Premier League player rankings: Harry Kane makes scoring return

harry-kane-dribbles-towards-the-goal

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, left, runs in to score his side's first goal of the game against Burnley during their English Premier League soccer match at Turf Moor in Burnley, England, Saturday Feb. 23, 2019. (Martin Rickett/AP)

Welcome to the Premier League player power rankings after Matchday 27. Following each gameweek 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.

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1. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 1)

Sterling wasn’t in action in the Premier League but helped City to the Carabao Cup title.

2. Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 2)

Van Dijk had no issues dealing with a Manchester United side that was forced onto the back foot due to several injuries.

3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal (Previous matchday: 4)

Came on as a late substitute after missing the previous match due to illness. Had a pair of decent chances to score but a poor side-foot attempt along with the other shot getting blocked meant he failed to add to his tally of 18 Premier League goals.

At least he looked great off the pitch.

4. Eden Hazard, Chelsea (Previous matchday: 5)

Was also off this week due to his Carabao Cup final responsibilities.

5. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 3)

Has yet to score against United as a Red and was consistently shut down by Luke Shaw who had an excellent game. It was a perfect summation of Salah’s performance when he had an opportunity to take on Juan Mata in the final third but the Spaniard easily snuffed him out.

Liverpool have now drawn three of their last four league matches and their star forward has failed to inspire for the most part.

6. Aymeric Laporte, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 6)

Absent, Carabao Cup.

7. David Silva, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 7)

See above.

8. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 8)

I think you get it at this point.

9. Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal (Previous matchday: 11)

Another goal to the tally and has impressed every time he’s been given a consistent run. There’s no doubting he’s a match-winner.

10. Harry Kane, Tottenham (Previous matchday: 13)

Tottenham wins five league matches on the trot in the absence of their captain but lose when he returns and scores a wonderfully taken goal. #Sports.

Of course, the return of Kane also means the return of his and English teammate Dele Alli’s celebratory handshake.

11. Andrew Robertson, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 9)

Was absolutely bulldozed by Romelu Lukaku in the first half but even after spending some time on the ground trying to regain his bearings, the size of Lukaku continued to be a problem as the match progressed.

Lukaku switched over to his team’s right side and matched up with Robertson fairly often and had quite a bit of success.

12. Son Heung-min, Tottenham (Previous matchday: 12)

Son carried his side in the absence of Kane but perhaps he felt he could take his foot off the gas with the England captain back in the mix.

They could have used a bit more from him against Burnley as Kane’s goal wasn’t enough against a dogged and determined Burnley effort.

13. Sadio Mané, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 10)

The Senegalese forward started out inventive enough, but faded as the match went on. At the end of the day, history suggests this may just be a bad matchup for Liverpool’s usually fearsome attacking trio.

14. Toby Alderweireld, Tottenham (Previous matchday: 14)

Mauricio Pochettino was livid with referee Mike Dean’s decision to incorrectly award a corner to Burnley that resulted in the opening goal, and it changed the course of the match and arguably how Tottenham’s defending should be perceived.

Christian Wood and Ashley Barnes undoubtedly created their share of problems for Spurs but Alderweireld was once again given a ton of responsibility with three in the back and impressed nonetheless.

15. Alisson, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 16)

The Brazilian’s biggest moment came when Romelu Lukaku put Jesse Lingard through on goal with a perfectly timed slide-rule pass. Alisson rushed out and was able to get a touch just as Lingard looked to round the keeper and slot into what would have been an empty net.

In a game of few chances, that was a huge moment and Alisson came through. He made a bit of club history, too.

16. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 17)

Was forced off the pitch due to injury and Liverpool looked a different side offensively without their connective tissue in the final third.

17. Leroy Sané, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 18)

Another City player busy winning a trophy.

18. Paul Pogba, Manchester United (Previous matchday: 19)

Was simply left with too much to do. Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard were injured, Marcus Rashford picked up an injury during and so Liverpool’s mission to keep United quiet became all the simpler.

Understandably, Pogba can’t wait to have his teammates fit and raring to go again.

19. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Crystal Palace (Previous matchday: 20)

Suffered a hamstring injury which forced him to miss his side’s 4-1 win over Leicester City and is currently without a timetable to return.

20. Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth (Previous matchday: 15)

He’s lost his spark completely. No goals or assists in his last 540 minutes of action and the fact that he’s still second in the league in assists with nine shows just how incredible he was over the first half of the season.

Honourable mentions:

Sol Bamba (Cardiff City). Mathew Ryan (Brighton & Hove Albion). Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool). Marcus Rashford (Manchester United). Fernandinho, Ederson (Manchester City). James Tarkowski (Burnley). James Maddison (Leicester City).

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