Stars of the 21/22 Premier League season
It’s safe to say that this Premier League season had a bit of everything. Close final-day battles reigned right up to the final day in all areas of the table. Fights for the title, Europe and relegation had fans biting their nails until the very final whistle. In amongst all that, there were an elite set of players who really rose to the occasion and delivered when crunch-time hit. With that in mind, who were the top players for every club in the Premier League this season?
Arsenal: Bukayo Saka
This season was a real test of character for Bukayo Saka. After that devastating penalty miss in the final of Euro 2020, the England international knew he had to deliver for The Gunners. That he did supremely. 11 goals and 7 assists helped put Arsenal in an unlikely fight for a Champions League spot and his abilities on the ball put him at the heart of everything good Arsenal did. The fact that he even became the club’s regular penalty taker – and with success – underlines how much Saka has grown over the last 12 months and passed his test with flying colours
Aston Villa: Jacob Ramsey
Villa spent heavily to fill the void left by Jack Grealish’s departure but they found the answer within their own ranks. Step forward Jacob Ramsey. The young midfielder stunned fans with his driving runs and energetic performances. The reward was 6 goals in 2022 and a regular berth in the Villa starting line-up. If Ramsey continues to develop like this, he could become the next big things to have his name sung throughout the terraces of the West Midlands.
Brentford: Christian Norgaard
For Brentford, survival in their debut Premier League season was paramount. That they did and it was done to the hard work of individuals like Christian Norgaard. The Dane’s hard work could be seen all season long in all areas of the pitch without ever stopping for a rest. It was this work ethic that help rally his team mates in their tougher moments and helped them avoid the drop in an impressive first campaign for The Bees.
Brighton: Leandro Trossard
Leandro Trossard has shown his creative abilities in glimpses in the past but this season was where he added consistency to the mix. His pace and creativity often bamboozled some of the best teams in the league and the Belgian attacker added a cutting edge to his game – with 8 goals this campaign. Key strikes against the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United gave Brighton some impressive victories and aided them to a best ever 10th place finish in the league.
Burnley: Maxwel Cornet
In what was a devastating campaign for Burnley, Maxwel Cornet proved to be a real shining light for the club. The Ivorian international proved to be a real sensation since joining from Lyon in August. His ability to play in defence, attack or midfield made him a real asset for The Clarets and his 9 goals kept them fighting for much of the season even though they were relegated in their final-day loss. The question of whether Cornet stays at Turf Moor over the summer is just one of several questions the club will be answering over the coming weeks.
Chelsea: Mason Mount
It seems like Mason Mount could be the biggest sensation for Chelsea since Frank Lampard. His ability to open up defences and strike when it matters most helped The Blues secure a top three finish even when it looked unlikely. His 11 goals and 10 assists made him one of the most devastating midfielders in the league and one of the promising domestic stars in recent years. A real asset for The Blues and a true testament to a star that has outshone many of his prestigious colleagues over the past 12 months.
Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha continues to prove why he is a star for Crystal Palace. The Ivorian winger has been nothing short of prolific this season scoring 14 goals – a career-best record for him. As the season progressed, Zaha’s trademark runs and skills helped Palace retain a mid-table spot and eek out some impressive results over the course of the season. It was yet another year to remember for someone who is now a legend at Selhurst Park.
Everton: Jordan Pickford
If it wasn’t for Jordan Pickford, Everton may not be a Premier League team next season. He pulled off some remarkable performances this season to show that he is the real deal. It was that performance and wonder saves against Chelsea that sparked life back into The Toffees when they needed it most. If Pickford can get the rest of his teammates firing on all cylinders again next season, there will a lot less stress on players, coaches and fans’ face at Goodison Park who all expect so much more from the team.
Leeds really struggled in their second season back in the top flight and it was only the class of players like Raphinha that saved them from relegation. The Brazilian was one of a few to never let his efforts slip this season and his 11 goals went a big way to keeping Leeds up. It served as a reminder to the team that they need to keep players like Raphinha at Elland Road if they want to survive in the top flight next season.
Leicester City: James Maddison
Even if Leicester’s season was disappointing for many, the club still saw some starring performances from their top names. James Maddison proved to be the key man for The Foxes as his overall creative efforts kept his side in games when they didn’t offer too much. With 12 goals and 11 assists, Maddison showed that he is very much someone who can unlock teams with ease time and time again. As Leicester look to rebuild over the summer, expect Maddison to be someone they look to build the squad around as they regroup over the break.
It might be the likes of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah that get the headlines but Liverpool would not have taken the title race down to the wire if it wasn’t for Alisson. The Brazilian shot stopper was almighty all season long keeping 20 clean sheets along the way. By picking up the 2021-22 Premier League Golden Glove award, Alisson has shown that defences win games just as much as attackers do and remains one of the best goalkeepers in the world today.
Manchester City: Kevin De Bruyne
At times, it feels like Kevin De Bruyne can beat an entire team singlehandedly. His 4 goals against Wolves in April underlined that he can score just as many as he creates. With 15 goals and 8 assists, the Belgian midfielder was imperious as City held on to claim yet another Premier League title. It’s his ability to change games on a whim that earned him the 2021-22 Player of the Year award and proved why he is a player that only comes along once in a generation
Manchester United: David De Gea
In a season where Manchester United fell well short of expectations, it was David De Gea who reminded everyone of the level they should be at. De Gea may have only kept 8 clean sheets but his overall output in terms of saves made often kept United in matches when his defence had let him down. It was a season where experienced players needed to lead the side and De Gea was only one of a few to keep his end of a bargain. It’s something Erik Ten Hag ought to consider when he assesses his squad over the coming weeks.
Before this season, it seemed like Joelinton was on his way out at St James’ Park. Whilst he had struggled leading the line of attack, Eddie Howe moved him to the flanks as a makeshift winger – and what a turnaround in form. The Brazilian looked much more dangerous being the one driving the play using his speed and strength to move things forward. He looked like someone who has found his second wind and might finally be showing the talent The Toon Army expected of him. A real example of the positive changes sweeping over Tyneside in 2022.
Norwich: Teemu Pukki
Norwich never really looked competitive in the Premier League this season but at least Teemu Pukki proved he was capable of performing at the level required. Pukki’s reputation as a fine finisher was only bolstered this campaign as he scored 11 goals – 50% of the entire tally that The Canaries managed all season. Norwich will need to use Pukki’s level as the benchmark for players in the near future if they ever want a realistic chance of staying in the Premier League should they get promoted again in the near future.
Southampton: James Ward-Prowse
Southampton fans must be counting their lucky stars that they can rely on James Ward-Prowse to drive the club forward. The Saints captain has further established him as a star on the South Coast whilst continuing to prove he his perhaps the best set-piece specialist in the entire league. With 10 goals this season, Ward-Prowse provided Southampton with several key moments that always kept them just out of the relegation fight. It’s why many at the club hope he stays for many more seasons to come.
Spurs: Son Heung-Min
Spurs were just about able to secure a Champions League spot and much of that comes thanks to the attacking prowess of Son Heung-Min. Ever since Antonio Conte took over, the South Korean megastar has been in fine form scoring 23 goals – 13 of which came in 2022. Son’s explosive nature and psychic connection with Harry Kane has formed one of the best strike duos in Premiership history and helped Spurs remind everyone of why they are one of the top sides in the country. Son’s performances this seasons earned him the Premier League Golden Boot – becoming the first Asian player to do so. It’s just yet another record claimed by a player who is in the best form of his life right now.
Watford: Emmanuel Dennis
No one really batted an eyelid when Emmanuel Dennis joined Watford from Club Brugge last August but it turned out to be one of the signings of the season. The Nigerian striker used pace and guile to consistently find the net and at least put up some sort of fight against relegation. Whilst the latter goal may have been unavoidable, Dennis’ 10 goals showed that he could cut the mustard in Europe’s top league. Whether Watford can keep Dennis at the club after relegation could make a big difference as to whether they get promoted back after one season away from the big time.
West Ham: Jarrod Bowen
It’s safe to say that West Ham are a genuine threat for European players and that development has come in tandem with the rise of players like Jarrod Bowen. Bowen’s creative play has been added to this season with a new-found ability to finish them off – making him the real deal. With 12 goals and 10 assists, Bowen has had a real breakthrough season underlined by his now regular presence in the England selection., If Bowen continues to bring this form into next season, West Ham will become an even bigger force to handle under David Moyes.
Wolves: Conor Coady
In a somewhat flat season for Wolves, they needed effort from the likes of Conor Coady to keep them from sliding into the second half of the table. Coady’s drive and determination at the back helped them grind out results. He also provided some key strikes with his late equaliser against Chelsea in April ending a torrid run of form for the club. It’s why Coady is the club’s skipper and his ability to spur others forward may be crucial for Wolves to regaining their mojo next season.