Premier League player Power Rankings

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Who excelled and who struggled in the Premier League over the weekend? Our latest batch of player Power Rankings are out as we focus on the top performers in Week 22.

[ MORE: Full Power Rankings archive ]

Stars from Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, West Ham and Southampton all feature, as stars from the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are misfiring.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League.

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


  1. David De Gea (Man United) – New entry
  2. Gabriel Jesus (Man City) – New entry
  3. Declan Rice (West Ham) – New entry
  4. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – Up 6
  5. Paul Pogba (Man United) – Even
  6. Marcus Rashford (Man United) – Up 5
  7. Fernandinho (Man City) – Down 4
  8. Jan Bednarek (Southampton) – New entry
  9. Fabinho (Liverpool) – Up 8
  10. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) – Down 3
  11. Leroy Sane (Man City) – Down 3
  12. Heung-Min Son (Tottenham) – Down 11
  13. Raheem Sterling (Man City) –  Down 4
  14. Aymeric Laporte (Man City) – New entry
  15. Jesse Lingard (Man United) – Doen 2
  16. Felipe Anderson (West Ham) – Doen 3
  17. Shane Long (Southampton) – New entry
  18. Harry Kane (Tottenham) – Down 12
  19. Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford) – Even
  20. Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham) – New entry

West Ham upset Arsenal (video)

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  • Rice scores first West Ham goal
  • Arsenal’s 2nd defeat in last 3 PL games
  • 16 of the last 18 PL goals scored in this fixture have come in the second half 

West Ham United beat Arsenal 1-0 at the London Stadium on Saturday as teenager Declan Rice was the hero for the Hammers.

Fresh from signing a new long-term contract and just a few days before his 20th birthday, the West Ham academy graduate smashed home the winner early in the second half to secure a huge win for Manuel Pellegrini‘s Hammers.

The win was just their second in their last 22 PL games against Arsenal, as Unai Emery‘s side struggled to get going and have now lost two of their last three league clashes.

West Ham move up to eighth on 31 points, while Arsenal sit in fifth on 41 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

West Ham started well and Felipe Anderson danced his way towards goal but the Brazilian curled his effort off target.

At the other end Arsenal ripped West Ham apart as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette combined as the latter first had a shot blocked and then fired the rebound over.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Before half time the Hammers fought their way back into the game as Samir Nasri dragged an effort wide of the near post. A long ball over the top nearly led to the opening goal of the game as Marko Arnautovic controlled and played the ball to Nasri who teed up the onrushing Anderson who drilled inches wide of the post.

Matteo Guendouzi then fired an effort just off target and Declan Rice then headed wide as the game continued to open up.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

West Ham had the perfect start to the second half as Arsenal failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Nasri who found Rice in the box and the teenager slammed home to make it 1-0.

At the other end Arsenal were almost level right away, but Lukasz Fabianski saved well as the ball ricocheted off a West Ham defender and towards their own goal. Guendouzi then fired wide as Arsenal pushed hard for an equalizer.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Emery sent on Lucas Torreira and Aaron Ramsey in the hope of rescuing a point, and it had an impact. Aubameyang fired over under pressure from Aaron Cresswell as the Gunners threw men forward but they failed to open up the solid West Ham defense.

Late on Arnautovic seemed to wave goodbye to the West Ham fans as he was subbed off, as an unnamed Chinese Super League club continues to try and sign him.

But at the final whistle there was nothing but jubilation from everyone connected with West Ham as they secured their first home Premier League win against Arsenal since 2006.

West Ham block Arnautovic exit

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West Ham United and Marko Arnautovic are embroiled in a very public and rather ugly transfer battle.

After a bid of over $45 million was reportedly tabled by an unnamed Chinese Super League club Wednesday (believed to be reigning CSL champs Shanghai SIPG) for West Ham’s star striker, Arnautovic’s agent and brother has said he wants to leave the Hammers.

Danijel Arnautovic released the following statement to talkSPORT in the UK.

“West Ham bought Marko for peanuts. They paid £20million for him, which is nothing in the current market. They bought him to keep them in the Premier League last season and he did that. He took every award at the club; best player, signing of the season and the players’ award. Now West Ham have a fantastic offer. It is close to double what they paid for him. He wants to go to a new market and challenge for titles. This is what he wants. It is his great desire that West Ham accept the offer from China.”

The Hammers responded to the claims with this brief, and rather curt, statement:

Your move, Marko…

Arnautovic, 29, is contracted to West Ham until the summer of 2022 and if the Hammers do not want to sell him then this is a very tough situation to sort out. It is almost a case of deja vu for the Hammers when you think about the situation they had with Dimitri Payet just over two years ago.

Reports suggest Arnautovic will double his wages to $255,000 per week if he moves to China and given his rather lavish lifestyle off the pitch, that extra cash will come in handy in the long run…

The Austrian has been West Ham’s best player by a country mile since joining from Stoke in the summer of 2017, scoring 18 goals in 46 Premier League games and almost single-handedly keeping them in the PL last season. He played a starring role as a lone striker under David Moyes in the second half of the 2017-18 campaign and despite a few injuries he has continued that form into this season under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Arnautovic has a reputation as a trouble maker and a volatile character when things aren’t going his way and it will be intriguing to see how his performances on the pitch play out, despite his brother going on to say “he will give 100 per cent for West Ham” as long as he is at the club. He added that he hopes the Hammers fans understand that “things move on” in sport, but if he wants the supporters to believe that Arnautovic’s main motive for this move is to challenge for titles then he will lose plenty of respect from West Ham’s fans right away.

Their leading goalscorer this season reacted rather angrily towards Pellegrini after being subbed off during West Ham’s 2-0 FA Cup third round win against Birmingham City last weekend (he scored the opener) and the former Inter Milan star was perhaps preempting this possible January exit with his actions.

All of this comes just when it looked like West Ham had figured things out with their squad as Pellegrini had bought wisely in defense this summer, locked Declan Rice down to a new long-term deal and club-record signing Felipe Anderson was purring in support of Arnautovic in attack.

Many will simply say: ‘this is what we warned you about when you signed Arnautovic.’

West Ham signs Rice to new contract through 2024

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Along with the signings of foreign stars such as Marco Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson, West Ham has declared its intention to invest in home-grown talent.

One day after a quality performance against Southampton, West Ham announced that it had signed holding midfielder Declan Rice to a new contract through 2024. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The 19-year-old has been a mainstay in the Irons starting XI since last spring, cementing his place and role as a high-quality defensive midfielder.

[READ: Premier League streaming schedule]

Rice is averaging more than two tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game, and he’s recorded an 85 percent passing completion percentage so far through 16 Premier League games this season, according to WhoScored statistics.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have got the contract done, signed and to commit my future to the Club until 2024,” Rice said in a statement. “I’m absolutely ecstatic. Without a doubt, the plan was always to stay at West Ham. I’ve had the support from the fans, from the players and from the manager and now, to get it done and commit myself to this Club is a very special moment and I’m over the moon.

“I’ve now played 50 games for the first team and I’m progressing week-in, week-out, learning from a top manager and top players. I’m still young, so to put more years on my contract and keep developing here is the best thing for me to do now. With the support of the manager, the players, everyone, it was the right thing to do.”

It’s unclear whether there was real interest from Premier League giants such as Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea, but by locking down Rice now, it ensures that the interest will be staved off for at least a few years. However, Rice has another big decision to make in the future. The London-born youngster is eligible to play for both England and the Republic of Ireland, through his grandparents. He’s played three friendly matches for the Republic, but was not included in Martin O’Neill’s last few squads before he was let go.

Now, new manager Mick McCarthy and England’s Gareth Southgate have been in touch with Rice to try and convince him which national team to play for. Rice is still eligible to make a one-time switch to England.

 

Southampton dealt a reality check; Hasenhuttl “not afraid”

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SOUTHAMPTON — The euphoria around Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s first few weeks at Southampton did seem a little over the top.

And their 2-1 defeat at home against West Ham proved that there is still plenty of work to do if Saints are going to drag themselves further away from the relegation zone.

Despite his team going 1-0 up in the second half, Saints were well below par throughout their festive clash against an injury-hit Hammers side who were missing 10 regulars for the trip to St Mary’s. Nathan Redmond bundled Saints ahead controversially, but real quality from Felipe Anderson saw the Brazilian scored twice in six minutes to lead the Hammers to a deserved victory.

Speaking after the game, Hasenhuttl repeated his famous saying: “We don’t lose a game, either we win or we learn. And today was a big lesson.”

The biggest lesson of all was that his players were tired after they dug deep to secure back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since May 2016.

“I think we didn’t have our best evening. Too many players didn’t perform how they did the last week or the week before, and although we didn’t we had a chance to win which is the good thing,” Hasenhuttl said. “You see what I tell my players, that this is the Premier League and if you make easy mistakes like we did on the second goal then you don’t deserve to win. First goal you can defend better. It was too easy how we gave our 1-0 lead away.”

The second goal was a rapid West Ham counter after a corner for Southampton was cleared, although it looked as though Jan Bednarek was clearly hauled to the floor by Declan Rice and Saints should have had a penalty kick. Hasenhuttl said VAR would have helped, but in truth his team deserved nothing against West Ham.

One thing that Saints keep doing this season is giving leads away and it will take the Austrian manager quite some time to kick that habit. They have now dropped a Premier League high 15 points from winning positions this season, and 12 of those have been dropped at home.

Saints had beaten Arsenal 3-2 and Huddersfield Town 3-1 heading into the West Ham game, but Hasenhuttl’s notoriously strenuous training sessions seem to have taken their toll during the busy festive period. His team gave the ball away cheaply time and time again and just didn’t have the energy to win it back high up the pitch.

“It was intense the last few games. We came out of position where we changed a lot. It was an intense time,” Hasenhuttl said. “I was expecting a time where you feel the freshness has gone, and the speed slows down. Today we made not so many deep runs. We made a lot of time the decision to play back. That was very different to the games before. Against a team which is so physically strong like West Ham, you don’t have time to play back. If you want to create chances, like we did a few times, you see when we play quick in the deep and we have deep runs, we create chances. When we turn back and wait until they are in their shape and balance, it is very, very difficult to score goals and make chances.”

“The last two wins helped us a lot to feel confident and feel that we just ran a lot but we didn’t feel it. Today you see after the 1-2, it was getting difficult every time. What you see is that the guys are trying until the end, they are trying to spring. Trying to attack. Trying to press. But you felt it was one step too late and when we had the ball the decisions were a little bit slower. It is always about turning forward and playing forward. And we played a lot of sides in the back, something like old behaviors we have seen today. I don’t want to see that in my game. From one day to the other, you cannot turn it completely off this behavior if you get tired, you get slow in your mind, you fall back into these old manners. We will try to give us the next step again. It is everything about showing them, learning video and watching and next time learn from the mistakes you made.”

Saints now face Manchester City, Chelsea, Everton and Leicester City in their next four games and all of a sudden they could be right in the thick of the relegation battle. Hasenhuttl admitted he would rotate his squad in the coming games, and is delighted to have captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg back from suspension and disappointed that teenage striker Michael Obafemi is out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury. It is quite clear he’d also like to add new players in January that suit his style of play better.

Yet with Saints old habit of coughing up leads kicking in, Hasenhuttl isn’t scared of what lies ahead. He knows the South Coast club aren’t anyway close to being out of choppy waters at the wrong end of the PL table.

“I am not worried but I know in the Premier League if not everything works in the right direction then it is easy to lose games,” Hasenhuttl said. “That is what we have seen today. But we also showed in the last week that we can also be the team which sets the power in the last 15 minutes like we did against Arsenal or against Huddersfield. I am not afraid about what will follow in the next few weeks. We knew we have a very good tough schedule in the next few weeks. That is the Premier League. We know it is a long journey until the end of the season and to save us in this division it will take all of the games we have. I guarantee that we work very hard until the end and then we will see what we will get.”