Eleven games have been played so far this season and as usual the Premier League has been full of surprises. Liverpool are currently at the top of the table while reigning champions Leicester City are in 14th place. Chelsea are in second place and have been on a superb run of form ever since Conte changed the system and switched to a back three while Jose Mourinho is yet to discover his best team at Manchester United who are in sixth place.
These are the five players that I believe have already made significant improvements compared to last season.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
It was difficult to choose between Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez as Arsenal’s most improved player so far this season, but Ozil has come up with some very important goals and is proving that he can step up and be the difference when Arsenal need him most. He has three Premier League goals this season, not to mention his first career hat-trick against Ludogorets in the first leg of their Champions League group game and then a stunning late winner in the second leg against the same team. The German playmaker scored six goals last season, his best tally since joining Arsenal. If he keeps getting himself in the right positions, he can better that this season. Arsene Wenger has made it clear that he wants his side to challenge for the title. The sooner Ozil’s contract is sorted, the better.
Diego Costa (Chelsea)
Love him or hate him, most football fans would want a player like Diego Costa in their team. The aggressive and passionate striker has been a key part of Chelsea’s title challenge, already scoring nine goals in 11 games. He is currently the Premier League’s top goalscorer and is going from strength to strength under new boss Antonio Conte. Costa, Hazard and Pedro are working together incredibly well as a front three and the former Atletico Madrid man, who only scored 12 Premier League goals last season is well on his way to surpassing that total. There was an injury concern that ruled him out of Spain’s game against England, but Costa has shaken it off and will be fit and ready to face Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Victor Moses (Chelsea)
Since joining Chelsea in August 2012, Victor Moses’ opportunities at Chelsea have been limited to say the least. He has had loan spells at Liverpool, Stoke and West Ham in those four years and none of them were particularly successful. It seemed that his career at Chelsea was going nowhere fast until Conte came in and transformed him into a right wing-back. Since that happened, Moses is playing like a man possessed, as if every game is his last and you can’t blame him after waiting so long for his chance to shine at Stamford Bridge. The Nigerian has made 10 Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season and plays a very important role in Conte’s 3-4-3 system. His defensive work is commendable and his pace and power make him a threat going forward. After so many loan spells, it is great to see that Moses is as determined as ever to prove himself to Conte and be the best player he can be.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
There are so many contenders for improved players in the Liverpool side but Philippe Coutinho is the best. The Brazilian has been phenomenal so far this season, scoring five goals and providing five assists. He has already matched the amount of assists he provided last season and this could be the first season since his move to Anfield that Coutinho’s goal tally goes into double figures. Coutinho is the main creative force in the team and is one third of a formidable front three which also includes Mane and Firmino meaning Daniel Sturridge is restricted to making appearances off the bench. His fantastic form has led to links with Barcelona where he would be reunited with former Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez and current Brazil team-mate Neymar. When you play as well as Coutinho has been recently, these kind of rumours are inevitable but he is contracted till 2020 and in the form of his life at Liverpool so Klopp shouldn’t be too concerned.
Joe Allen (Stoke City)
Stoke made a very poor start to the season. They did not win their first Premier League game until mid October and looked like a team in trouble. Joe Allen has been key to Stoke’s revival, scoring four goals and providing two assists. The Welshman last scored four goals in a Premier League season during 2011/12 when he was still with Swansea. Allen left Liverpool because he wanted more first team football and he has certainly got that at Stoke. He is thriving in the number 10 role under Mark Hughes, has been Stoke’s best player this season and is enjoying his club football again. Sometimes a change of scenery is all a player needs to get back to his best.