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Arsenal season preview: It’s now or never

Arsenal: Season Review and Grades

Who would be most valuable in an IPL style auction of Premier League players? Part Three: The Top 10

Following on from Part One and Two of the Premier League IPL style auction, this will be players 20 to 11 in the countdown. This list is based on which player’s would be most valuable if the Premier players were re-assigned in an IPL auction format.

For further rules of the format see here

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10 – David Silva
Silva is a gloriously talented player but the reason he isn’t higher is that he doesn’t score as many goals as the other floating creative attackers. When City are on form it all comes through Silva who at times takes on an almost ghost like quality on the pitch. He drifts in to space unnoticed and is almost never surrounded by players. Pulls the strings and causes problems for defenders at all times.

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9 – Theo Walcott Walcott has burst in to life this season and shown Wenger that he can play as a central striker as well as a wide forward. Blessed with searing pace, he has for a few years shown that he can get himself in to dangerous positions and make good runs. This year though he has added end product. His finishing has always been tidy enough but he is now trusted on set pieces and provides a good number of assists. A major threat.

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8 – Santi Cazorla Cazorla has been by far Arsenal’s best signing for a number of years. He’s had a much better debut season that either Silva or Mata enjoyed which promises more for next season. Like Silva, he drifts around in a seemingly permanent pocket of space. He has a good range of passing but is also capable of being direct. He is a sublime ball striker on either foot, a very rare talent nowadays, and has scored some peaches this year. Able to play anywhere across the forward line behind a striker.

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7 – Robin van Persie This might seem low for van Persie but there is logic to it. Van Persie is knocking on the door of 30 and before these last two years has been injury prone. But, those are the only downers. Over those same last few years he has been a goal machine, both in an average Arsenal team and a much better United. With his wand like left foot he is capable of scoring from anywhere around the box and specialises in releasing shots without taking a touch to set which is very hard to defend. He has a habit of winning games on his own and of being metronomically consistent which are valuable assets in this format.

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6 – Eden Hazard Hazard has wasted no time reeking carnage in the Premier League in his debut season. He is as quick with the ball with the ball at his feet as he is without and also plays with an underrated level of power. He is terrifyingly direct, whenever he gets the ball he goes straight at the defence which is incredibly unsettling for them. He scores goals, he makes goals and he causes chaos. Everything you could want in an attacker.

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5 – Juan Mata Mata plays with more subtlety than Hazard perhaps but also plays with an elegant sophistication. Last year he was an assist machine, this year he has added goals, nearly 20 in all competitions, to make him a total all around threat. Mata is only 24 but plays with the intelligence of someone in their mid 30s. A legitimate candidate for Player of the year, perhaps he will make the top 3 next year.

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4 – Wayne Rooney No player in the league is subject to as much hysteria as Rooney. If he scores in a few games in a row he’s the best player in the world, if he goes quiet then he’s about to be sold/dropped etc. But the truth is, Rooney is one of the top performers in the league and has been for many years. He’s struggled for fitness this season but there was a period around the turn of the year when he was comfortably outperforming van Persie, including 2 goals at the Etihad. He plays with his brains and power and is a consistent goal scorer. He’s still only 27.

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3 – Sergio Aguero Aguero has had a down season this time around because he was injured in the first game and then rushed back too quickly. He has subsequently struggled for form and consistency. However, when he has played well he has been incredible. He outdueled Luis Suarez in their head to head for example and has shown signs of his rampaging best from last year. He is still just 24 years old despite having been on the scene for a fair while and has shown he can operate at a scorching level on a consistent basis. As dangerous as anyone in the world when on song.

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2 – Luis Suarez This is the season that Suarez has added finishing to his all around game. Since moving to Liverpool Suarez has shown himself to be an absolute menace with his quick, shuffling style, fearless dribbling and ultra direct mind set. But in the past he missed chances galore. This season though he is the top scorer in the league. He can score from anywhere in the box and with little time which makes him incredibly dangerous. At times this year Liverpool have relied entirely on Suarez to make things happen but since the additions of other attacking talent he has become even more dangerous.

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1 – Gareth Bale Bale is the 3rd most desirable player in the world behind a couple of well known La Liga based blokes. He is a complete footballer and but for the generational talents of Messi and Ronaldo might be considered the best player in the world. He is jet heeled, direct, strong and technically superior to every other player in the league. His whipped crosses and pile driver shooting mean that he can make or score a goal from anywhere in the opponents half which is a threat that no one else possess. The most terrifying sight in the game for a Premier League defender is Bale running straight at them through the middle of the pitch as he can be impossible to stop. He is now operating at such a consistent level that his incredible feats are easy to take for granted but they shouldn’t be. By far the number one prospect for this format considering all of the above and the fact that he is 23.


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