We are 12 games in and almost a third of the way through the Premier League season heading into another international break, with Manchester City unsurprisingly leading the way at the top.
But there have been plenty of close challengers in Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, and also Aston Villa, who have been this season’s surprise package so far.
Plenty of players are enjoying fine individual campaigns, and we look at the candidates in the race for player of the season based on what’s happened so far…
Erling HaalandEmbed from Getty Images
It’s no surprise to see the Manchester City star once again be in contention for the player of the season award. Haaland has been in his usual goalscoring form again so far, netting 13 times in the opening 12 games including a double in the thrilling 4-4 draw with Chelsea last time out. If he continues to score at the rapid pace he has done over the past season and a bit then he’ll likely be the favourite to take home the prize once again.
Mo SalahEmbed from Getty Images
Right behind Haaland in the scoring charts is the consistently brilliant Mo Salah. The longevity at which Salah has continued to be able to produce at the highest level is astounding and he has been excellent for Jurgen Klopp’s rejuvenated Reds, scoring 10 times and assisting four goals too. One of the all time Premier League greats who will run Haaland close for player of the season if he continues at his current level.
Bukayo SakaEmbed from Getty Images
Eight goal contributions in 11 league games so far this campaign for Saka, who continues to get better and better under Mikel Arteta. The statistics are impressive but you have to watch Saka to understand his true importance to Arsenal, with his direct running, pace and dribbling ability crucial to the progress Arsenal have made in the past year. A wonderful player who has yet to reach his peak.
Jarrod BowenEmbed from Getty Images
An excellent start to the season for the West Ham forward, who has netted eight times in the first 13 games despite West Ham’s mixed start to the campaign. Bowen continues to go from strength to strength having played a big part in his side’s Europa Conference League success last season and could be the subject of interest from the Premier League’s top sides if he carries on.
James MaddisonEmbed from Getty Images
It is a real shame for Maddison and for Spurs that he has been ruled out until the new year through injury. The midfielder has been electric since joining from Leicester and has perhaps been the most important player in Ange Postecoglou’s brilliant start to life as Spurs boss. Missing considerable time might also mean his contention for player of the season suffers as a result, but there’s no disputing the fact that he has so far been one of the league’s best players thanks to his superb creativity across the pitch.
Heung-Min SonEmbed from Getty Images
Maddison’s team-mate Heung-Min Son has rediscovered his best form after a disappointing last campaign and has taken on the goalscoring responsibility from Harry Kane following his exit for Bayern Munich. Son has thrived in a more central role recently, scoring eight times in 13 games and looks to be the ideal striker replacement for Kane despite having played most of his career out wide. Whether he can keep it up in an injury hit Spurs team will decide if he is in contention come the end of the season.
Player of the season awards often favour attacking players given their more obvious contributions to the game but Saliba’s presence at the back for Arsenal certainly deserves recognition. His combination of pace, power and strength has been crucial to Arteta’s side maintaining their credentials as title challengers so far this season and his performance in the win over Manchester City in which he kept Erling Haaland quiet stands out as a highlight.