5 early contenders for Player of Season - Ramsey, Sturridge feature

Ozil Arsenal 5

As we approach the quarter-way point in the Premier League season, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal all possess players on great form.

Though the season is most definitely in its infancy, and with league positions, players and managers all sure to change come May, here at HITC we've taken the chance to consider the five top performers as of these first eight games. The choices promise to be contentious, but even if you disagree as to who would make this embryonic shortlist (and feel free to suggest your top five below), it's clear that these are at least 'some' of the players of the season so far:

Mesut Ozil - The standout incoming Premier League transfer of the summer, Ozil sent Arsenal fans into rapture after his signing was announced just a couple of hours before the transfer window shut. Tellingly, Real Madrid players and fans mourned the sale of a player widely held to have been Los Blancos second best player last season. Ozil has certainly hit the ground running, inspiring the Gunners to the top of the league as he provided the cream on top of their already delicious footballing pudding. In other words, the German's two goals, league high four assists, and sumptuous range of passing make £42.4m look like a snip. 

Aaron Ramsey - One player who can claim to have had an even greater impact on Arsenal's surge to the Premier League summit, is the vastly improved Aaron Ramsey. Continuing on from a certain fellow Welshman who has since departed these shores for sunnier climes, Ramsey has become the barnstorming, goalscoring, box-to-box midfielder we all knew he could be (honest). Seemingly the one most likely to miss out after Ozil signed and Wilshere (almost) returned to fitness, Ramsey instead raised his game to such a level that England darling Wilshere is having to play out wide, if at all. Arsenal's number 16 is the top goalscoring midfielder in the league with five goals, joint second for assists with three, and all while mucking in to the defensive side of the game.

Yaya Toure - A player we're more used to talking about as one the Premier League's top midfielders is Yaya Toure. Already with four goals to his name, Toure has made another outstanding start to a season, remaining the beating heart of the Manchester City team despite this summer's change of manager. A powerhouse going forward as well as tackling back, he also showed off some fantastic free-kick skills in City's first two games, and wouldn't surprise anyone if he had his most dominant season yet.

Sergio Aguero - If Toure's Manchester City teammate Sergio Aguero would have started more games last year, the title might not have been such a walk in the park for their crosstown rivals. Demonstrating much better fitness levels this season, Aguero has looked on fire since his brace in the Manchester derby towards the end of September. Missing the subsequent defeat against Aston Villa only emphasised his value to the team, and coming back into the team for the two games since has yielded three more goals - making six for the season - meaning he is the closest challenger to the fledgling top goalscorer race currently led by a former City trainee.

Daniel Sturridge - It would be hard work to remember a player who has made such a spectacular start to a career at his new club. Sturridge, who walked out on Manchester City at the age of nineteen in search of more regular game time, and was shunned and then sold by Chelsea after impressing at times out on the wing, has an outstanding goalscoring record of seventeen goals in twenty two league games for Liverpool. This season he has registered seven goals and two assists as he became his team's talisman in the early absence of Luis Suarez. Playing centrally, and looking very much like the born goalscorer England have been craving for years, this could be a huge season for Sturridge, and will likely end up with the hopes of a nation resting on his shoulders in South America come the summer.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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