With the 2018-19 Premier League season now in the books, theScore is ranking the top 50 performers from a topsy-turvy campaign. Who shone brightest over the past nine months? Let the debate begin.
Arguably the division's most underrated defensive midfielder, Gueye is basically N'Golo Kante without the acclaim. The Senegalese international breaks up more plays than John Wilkes Booth, pairing 143 tackles with 75 interceptions, the sixth-highest haul in the league. It makes sense that Paris Saint-Germain were in for the 29-year-old during the January window.
The greatest footballer in Manchester City history looks like he needs the rest. The Spanish veteran had a scoring outburst in the first half of the season and was a consistent source of assists after the festive period, but seemed to lose a little sharpness around the business end of the campaign. The 33-year-old's minutes need to be carefully managed next term, potentially opening up more first-team chances for teenager Phil Foden.
Despite the uncertainty over his future that persisted throughout the season, Alderweireld was his usual composed self in the heart of Tottenham's defense; losing the Belgian this summer would undoubtedly set Spurs back in their quest for Premier League glory. Finding a replacement capable of filling the void left by the 30-year-old could prove difficult for a team that's blossomed into a legitimate contender thanks in part to his vision, passing, and imposing presence.
Jimenez's first stint in one of Europe's top five leagues was an unequivocal disaster. The Mexican marksman mustered a single goal over 21 La Liga appearances at Atletico Madrid and slunk off to Benfica to rebuild his career. Now, after 13 goals and seven assists for Wolverhampton Wanderers, the 28-year-old is at the peak of his powers in English football. What a season.
Credit Trent Alexander-Arnold for keeping Wan-Bissaka from PFA Team of the Year plaudits. The 21-year-old right-back was Palace's best player this season, combining deft dribbling skills going forward with a knack for intercepting wide attacks in defense. With DR Congo sniffing around, the Three Lions would be wise to cap the player despite a wealth of options at right-back.
This came out of nowhere. When Newcastle United were relegated in 2016, Sissoko was a scapegoat. His work ethic was questioned, and the argument that he only turned up for big games was corroborated by his subsequent quality showings at Euro 2016. The Frenchman initially looked to be a dud for Spurs but, over the 2018-19 season, his tactical sense and physicality came to the fore and earned him a regular spot in Mauricio Pochettino's XI.
Uncertainty over Fabinho's ability to make the transition to the Premier League didn't last long, as the Brazilian proved to be an important contributor in the middle of the park for Liverpool. Fabinho's been a staple in Jurgen Klopp's team since January, and the defensive midfielder has more than lived up to the hefty price tag that the Reds paid AS Monaco last summer.
Leicester City will be desperate to keep hold of the Nigerian ball-stopper ahead of next season. The angular 22-year-old led all Premier League midfielders with 144 successful tackles and was third in interceptions with 83. A cerebral player who rarely makes a rash challenge, Ndidi is one of the league's best in his position.
Wilson suffered ACL injuries in both knees in the space of 16 months. In the past, rough luck like that ended careers, and nowadays, it's expected to lead to at least a significant downturn in a player's productivity. But, somehow, the Bournemouth striker is even better. His understanding with Ryan Fraser showcased his talents as a link-up man in attack, and his finishing ability is obvious. No wonder he's an established member of the England fold.
Vardy went about his business fairly quietly over the 2018-19 term but still notched 18 league goals and four assists for Leicester City. Not only were his numbers impressive, they were also precious while there were scant scoring contributions from backup Kelechi Iheanacho. The Foxes will need to bring in youthful competition for Vardy during the summer window.