Three Premier League stars who have outperformed expectations
With international football stealing the attention for the next week or so, we’ve decided to take some time out and have a look at those under-the-radar names who’ve been impressing .
A record amount of money was spent this summer, with the £1b barrier smashed for the very first time.
But while it’s all sort of meant that the Premier League has a very familiar feel about it – Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are all in the top seven, we’ve managed to unearth a few players who are exceeding general expectations.
None of our trio cost £90m and only one plays for a side currently sitting in the top nine.
So who are they? Read on…
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – Southampton
Not too many eyebrows were raised when Southampton purchased a Bayern Munich fringe midfielder, but dig a little deeper and it appears that yet again the Saints have captured a gem.
Good enough for 25 (albeit sporadic) first-team appearances for Bayern, it’s little surprise that Hojbjerg been an important part of Southampton’s fine start to the season.
The Dane is serving up a 91 per cent pass success rate, behind just Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and having only just turned 21, is already looking like the next big thing on the south coast.
Idrissa Gueye – Everton
It was hard to look good in Aston Villa’s woeful side last term, but Idrissa Gueye managed to do just that, racking up tackle after tackle – a Premier League second best 108, actually, behind some guy named Kante.
The 27-year-old’s form earned a move to Everton in the summer, and it’s no coincidence that Gueye’s arrival has also seen the Toffees part with their soft-bellied ways of last season,.
Only Tottenham have conceded fewer than the Goodison Park outfit’s five goals, with the Senegal international posting 28 tackles already this term, five more than any other player.
Steven Defour – Burnley
It’s rare when Burnley spend big, so when they do you’d think they know what they’re doing.
On the basis of £7m man Steven Defour this term, it appears the Clarets are on to a winner.
In a side which expected to be battling in the bottom half, the Belgian has brought class and experience to the Turf Moor midfield.
Plus, with one goal and three assists, he’s directly contributed to four of Burnley’s five Premier League goals – and every time he’s either netted or supplied, the Lancashire outfit haven’t lost.
All stats via @Squawka
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing