With the Premier League season now on a break until after Christmas, WhoScored’s Best XI of the campaign so far is now fixed for the next month and a half.
Included in the eleven are four Manchester City players (Joao Cancelo, Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, and Erling Haaland), two Newcastle United players (Kieran Trippier and Fabian Schar), and two Arsenal players (Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard).
No other team has more than one entrant, with Bernd Leno of Fulham, James Maddison of Leicester City, and Thiago Silva of Chelsea making up the remainder of the lineup.
Former Gunner Leno will point to his rating as evidence he should have been in Germany’s World Cup squad this month.
WhoScored’s teams are entirely based on statistical data, so whilst it may be surprising to see players like William Saliba, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Miguel Almiron missing out, that’s just down to their average WhoScored ratings.
Both Saka and Martinelli were extremely close to making the side, both receiving average ratings of 7.29 to leave them in 14th and 15th in the overall league rankings.
Jesus (7.59) and Odegaard (7.42) are fourth and sixth in the rankings, with Jesus pipping Spurs’ Harry Kane (7.47) to the second striker spot.
Summer signing Jesus has received plenty of praise for his start with the Gunners, helping them to the top of the Premier League table, though his recent goal drought has also drawn some criticism.
Yet the fact the striker’s WhoScored ratings have consistently stayed so high is an indicator of all the other things he offers to the team.
As for Odegaard, he’s probably gone a bit underrated so far this campaign, but he’s now Arsenal’s top scorer in the Premier League, and he’s kept the side ticking in every game.
Well done to both players on their starts to the season. Now they need to focus on making sure they’re still in there come May.