Paul Merson Picks The 5 Best Midfielders In The Premier League Right Now

The 2022–23 Premier League season has only featured seven matches, but we already have a good indication of what to anticipate from the upcoming season.

Arsenal is now in first place with 18 points from seven games, one point ahead of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

It’s difficult to predict who the finest midfielders in the nation are because coaches demand that players fulfill a certain function for their teams.

Having said that, Kevin De Bruyne immediately catches your eye, and it should come as no surprise that he is at the top of my ranking.

I gave it a lot of thought, and the absence of an English player from my top five players makes me a little sad. You may argue that English players could very well dominate a list similar to that of right-backs or wingers, but that isn’t nearly the case when it comes to midfielders.

My choices might cause some people to wonder, “Oh my god, what is he saying?” However, this is how I view the game, thus these are my current top five Premier League midfielders.

1. Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

Undoubtedly at the top of my list is Kevin De Bruyne, who I currently consider to be the best player in the world of football. He is extremely brilliant and has a vision that is on another level.

The other day, Wolves sat back and put ten men in front of the ball against Manchester City, but De Bruyne went on the overlap and laid the ball off for Jack Grealish to score from close range, demonstrating the quality he possesses.

While PSG players Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar have all excelled this season, De Bruyne is the whole package and was an obvious choice to start at the top.

Although comparing players who don’t play in the same position doesn’t make much sense, De Bruyne’s consistency for this Manchester City team over the years has been, to put it mildly, remarkable.

He does it with Rodri, who I believe to be the best defensive midfielder in the world right now, playing as an insurance policy behind him.

Because they work so well together, De Bruyne can dominate as the right-sided #8 in a 4-3-3 and have an impact on games for Pep Guardiola.

2. Thiago Alcantara – Liverpool

Thiago Alcantara is an exceptional football player and a gentleman. We’ve already witnessed it a few times this season: when he doesn’t play, Liverpool is an entirely different team.

There were a lot of discussions when he initially signed that he would slow down Liverpool a little, but once he got used to the pace of the Premier League, he was unstoppable!

He constantly has his eyes forward and is more than capable of playing one-touch football when the occasion demands it, which is why I enjoy the way he plays and moves.

I admire athletes that can anticipate events on the football field, and he fits that description, which is why I’m such a big fan of him.

Thiago’s position at #2 may surprise some people, but this is how I view the game, and I firmly feel that this player is unique. We are discussing a player of the highest caliber who has such a profound impact on a team like Liverpool.

We witnessed this impact firsthand against Ajax, where he started the game and single-handedly carried his squad to victory.

Though Thiago is a player I’ve consistently rated over the years, these lists are highly subjective and could alter every week.

3. Jorginho – Chelsea

Jorginho received a lot of criticism when he originally joined Chelsea to play at the base of the midfield under Maurizio Sarri.

Nevertheless, he has played frequently for each manager that has held the reins at Stamford Bridge throughout the years, which is something that cannot happen if you are a bad player.

He differs from English midfielders in that he doesn’t focus on his work rate, hustling, or moving at 100 mph. He keeps the team running smoothly by maintaining order in the middle of the field. When necessary, he may also pick a pass that splits the defense.

Declan Rice is worth more than £100 million to West Ham United, while Kalvin Phillips cost an estimated £42 million to join Manchester City.

While they are both excellent athletes, neither of them plays like Jorginho, does it? I’m not suggesting that England lacks talented midfielders, but it has been a very long time since we had a player of Jorginho’s caliber.

While Jorginho has weaknesses, such as a lack of speed, he is very comfortable with the ball and effectively manages the game from a deeper midfield position.

He’s underappreciated in my opinion since few people are aware of the value he adds. When he plays, Chelsea is a different team because players like Reece James, Marc Cucurella, or Ben Chilwell can charge forward to attack.

Jorginho was a key player for both club and country last year as Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League and Italy won the European Championships. He must be a unique player because it couldn’t have been a coincidence.

4. Rodri – Manchester City

I firmly believe that holding midfielders are underrated. You aren’t required to perform anything exceptional in this kind of work, but Rodri excels at performing simple tasks quickly and effectively.

Even if David Silvas and Kevin De Bruynes are undoubtedly elite players in and of themselves, they wouldn’t be possible without a guy like Rodri who just watches and lets them work their magic.

He is an incredible player who has smoothly taken the role of a legend like Fernadinho. It is mind-blowing since everything happened so effortlessly! I believe that Manchester City is the best team in the world, but without Rodri, they frequently suffer since they lack a player who can fill his position as well.

He has a similar tendency to fly under the radar to Jorginho. Rodri plays week in and week out if he is healthy, which is a shocking illustration of how crucial he is to Pep Guardiola and Manchester City in an era when players are swapped so regularly due to the oversaturation of the game schedule.

Sergio Busquets, a player who has played with Xavi and Andres Iniesta, is also vying for the holding midfield position for Spain.

Although he is a football great with unmatched football intelligence, the Barcelona guy is the only one who can prevent a player like Rodri, who is currently in his prime, from making the team. Even though he is getting older, Luis Enrique will undoubtedly need his football IQ and experience in key games.

5. Martin Odegaard – Arsenal

Because Martin Odegaard has elevated Arsenal this season, I’ll currently rank him at number five. He plays and moves with a swagger and has improved his game by adding goals.

Since Odegaard has been around for a while, it’s simple to overlook his young age of 23. He is the captain of Arsenal at such a young age, demonstrating Mikel Arteta’s admiration for him.

I appreciate players like Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Bruno Fernandes, and others, but Odegaard has already had a significant influence this season.

He plays in a position where he must initiate action, and he has succeeded in doing so, helping Arsenal climb to the top of the Premier League standings with 18 points after seven games.

Even though Foden has incredible talent, Manchester City has players like Riyad Mahrez, Jack Grealish, and Bernardo Silva who can fill in for him.

With all due respect, I also think highly of James Ward-Prowse, but I don’t believe he ranks among the top five midfielders in the Premier League right now. If that were the case, one of the “big boys” would have come forward and paid top dollar to get his signature.

According to my opinion, England is generating some excellent midfielders, but they don’t tend to pass the ball as frequently as Thiago or Jorginho do.

While Kalvin Phillips is a player who is more known for his work ethic and industry than his passing, Declan Rice is a superb box-to-box midfielder.

Trent Alexander-Arnold once represented England while playing as a midfielder while still a young player at Liverpool.

It’s a challenging position since the game practically passes past you, so you have to be much more active for the entire 90 minutes. I’d want to see him play in midfield at some point in the future because, along with De Bruyne, his passing range is among the greatest in the nation.

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