Premier League player power rankings: Matchday No. 1

Craig Forrest, Danny Dichio and James Sharman recap the day's action in the Premier League.

Over the course of the next 10 months, players in the most lucrative domestic league in the world will dazzle and delight in equal measure. Some will do so in the hopes of helping their side lift the Premier League trophy, others to keep their team afloat.

In an effort to keep you abreast with those who truly impress, this weekly column will rank the top 20 Premier League performers and adjust as matches go by.

So, with Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku being eased into the season after long World Cup campaigns, and Harry Kane still not having scored a Premier League goal in August, don’t be surprised to see those names excluded early on despite their esteemed reputations. They will, naturally, be expected to cement a place in this list over the course of the season, but the opening weeks should be a fun time for the less acclaimed names to make a push.

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With that, here’s who stood out through the opening weekend:

1. Richarlison Andrade, Everton
Big money, big game. Reunited with manager Marco Silva from their Watford days, the £50 million man showed he feels none of the pressure that comes with the price tag.

After getting on the board with a scrappy goal off a Leighton Baines free-kick, the Brazilian finished in Thierry Henry-esque fashion after collecting a pass from the left side of the box and side-footing the ball around Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio and into the far post.

2. Benjamin Mendy, Manchester City
Coming off a cruciate knee ligament injury that forced him to miss most of Manchester City’s record-setting campaign and then hardly featuring for France at the World Cup, the 24-year-old was immense in what could have been a tricky opening game away at Arsenal.

Slotting in at left-back on paper, Mendy transitioned into a midfield diamond with ease and his assists on both goals showed that he can add another dimension to City’s attack.

Now, if only Pep Guardiola can find a way to keep Mendy zoned in and off social media.

3. Roberto Pereyra, Watford
Scored arguably the goal of the week, a stunning volley off a corner straight out of the training ground to give his side a first-half lead before notching a second-half goal.

Pereyra finished the 2017-18 season on a high and it appears he’s carried that good form into this campaign, now having had a hand in each of Watford’s last six Premier League goals.

4. Sadio Mané, Liverpool
Two goals, albeit one that should have been called for offside. West Ham United was clearly focussed on neutralizing the threat of Mohamed Salah, allowing the Senegalese star to thrive instead.

Mané showed a tremendous work rate as is required in Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing style and while the Premier League Player of the Year did get on the score sheet himself, it was Mané who was most impactful going forward on this day.

5. Paul Pogba, Manchester United
Pogba was not even expected to play after only resuming training with his club last week, but the adrenaline of being a World Cup champion and receiving the captain’s armband was clearly all the energy he needed to put on an absolute masterclass against Leicester City.

Oozing class on the ball and tireless off it, this is the Pogba who can inspire United to punch above their weight and meet the lofty expectations of lifting the league trophy at season’s end.

6. Naby Keita, Liverpool
A seamless fit in Jurgen Klopp’s system, Keita was all over the pitch on Sunday and already looks set to play a major role in Liverpool’s quest to take down Manchester City.

The Guinean international is as assured as they come on the ball, possesses both speed and strength, and an incredibly high IQ that allows him to pick the right pass and find open spaces.

7. Rúben Neves, Wolverhampton Wanderers
Scored a gem of a free-kick on England’s World Cup hero Jordan Pickford, before combining with Raul Jimenez to equalize for the second time and ensure his side came away with a point in their opening home fixture.

As expected, the signing of Joao Moutinho has already allowed Neves to flex a bit more of his creative muscle and looks to be relishing the role of being the Wolves’ main man.

8. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Crystal Palace
Tasked with the responsibility of keeping the Championship Player of the Year quiet, Wan-Bissaka was outstanding in nullifying the threat of Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon and set up Wilfried Zaha’s goal.

Wing-backs have staked an early claim for having a significant impact of their team’s fortunes this season, and if Wan-Bissaka’s performance is anything to go by, Crystal Palace should be a treat to watch all season.

9. James Milner, Liverpool
Milner picked up the Man of the Match award for his two assists and dependable workmanlike approach, showing that a summer away from the World Cup can be a good thing.

If you’re wondering why he had that massive bandage on his head, it was due to a collision with Napoli’s Mario Rui in Liverpool’s final friendly of the season.

10. Andrew Robertson, Liverpool
Robertson was right there with his captain in terms of impact in this match, teeing up Salah for Liverpool’s first goal and presenting a constant threat on the wing.

Didn’t have much to do defensively, so it will be interesting to see how he balances both sides of the ball in bigger tests.

11. Luke Shaw, Manchester United
Much maligned for his lack of dedication, Shaw put in a serious shift on Manchester United’s left side on Friday. His goal was a bit lucky as his first touch didn’t turn out as intended, but it put him in position to slot in with the second.

The solidity of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof in the back perhaps eased Shaw’s defensive load, but some poor passing from Alexis Sanchez prevented him from being even more impactful on the other end.

12. Jorginho, Chelsea
Another debutante worthy of high praise, Jorginho excelled at the heart of manager Maurizio Sarri’s 4-3-3 formation, completing 62 of his 66 passes and finishing his penalty with aplomb.

With Eden Hazard only featuring for the final stretch of the match, Sarri will be purring over the prospect of having both the Italian and Belgian internationals pulling the strings in the matches to come.

13. Christian Eriksen, Tottenham
Harry Kane is still struggling to find the net in August, but Eriksen is continuing to operate at the peak of his powers, creating the joint-most chances on Saturday.

The Dane’s corner resulted in the opening goal for Tottenham, but he will need the England captain to get back amongst the goals to have better results on the stat sheet.

14. Jose Holebas, Watford
Was the best supporting actor for Watford at the weekend and despite in some circles being viewed as a surprise starter, he delivered the goods, quite literally.

His delivery was on point all game, and while some may argue his first assist was a cheap one due to the sheer quality of Pereyra’s strike, it was evident that the set piece was something they’d practised over and over.

15. John Stones, Manchester City
Snuffed out any openings Henrikh Mkhitaryan thought he might have had, shut down Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and was exceptional with the ball at his feet.

Stones looks to have developed a strong chemistry with Aymeric Laporte despite the latter’s sparing usage a season ago, and the pair will look to be the base upon which City build their title defence.

16. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City
Scored a goal by cutting across the edge of the box from left to right before firing a drive that was within the reach of Arsenal’s Petr Cech, but didn’t get to because he was unsighted.

Guardiola has been a godsend for Sterling’s career, and it looks like he may reach newer heights this season.

17. Marcos Alonso, Chelsea
Another defender from the flanks? Why yes, indeed. Earned the penalty Jorginho converted, hit the crossbar with a strike of his own and helped keep a clean sheet. Not much more you can ask for from your left-back.

Chelsea face Arsenal next, so a sterner test awaits.

18. Wayne Hennessey, Crystal Palace
Made two big stops on Aleksandar Mitrovic which if they had gone the other way could have changed the complexion of the game, before making a terrific late save to deny up-and-coming teenager Ryan Sessegnon.

An underrated performer, Hennessey’s stability in goal will go a long way towards Palace continuing some of the delightful free-flowing display on feature against Fulham.

19. Eric Bailly, Manchester United
All the rumours about signing centre-backs must have provided plenty of motivation for the Ivorian, as he delivered an excellent performance for the most part on Friday.

Bailly’s level seemed to drop slightly after United took a commanding two-goal lead, but he made too many tackles and initiated too many possessions for his side from the back to not be on this list.

20. Kyle Walker, Manchester City
Looked as though he would single-handedly blow Arsenal away in the opening 20 minutes, and was a steady threat down the right flank thereafter.

Considering England were in Russia for the full allotment of seven matches and Walker played a big part in that, a 90-minute performance as explosive as his deserves nothing but praise.

Honourable mention:
Andreas Pereira (Manchester United), Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United), Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace), Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool). Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), David de Gea (Manchester United), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City).

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