorbing 3-2 contest in favour of Spurs against Wolverhampton.
He created four chances in the contest and after losing some of his consistency, he’ll want to build off this with big matches to come.
15. JAMES MILNER, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 17)
Had to be at his dogged best since Arsenal’s midfield managed possession well throughout the match, and his experience will have helped in understanding that the Gunners have been sensational of late and the Anfield side would need to be patient in waiting for their moment.
Then, when it came, he was Johnny on the Spot for Liverpool’s goal, smashing the ball into the back of the net after Leno could only parry a cross from the left side to the top of the box.
50th PL goal (in 496th PL app)
1st goal that hasn't been a penalty since March 2016 (last 10 goals had been pens)
Only 2nd goal in 31 career apps v Arsenal pic.twitter.com/YdYihKlqBE
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 3, 2018
16. RICHARLISON, Everton (Previous matchday: N/A)
That three-match suspension early in the season killed off his early momentum, but he looks back to his best form now. The Brazilian provided two excellent finishes with his left foot: one with power, one with finesse and will be eager to prove himself on the big stage with two of Everton’s next three matches to come at Stamford Bridge and Anfield.
17. MARKO ARNAUTOVIC, West Ham United (Previous matchday: 19)
Much like Wilfried Zaha for Crystal Palace, West Ham are a different side when Arnautovic features for them. There’s a real belief that they can win matches when he’s on the pitch and his goal and assist against Burnley showed exactly why.
With an extremely friendly schedule for nine of their next 10 matches, the Austrian could be in for a big run here.
18. ANDREW ROBERTSON, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 14)
Was a decent performer at the weekend and couldn’t have done much about Lacazette’s goal. A left-back like him has to be a bit more circumspect in big matches but he still did offer a decent enough threat going forward.
19. CALLUM WILSON, Bournemouth (Previous matchday: N/A)
What more does England manager Gareth Southgate need to see from this man? Even if he has had a bit of luck along the way, his productivity has only been matched by that of Sterling.
He’s a massive reason why Bournemouth continue to hold steady at sixth in the table, and his goal gave his side a deserved draw against Manchester United.
Callum Wilson is the first English player to be directly involved in 10+ goals in the Premier League this season.
You watching, Gareth? pic.twitter.com/w9f4YLgGeE
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 3, 2018
20. ÉRIK LAMELA (Previous matchday: N/A)
The Argentine midfielder struggled to make the most of his opportunities since first arriving in 2013, but appears to have finally hit his stride.
His skill has never been in question since a magical Rabona goal in late October of 2014, but it’s consistency and his struggle to find a fit in Mauricio Pochettino’s plans that have left him out in the cold on many a night. He’s found all of that now, and it’s no wonder with his and Moura’s performances that Spurs are still able to find ways to score despite a relatively slow season for Harry Kane thus far.
11 – Erik Lamela has had a hand in 11 goals in his last 12 appearances in all competitions for Spurs (8 goals, 3 assists). Thriving. pic.twitter.com/YIfTuAGg7q
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 3, 2018
Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea). Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City). James Maddison, Harry Maguire (Leicester City). Richarlison, (Everton). Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba (Manchester United). Toby Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier (Tottenham).