10 Most Impressive Premier League Players Of 2012/13 So Far…

Chris Wright

8th, January 2013


By Chris Wright

Since we’ve already run the rule over the ten players who have done nothing but brought shame upon their families so far this term, it’s only right that we add a little yin to the yang and complete the circle with the ten who we reckon have been on top of their game and impressively so.

We’re not necessarily talking about the best performers, but more the players that have caught our eye since the start of the season.

In no particular order…

Brad Guzan, Aston Villa: Being stationed behind Villa’s porous young defence, Guzan has had it all on to keep opponents from reaching double figures on several occasions this season. The fact that the American keeper somehow managed to put in a man of the match-worthy shift having still conceded eight against Chelsea is his season in mirocosm.

Michu, Swansea: Obvious one. Michu cost Swansea less than a bag of Lidl salted peanuts and has rolled in 13 Premier League goals so far without so much as breaking into a canter – not that he’s carrying The Swans all on his lonesome, he’s just the ‘public face’ of a very impressive little set-up that Michael Laudrup has going across the border.

Robin van Persie, Man Utd: An absolute joy to watch almost every time he takes to the field. Consummate, deft, intelligent, very much in his prime and the Premier League top-scorer (with 16 goals) to boot. We think it’s fair to say that RVP has attained ‘instant success’ status at Old Trafford.

Victor Moses, Chelsea: Granted, he’s not exactly pulling up trees, but we didn’t expect Moses to get a look-in at Chelsea when he signed amid a flurry of other like-minded wingers and attacking midfielders over the summer. Instead he’s been impressively positive whenever given a chance and as such is the only Chelsea player to score in all competitions this season (FA Cup, Premier League, Capital One Cup and the Champions League).

Mark Noble, West Ham: Just keeps on going, chugging away in the middle of West Ham’s midfield to little or no fanfare outside East London. With the ball at his feet Noble is assured, sensible and inventive when given the opportunity. Without it he’s a nippy, combative harrier. Also hasn’t missed a penalty since he was 14-years-old or something daft.

Romelu Luklaku, West Brom: Lukaku’s physical attributes alone make him a terrifying prospect for any central defender, though he’s also got more than a little finesse about his game. We weren’t overly sure that he was going to be 100% dedicated to the Baggies’ cause given that he was being farmed down the league (to be fair, that assumption was based on absolutely nothing), but the 19-year-old Belgian bruiser has been playing like a man who has a point to prove to his parent club – sticking away seven league goals in the process.

Leighton Baines, Everton: The perfect all-round left-back. Good at everything he does, both defensively and as an attacking entity, and enjoying the most consistently effective form of his career to date. Along with Steven Pienaar, Everton’s dynamic left flank has been one of David Moyes’ biggest boons this season.

Santi Cazorla, Arsenal: There’s not an awful lot we can say about Santi that hasn’t already been said, but in simple terms it gives us a warm feeling in our laps being able to watch Cazorla flit and flicker week in, week out. He’s not always decisive, but it’s the little things: the touches, the flicks, that have captured our heart.

Jonathan De Guzman, Swansea: If we were pushed to sum De Guzman up in one word, it’d be ‘tidy’. Another player signed (on loan) for pennies, the Canadian midfielder is a key component in almost everything The Swans do in possession. Fits the blueprint perfectly and we wouldn’t be surprised if Huw Jenkins is beavering away trying to snaffle him away from Villarreal on a permanent basis.

Luis Suarez, Liverpool: Call him what you will, for you cannot hurt him. Liverpool’s only match-winner is football’s biggest heel and revels in his reputation, often stepping over the line. However, he’s also a bloody fine player when he’s not antagonising all and sundry like the Uruguayan Rowdy Roddy Piper; wriggling, contorting, attack-attack-attacking and scoring 15 Premier League goals by January – four more than he managed in the league last season and only two goals shy of his entire 2011/12 haul.

Anyone we’ve missed? Pray tell Pies fans, who is it that’s been buttering your parsnips so far this season? 

Suggested further reading…

10 Biggest Premier League Disappointments Of 2012/13 So Far

Posted in Featured, Opinion, Top 10s & lists

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  1. B-tep says:

    No Sterling? From completely unknown outside of Liverpool to England international in 6 months?

    Got to be in there…

  2. Ed says:

    Surely Juan Mata gets a look in? Consistent top notch performances, providing assists and goals all over the place!

    Admittedly not a ‘surprise’ pick, but nonetheless excellent.

  3. Hootie says:

    Fellaini miss because you didn’t want to feature two Everton players?

  4. :) says:

    very happy to see noble getting some recognition – couldn’t have described him better – so reliable

  5. dan says:

    Chelsea fan; admittedly Moses has been quite good but him over Mata?

    Are you for real?

  6. jeanne says:

    um aguero? though he has not scored as much this year he have been electric on the field and still impresses.

  7. Dont Worry says:

    I know not one of the best but Cleverley has been impressive

  8. Ed says:

    Where’s Mata? Consistently excellent, with goals and assists all over the park!
    Admittedly not a surprise, but nonetheless an excellent player this season.

  9. Bop says:

    Raheem Sterling?

    Unknown to England international in 6 months…

  10. Jumbo says:

    I think if we take a look at the players that have been most impressive team wise you may have missed quite a few performers

    Aston Villa : Benteke – He is one monster who has been most impressive for a Villa team that had its main goalscorers sidelined via one problem or the other

    Arsenal : Cazorla has it covered

    Chelsea : Mata has most definitely been more impressive that Moses this season although I do not dispute Moses’ inclusion, but Mata has been the spark that has kept that Chelsea team going

    Everton : By far the most glaring miss of your list has got to be Fellaini – barring the incident with Shawcross there has rarely been a game where he has not asserted his dominance over a team with his physicality and most impressively his eye for goals this season.

    Fulham : Again most impressive may be too extreme but Berbatov has definitely found his niche playing up top for Fulham so long as it seems Bryan Ruiz gets himself on the team sheet

    Liverpool : Sterling? for a 17 year old to have such an instant and instant impact in a totally new setup for a club that has as massive expectations as Liverpool must be appreciated and dare I say he has been Most Impressive

    Manchester City : I would have said Tevez or Silva but none have been consistently good enough for the Champions so nope…I can see scope for improvement in this team with Yaya , Kompany and Aguero but none would have made your list yet.

    Manchester United : V. Persie for sure… But I must say I have been very very impressed by the fullbacks this year. Both Rafael and Evra have been vastly important in the attacking part of the game albeit the clean sheets have been very difficult to come by. Rafael’s emergence as a first choice right back for United is well worth a mention here.

    Newcastle United : To be able to stand out amongst a team that has steadily been on the decline due to an alarming rate of injuries is an achievement in itself. For that sake Ba has to be on this list. Plus he has immediately snugly fit himself into a Chelsea team laden with superstars.

    Norwich City : If I had to pick one man from this team it would probably be Mr. Hughton for the work rate he has instilled here but Bassong , Pilkington and my favorite Wes Hoolahan have all been brilliant this season

    QPR : What can you say about this team except for a wee bit of resurgence under the wily old fox Harry Redknapp and a glimmer of hope in the form of Taraabt’s runs. No one for the list though.

    Reading : Not good enough for the league I am afraid and unfortunately no one for the list either.

    Southampton : Some fine players amongst these Saints encompassing Puncheon , Lambert and Lallana but no incredible standouts I am afraid

    Stoke City : If there was one defender or old fashioned Centre half that I would pick with my eyes closed it would have to Shawcross and I am sure Manchester United regret the day they let him go. That armband bearer and his goalkeeper – Begovic have been their saviors on many an occasion.

    Sunderland – Too patchy for my liking although Fletcher has caught my eye. Plus it does look like Sessegnon seems to be finding his feet of late. I guess one must commend their Defence and Mignolet.

    Swansea City : If there was one team that could have been on the list it would definitely have been Swansea. Most impressive play , great work rate , lovely attractive football and a passion for the game I have not seen amongst english clubs (albeit they are welsh). You could belt out a list of names relevant to the list… Hernandez , Routledge, Michu, Williams , Ben Davies!

    Tottenham : Again a new manager and a lot of doubts plus the loss of one of their most influential players to Madrid and one of my favorites(Parker) to injury but still battling it out at the top. Sandro for me has been great but the steamroller that is Bale constantly impresses. Plus it is always good to see the goal glutton that is Defoe return to his rip-roaring best and Vertonghen bedding himself with such ease. Heroes all around for this team with so many similar stories from last season still to blossom this year

    West Brom : Again a hugely impressive start to the campaign with a well known No. 2 but first time manager. Great team play and Claudio Yacob stands out here along with James Morrison for me. But I understand the inclusion of Lukaku , still not Top 10 thought

    West Ham : I have loved the defensive resilience that the Hammers have shown. Jaaskelainen , O’ Brien and Collins amongst them have definitely been pivotal to their success and I daresay I would be vary of a Big Sam team with Carroll in it, no doubt

    Wigan : Arouna Kone for me is the one man that has added that much needed attacking attribute for this team; but the perennial incredible shot stopper Al Habsi cannot be ignored.

    Please take my comments into consideration and let me know your thoughts on the same.

  11. Mark says:

    Got to agree re Mata/Moses. We know how good Mata is, but when Moses moved to Chelsea I just couldn’t understand the decision. I didn’t think he’d get anywhere near the team, but he’s been really good so far. Definitely a pleasant surprise.

    I’d also like to nominate Vurnon Anita and Adam Lallana for honourable mentions. Didn’t really know what to expect of Anita when he was signed but I’ve really enjoyed watching him play. As for Lallana, he was good in the lower leagues but it’s been great to see him step up, and even get England recognition

  12. Pascal says:

    Mignolet in for Guzan
    Also, Mata was the most impressive Chelsea player, far more important than one 40-million Belgian guy

  13. Karlos says:

    Luklalu? Not heard of him yet, is he good?

  14. Nuno says:

    Fellaini should have been mentioned, he’s playing at his best since he arrived to England. I would also brought in Gareth Bale, already with 10 goals, simply outstanding. To finish, Mata or Hazard should’ve replaced Moses. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Berbatov in here. Props

  15. muppets says:

    I really feel Mata should be in here. With the exception of maybe RVP, he’s been the player of the season.

  16. Luke says:


  17. David says:

    Surprised Bale or Defoe didnt get a look in. Or Yaya, Ba or Mata.

  18. Alex says:

    Glad to see Mark Noble included, often overlooked by other sections of the media but has been the perfect replacement for Scott Parker (fitting into the same old school mould) since Parker left the hammers.

    No doubt the England set up will only realise his potential too late in the day as they did with Parker himself.

  19. Ty says:

    Echoing a few others sentiments; Mignolet, Shawcross, Fellani, Berbatov, either Yacob or Mulumbu possibly even Tarrabt.

  20. beef is cooking says:

    To be fair to Moses, I’ve found myself wishing he’d held out for an England chance rather than playing for Nigeria. I think he’d walk into the England team right now, especially with how innocuous Ashley Young has been this season. Moses can just be so destructive down either flank.

  21. big mean bunny says:

    Sterling has looked good, but his international was partly fueled by wanting to get him involved with England over Jamaica.

    He looks too much like the skinny one from Kennan and Kel for my liking!

  22. @OldNUmber7Shirt says:

    Chamakh. You asked for the “most impressive,” and Chamakh gets the nod for becoming a household name exclusively on mediocrity, unlikely “staying power” (can’t get rid of his ass), and horror hair. Has such an underwhelming skill set ever been ridden to higher heights?

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  25. Vasko says:

    Where the hell is berbatov? He has been a revelation at Fulham, there is no player close to the level he’s on.

  26. Dalton says:

    Mark Noble missed a pk back in ’09… but who’s counting!

  27. mikeyj47 says:

    Fellaini, Diame, Benteke.

  28. Stan Marsh says:

    I’m no City fan but Matija Nastasic (I think that’s right) has been really impressive. Never thought he would get a look in at Eastlands but he’s even to muscle a full international (Lescott) out of a Premier league winning side and he’s only 19. He was also named City’s Player of the Month at some point this season. Definitely deserves to be on here.

  29. Andrew Winnets says:


    I may be a bit late to the party but I feel it has to be said that you failed to mention one of Swansea’s best performers to date. Ki Sung Yeung has been consistently brilliant and is seen by many (fans and journalists alike) as their outstanding player of this season – even despite the goals of Michu!! He has a great range of passing, keeps possession exceptionally well under pressure and is dangerous when shooting from range (although admittedly he is yet to score for the Swans). A cracking player who was signed at less than half the price Joe Allen was moved on to Liverpool for. Well in Davey.

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