Last weekend was far from vintage but a number of Premier League midfielders did stand out with their performance in both halves of the pitch, helping their teams in notching up important points as we begin the second half of the season.
Manchester City are the masters of the midfield. Their style of play ensures that the midfielders are the undoubted stars. However, there are other players who, despite not playing in a system always tailored as per them, did not put a foot wrong on matchday 22.
5. Georginio Wijnaldum:
Often the persona-non-grata, Wijnaldum has more than proved his worth over the course of this season. He was the touted for a permanent place on the bench after Liverpool’s business in the summer but the Dutchman has been their most consistent performer. In a dour game against Brighton, with a makeshift defence, he did not put a single foot wrong and played at his nonchalant pace.
4. Paul Pogba:
Reborn, Paul Pogba is the personification of the word. Manchester United’s record signing is finally proving his worth since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival. Tottenham was the resurgent United’s first real challenge and Pogba stood up to be counted in an effective display. A sumptuous piece of magic produced the assist for Marcus Rashford’s match-deciding goal.
The Brazilian is the most important piece of Pep Guardiola’s puzzle and undoubtedly the first name on the teamsheet. His performances have been consistently good and a full throttle display against Wolves was more of the same. The 33-year-old is no closer to showing signs of his age and the Cityzens would desperately want him to stay fit until the season’s end.
2. Declan Rice:
Declan Rice is in the middle of a conundrum when it comes to choosing his national colours but the teenage was absolutely decisive on the pitch against Arsenal. His performance in both the boxes was exceptional. Deployed as a defensive midfielder, he also scored his first Premier League goal ensuring secured all 3 points in the London derby. At just 20, Rice is already showing the merits of long-ignored youth policy to messers Gold and Sullivan.
1. Bernardo Silva:
The little Portuguese has outshone both his namesake David Silva and the oft-injured Kevin De Bruyne this season. He was absolutely buzzing around all over the pitch against Wolves. Bernardo was the one who coaxed a red-card worthy tackle from Willy Boly on the 19-minute mark which effectively turned the entire game into an easy stroll for the reigning champions.