The most important player of each top six side

The top six in the Premier League have teams loaded with talent and star players. Some of those players are incredibly important to the way the team plays, but who is the most important player on each team?

The most important player

We look at the most important man in each of the top six teams


Arsenal – Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard is the player who keeps things running smoothly for Arsenal. The league leaders acquired the Norwegian from Real Madrid in 2021 for a fee of £30 million. He has already surpassed 100 Premier League appearances, and during that time he has scored 30 goals while assisting 19 times. Occupying a position in midfield, Odegaard’s role is to advance the ball, break lines and set up opportunities for the forward line. He is usually positioned on the edge of the box when Arsenal break down, and is also encouraged to move into the box when crosses come from wide areas. He is at the heart of what Arsenal do, and he has been a consistent performer under Mikel Arteta.

Manchester City – Rodri

When Manchester City lost the Champions League final against Chelsea in 2021, Rodri was a big miss for Pep Guardiola’s team. With no holding midfielder, City were far more exposed. Three years later, Rodri won the trophy by scoring the winner in the Champions League final. He is the metronome in City’s midfield, protecting the back four, and occasionally becoming a threat going forward. Rodri has scored 25 goals and assisted 26 times for City. His presence is vital, and he is one of Guardiola’s most trusted players.

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Liverpool – Virgil van Dijk

The foundation of Jurgen Klopp’s success at Liverpool began with the signing of Virgil van Dijk in 2018. The Dutchman cost £75M, which raised a few eyebrows at the time, but now looks like a bargain. The composure he shows at the back spreads throughout the team, and he has an almost telepathic connection with his centre-back partners. Van Dijk rarely puts a step wrong and has lost only one Premier League game at Anfield in front of a packed crowd since joining the club. Van Dijk isn’t shy about scoring the odd goal either, he scored the winner in the EFL Cup against Chelsea in February. He is widely regarded as one of the great Premier League centre-backs.

Tottenham – Son Heung-min

Now Harry Kane is gone, Son Heung-min is seen as Spurs’ most important player. His lightning speed and lethal finishing strike fear into opposition defences. Son is close to 300 Premier League appearances for Tottenham and has scored 118 goals during this period. His goal tally for this season stands at 15 with eight assists as Spurs look to climb into the top four. Of Spurs’ brilliant attack under Mauricio Pochettino, Son is the only player left, and continues to produce at the highest level even at the age of 31.

Manchester United – Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes is the most important player of the Manchester United team. His quality on the ball and vision to play is what sets him apart from the rest of the players in the team. He has started almost every Premier League game since joining in January 2021, and has scored 67 goals in all competitions. Fernandes has also assisted 61 goals during his United career. The Portuguese has regularly stepped up whenever Manchester United needed him. There are still questions over his discipline and body language on the field, but he always seems to put up good numbers and United fans think highly of him.

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Chelsea – Cole Palmer

Chelsea’s decline in form over the past few years has seen a heavy reliance on young players and Cole Palmer has done just that. Joining from Manchester City in the summer, the English midfielder has taken the Premier League by storm, becoming the first name on Pochettino’s team sheet. He has scored 13 league goals while assisting eight times. He has three goals and four assists in the domestic cup this campaign. Due to his excellent form, he has put himself in the running to be included in the Euro 2024 squad. He has been one of the few savers for Chelsea this season.

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