At age 21,West Ham United’s Ashley Fletcher is still bidding his time and observing the game with a keen eye hoping that when he is finally handed his shot he will grab it by the scruff of the neck.
The 2016/2017 English Premier League season is set to be one of the most competitive in recent memory with an influx of top class coaches and players.
While in Ghana doing some promoting the West Ham brand with record signing Andre Ayew the England U-20 international shared his thoughts with me on which players he feels are the kings of the English Premier League at the moment.
He named his top five players from the top
At age 28 the stocky Argentine attacker is still widely regarded as the English Division’s most lethal forward when healthy.He has started the season in vintage Aguero fashion,scoring 8 goals in 9 league appearances. Already in his sixth season with Manchester City the son in law of Diego Maradona has already scored 110 goals in 159 appearances.
He has demonstrated his wide array of finishing tools during his spell in the league,scoring 81 of his goals with his stronger right foot and 21 with his left.Perhaps his greatest moment came in the dying seconds of the final match of the 2011/2012 season when he surged into the box to score the goal that would set Manchester City on its way to becoming Champions and a Premiership powerhouse.He has already cracked the top 20 top scorers list of the English Premiership.
2. Romelu Lukaku
Goal scoring has always been embedded in the DNA of the imposing 6 ft 3 inch forward.His exploits at youth level with Anderlecht drew early comparisons to Didier Drogba .While he might not have attained the cult status of Drogba, Romelu’s consistency since his arrival has fetched him an impressive 68 goals in 137 appearances and he is only 23 years.
He has hit the ground running with 7 goals in 10 matches and this has coincided with a good start to the season for Everton. Dutch manager Ronald Koeman made an honest admission in an interview with Belgian newspaper HLN that his prized asset will need to leave Merseyside to fulfill his full potential.In his most productive season he managed to hit 18 goals and with a greater part of his career still ahead of him its scary to imagine what he is capable of once he hits his peak.
3. Sadio Mane
The journey from Senegal’s Academie Generation Foot has been quite event laden for the versatile speedster who Liverpool made Africa’s most expensive player at 34 million pounds when they acquired him over the summer.He appears a man who has always been familiar with the system being employed by Jurgen Klopp fit in seamlessly with his new teammates.
He has contributed 6 goals playing from the right wing and with Liverpool averaging 3 goals a game currently it is safe to say that Mane can project a personal target of 15 league goals which will be his highest tally since his arrival in England.With 27 goals and 11 assists in 77 Premier League appearances he remains a constant threat to teams on a weekly basis.
Perhaps last season’s horror show which saw Hazard score 4 goals in 31 appearances might have affected Hazards position on this list but 7 goals in only 11 screams redemption.
He looks like a man rejuvenated by the space and flexibility created by Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 system and could be on a mission to reclaim his Premier League MVP crown should Chelsea remain in the title race for the rest of the season.If Conte will join the impressive list of managers who have won the league in their debut season, Hazard will be his most trusted lieutenant on this journey.
5. Dele Alli
Its refreshing when two athletes of the same age bracket appreciate each others talents and according to Fletcher last season’s Young Player of the year Dele Alli is fit to rub shoulders with the league’s elite.When you think of the strides the 20 year old has made in his career two attributes stand out,energy and the ability to do the unexpected as demonstrated in his wonder goal against Crystal Palace.
His maiden season represents every young players dream,bagging 10 league goals and sealing a place in England’s squad for the 2016 Euros.His second season with the Lily Whites hasn’t lived up to the same lofty standards but 3 goals in his opening 10 matches indicate that he is capable of going on going on another impressive run similar to last season’s.