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Ranking the top 10 Premier League players in each position

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With the new Premier League season upon us, it’s time to look forward to the superstars in action in 2016-17.

[ MORE: Every PL season preview ]

Below is a ranking of the top 10 players in each position on the pitch ahead of the new campaign.

[ MORE: Best XI’s for PL teams ]

Agree? Disagree (most likely)? Hit us up in the comments section below to discuss the picks.


Goalkeepers

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: David De Gea of Manchester United celebrates the opening goal scored by Juan Mata (not pictured) during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Watford at Old Trafford on March 2, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
  1. David De Gea
  2. Petr Cech
  3. Hugo Lloris
  4. Joe Hart
  5. Thibaut Courtois
  6. Jack Butland
  7. Fraser Forster
  8. Kasper Schmeichel
  9. Adrian
  10. Tom Heaton

Right backs

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal leaps to control the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on January 24, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
  1. Hector Bellerin
  2. Nathaniel Clyne
  3. Kyle Walker
  4. Danny Simpson
  5. Antonio Valencia
  6. Seamus Coleman
  7. Michail Antonio
  8. Branislav Ivanovic
  9. Cedric
  10. Joel Ward

Center backs

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Toby Alderweireld of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on September 26, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
  1. Toby Alderweireld
  2. Virgil van Dijk
  3. Wes Morgan
  4. Jan Vertonghen
  5. Laurent Koscielny
  6. John Terry
  7. Eric Bailly
  8. Vincent Kompany
  9. John Stones
  10. Jose Fonte

Left backs

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Luke Shaw of Manchester United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on September 27, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
  1. Luke Shaw
  2. Danny Rose
  3. Ryan Bertrand
  4. Aaron Cresswell
  5. Nacho Monreal
  6. Christian Fuchs
  7. Charlie Daniels
  8. Patrick van Aanholt
  9. Aleksandar Kolarov
  10. Cesar Azpilicueta

Central midfielders

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Paul Pogba of Manchester United looks on during Paul Scholes' Testimonial Match between Manchester United and New York Cosmos at Old Trafford on August 5, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
  1. Paul Pogba
  2. N'Golo Kante
  3. Eric Dier
  4. Mousa Dembele
  5. Ilkay Gundogan
  6. Aaron Ramsey
  7. Fernandinho
  8. Granit Xhaka
  9. Danny Drinkwater
  10. Cheikhou Kouyate

Wingers

Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City FC
Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City FC
  1. Kevin De Bruyne
  2. Alexis Sanchez
  3. Riyad Mahrez
  4. Anthony Martial
  5. Eden Hazard
  6. Sadio Mane
  7. Willian
  8. Leroy Sane
  9. Michail Antonio
  10. Andros Townsend

Attacking midfielders/Playmakers

Mesut Ozil, Arsenal FC
Mesut Ozil, Arsenal FC
  1. Mesut Ozil
  2. Dele Alli
  3. Dimitri Payet
  4. Henrikh Mkhitaryan
  5. David Silva
  6. Philippe Coutinho
  7. Gylfi Sigurdsson
  8. Christian Eriksen
  9. Roberto Firmino
  10. Dusan Tadic

Strikers

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at Etihad Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
  1. Sergio Aguero
  2. Harry Kane
  3. Jamie Vardy
  4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  5. Romelu Lukaku
  6. Daniel Sturridge
  7. Diego Costa
  8. Shane Long
  9. Odion Ighalo
  10. Jermain Defoe

Rumored Neymar for Bale swap: Who wins?

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Who would gain more of an advantage from the rumored, sensational Gareth Bale for Neymar swap: Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid?

Both players are currently problems for their clubs, though neither is known as a true rabble-rouser; Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane wants to be done with the newly-minted 30-year-old Bale, while PSG knows Neymar wants to leave and would love to satiate Kylian Mbappe’s appetite to be the man at their club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

Presumably some money would be headed PSG’s way in addition to Bale, and both clubs would be getting a motivated megawatt star.

Neymar doesn’t turn 28 until February, but the difference in age may be offset by the Brazilian’s track record of injuries.

In fact, his injury status last season combines with an off-field accusation of sexual assault and a red card for confronting a fan to overshadow his production: Neymar’s 23 goals and 13 assists in just over 2300 minutes last season, including five and two in the Champions League (and a goal and an assist against defensively-stout Liverpool).

Bale presents very few personality challenges, and PSG won’t have a problem with his massive wages (especially with Neymar off the books). His numbers have dipped in two of three seasons since his otherworldly 2015-16, but La Liga is a more difficult scoring league than Ligue 1.

Neymar has twice been a Ballon d’Or finalist and, presuming his legal troubles don’t persist, could be a title fight changer in La Liga. Imagine the Neymar, Eden Hazard, and Luka Jovic trying to outgun Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Luis Suarez? Insane.

We’d say Real would be winning the straight-up swap, and that it’s pretty unlikely to go down that way. So it depends what PSG does with the relative Financial Fair Play freedom that would come with the money that also arrives from Spain. Is it Idrissa Gana Gueye? Someone else who helps take PSG’s Champions League hopes to the next level?

Manchester United in ‘concrete talks’ with Lille over Pepe

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Manchester United are reportedly in “concrete talks” to agree a fee with Lille for much-tracked playmaker Nicolas Pepe.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal amongst others, and Lille has admitted he’ll be leaving the club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

United’s reported salvo was around $87.5 million. He’d give them a star who could play across from Anthony Martial or as an attacking midfielder under Romelu Lukaku.

Only Kylian Mbappe and Teji Savanier garnered better season-long ratings than Pepe in the 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign, and Pepe’s 22 goals and 11 assists stand out from the pack. Only Mbappe had more goals and only Savanier more assists.

Pepe has four goals in 11 caps for the Ivory Coast, and made three starts in Les Elephants’ five-match run at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He’s a fit for the Premier League, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s system. And if the Red Devils can keep him from Liverpool, well, all the better we’re sure.

Report: Manchester United, Leicester agree to monster Maguire fee

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Manchester United and Leicester City have agreed a fee for Harry Maguire, clearing the way for the English center back to join the Old Trafford set.

That fee is a whopping $100 million, according to Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones. That’s about $4 million more than the world record for a defender, set when Liverpool purchased Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.

[ MORE: USMNT CB to West Ham? ]

Maguire has been a statistical monster for Leicester City, and he passes the eye test, too.

Manchester United has needed to upgrade its stable of center backs for some time, and now the biggest question is who will work best alongside the 6-foot-4 26-year-old.

The former Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic, and Hull City defender is now 20-times capped by England.

The move could have a ripple effect on the Premier League, as the Foxes have been expected to bid for Burnley star James Tarkowski should Maguire leave the King Power Stadium.

Transfer rumor roundup: USMNT’s Long to London, Newcastle linked with pair

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Could USMNT center back Aaron Long be headed to the Premier League?

The 26-year-old could join West Ham United’s stable of center backs, which includes Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, and Angelo Ogbonna.

Sky Sports says that the Red Bulls defender has drawn the interest of Lyon and Fiorentina, but been offered to the Irons should they match his $5 million release clause.

Unable to find a place with Portland and Seattle, Long spent a few seasons in the USL before earning a place with RBNY.

Now 11-times capped by the USMNT with two goals, Long could be bringing his talents to London’s Olympic Stadium.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Newcastle United has the chance to sign oft-injured Danny Welbeck on a free transfer.

The longtime Arsenal striker, weaned at Manchester United, scored five times in 12 matches last season in a return to injury woes following a 43-match season the prior year.

Newcastle is also being linked with a former defender. James Tavernier has gone on to captain Glasgow Rangers, and the 27-year-old would cost around $10 million.

Surely Steven Gerrard would want more for the defender, but prices haven’t met quality for Scottish Premiership players as we’ve seen with Kieran Tierney at Celtic.