Surprise performers of the 2023-24 Premier League season so far

Published on 7 March 2024 at 13:00

The Premier League season has reached the business end of the campaign, where team of the season contenders are put forward and award ceremonies are being prepared. Each season, there are a select few players who have a stand-out season and surprise the football matrix and it is these individuals who deserve to be celebrated and applauded. Here is our top picks of the players who have impressed us this season and perhaps have gone under the radar for there efforts.


tomas soucek 

The 29 year old has raised his performance levels, since the £100m departure of Declan Rice to Arsenal in the summer. Last season, he struggled to replicate his goalscoring impact which has been evident in his game since his arrival in 2019. 

In contrast, Soucek has become one of David Moyes most important midfielders this season because of his duality and physicality and his aerial presence has made him an integral asset at set-pieces offensively and defensively.

Currently the Czechia midfielder is keeping January arrival Kalvin Phillips out of the team because of his form. He inspired the 3-1 comeback against Everton at the weekend with his outside-of-the-foot strike from the edge of the penalty box in the 91 minute.

The reason he is regarded so highly by his manager, is because he is a workhorse who showcases athleticism and work rate. While he is not the most flamboyant or creative star like teammate Lucas Paqueta, when he plays he creates a well-balanced midfield which gives the team a solid core.

He has returned to his goalscoring streak, contributing six goals this season for West Ham and even though he is not an entertaining player for supporters his professionalism and consistency is something which will be a driving force for the Hammers in the final stages of the season.



ross barkley

The former Chelsea midfielder had hit a crossroads in his career this summer, with his once promising career appearing to have stagnated. It was still a shock that a player of his calibre joined newly promoted Luton Town, and it has appeared to be the perfect marriage.

The Hatters direct approach in possession leads to a lot of chasing loose balls from aerial and ground duels, and requires a player who is composed on the ball to drive the team from deep and keep possession in tight areas. Barkley has been an initiator for Luton this season, picking up pockets of space and making things happen.

He has showcased his unique physical strength and control on the ball, where he has increasingly developed this season to become the heartbeat of Luton Town. In the league he has the highest dribble success rate, 68.6% and because he is so influential to how Luton play teams are now man marking him or putting three players around him just to nullify him out of games.

His reinssance this season has ushered a late call for an Euro 2024 place in Gareth Southgate's England squad, the 30 year old has six goal contributions in the league and is the only player to have 20 plus contributions in eight different stats.

Rob Edwards looks to have extracted a fully focused Ross Barkley at his best, which has produced one of the player of the season contenders. His creative intent and forward thinking approach is so captivating to watch and it shows just how good he is that he can do it at Kenilworth Road.



curtis jones

After a midfield overhaul during the summer transfer window which saw Liverpool spend £157m on the re-build, its surprising that it is an homegrown academy talent who has thrived this season.

The 23 year old has always been on the radar of the first team, but was yet to receive his break-through under Jurgen Klopp until this season where he has already started 12 games in the Premier League.

The number 17 has been deployed in an advanced midfield role which has given him creative license to influence the game and initiate attacks. He has arguably been a stand-out performer for the Reds this campaign, deputising for the injured Dominik Szoboslzai and then flourishing to cement a place in the starting eleven.

Unfortunately, the attacking midfielder sustained an ankle injury which ruled him out of the Carabao Cup final win and is he is expected to return before April which will be important for his manager as Liverpool face a difficult run-in in the end of season showdown.

His elegance on the ball, and nimble manoeuvres where he can turn quickly and slip out of tight spaces offers Liverpool something different and it makes them a more threatening team when he plays.

With the Premier League title and FA Cup still to play for, the youngster will want to return to fitness as soon as possible and continue his brilliant season. 



dominic solanke

The 26 year old underwhelmed on his return to the top flight last season for Bournemouth, scoring six goals under Gary O'Neil. It shows the revolutionary impact of Andi Iraola's counter-attacking 4-2-3-1 system this season which has transformed the Cherries into masters of chaos who press high up and break quickly.

Solanke thrived over Christmas scoring 11 goals in 16 games between November and January to propel Bournemouth up the table as they started to reap the benefits of Iraola's tactic's.

He has averaged 0.54 goals per 90 minutes and has one of the highest expected goals XG of 14.8 which reinforces how he has elevated his game under his new manager into becoming a much more lethal threat in the box.

This season has been a break-out for the former Liverpool striker where he has transitioned from an average Premier League striker, into a recognised pedigree forward in the Premier League. He is the talisman for Bournemouth, when he is on the pitch is gives them a focal point and he has so much more to his game than just being a goal scorer he is a selfless player who can provide for his teammates too.



cole palmer

The 21 year old joined Chelsea in a £50m deal in the summer, to become a first team starter whilst at Manchester City he was not afforded a starting place. Amid the despair of Chelsea's transfer decisions during the Todd Boehly era, the capture of Palmer seems to be one of the most successful.

In a inconsistent and dismal season for Mauricio Pochettino and co, Palmer has been an influential creative spark which in many important games this season has salvaged a result.

In 23 appearances this season the England winger has produced 10 goals and 7 assists, breaking Arjen Robben's record at Chelsea of being the youngster player with the most goal contributions.

He is such a technical player who has the confidence to experiment on the field with his latest skill moves. What he does best is cut inside and drive at the opposition, where he is such a light player when the ball is at his feet and he is always looking to make something happen.

His emergence this season on a regular basis, has put him in strong contention for a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad with the attacker receiving his debut in November for the Three Lions against Malta.

If he can learn to be more active throughout games and build his physicality then he will can become of the league's most creative players because he has so much drive and determination to be the very best.


Written by Lewis Eadie

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