Ten league games have passed for this new-look Spurs who are proudly perched on the top of the Premier League with eight wins and two draws. Ange Postecoglou has influenced outstanding performances from an inexperienced side, with some players greatly exceeding expectations.
Every player who has entered the pitch this season has contributed to the 26 points earned so far. So in that respect, it is ultimately difficult to choose just five players who have made a significant impact on the scintillating start.
The ranking of the five players will be based on both on and off-pitch actions, with age and experience considered. There will also be comparisons with the dismal previous season in the cases of the players who regularly started for us last season. Without further ado, it is time to begin the list.
5. Pape Sarr (21 years old)
The signs of an impressive player were prevalent for Pape Sarr at the San Siro in the Champions League knockout game against AC Milan in February. With Postecoglou gifting Sarr a proper string of games this season, the Senegalese midfielder has drifted naturally into this Spurs side.
Pape Sarr’s presence in midfield at his young age is a sublime quality to have. His long stride and tall build is reminiscent of Yaya Toure, and while Sarr is not technically complete, his raw ability has assisted Spurs in midfield. Tottenham’s ability to nullify strong possession-based sides such as Liverpool and most notably Arsenal in the North London Derby are partly due to Sarr.
His standout moment this season was the opening goal against Manchester United in the first home game of the season. The instinct to anticipate where the ball is going in the box is something many top strikers struggle with, accentuating the impressive intuition of an inexperienced midfielder.
4. James Maddison (26 years old)
This might come as a surprise in terms of the goal contributions which Maddison has already made in such a short amount of time. James Maddison was already a superb player at Leicester though, it is just being highlighted at a greater level in N17.
This is not disputing the quality he possesses. The healthy addition of a creative player who has an intelligent read on the game and can make line-cutting passes is more than welcoming considering there has been a drought of that for Spurs for some years.
Maddison has been so freakishly consistent so far this season. Most notably, his two assists in the North London Derby were absolutely crucial to earn a point where in previous years Tottenham would have faulted. Maddison is the missing piece of the jigsaw.
3. Micky van de Ven (22 years old)
There is an overused term to describe central defenders of van de Ven’s ilk, which is the mentioning of a certain luxury car manufacturer. However, I would have no qualms in branding him that. His adaptation to a difficult league has been smooth, and for that, he deserves enormous credit.
Micky van de Ven physically suits Ange Postecoglou’s style of play to a tee. His ability to close down space and use his stature to retain and recover the ball for Spurs is superb. In contrast to the defenders last season, it is night and day.
The most recent game against Crystal Palace was the most impressive for van de Ven, where he was gifted man of the match by Jamie Carragher. He kept the counterattacks to a minimum and remained composed to help Spurs to maintain the unbeaten run. He truly is a Rolls Royce.
2. Heung Min Son (31 years old)
After a disappointing campaign last season, pressure was on Heung Min Son to be Tottenham Hotspur’s main man. The South Korean was handed the captaincy and has transformed the relationship between players and fans already this season.
From the outset of this season, Son focused on improving relationships in the club. The team huddle by the Spurs away end against Brentford is a moment that cannot be underestimated. His off-pitch decisions have been as efficient as his on-field contributions.
The hat-trick at Turf Moor was just an example of the world-class quality which Son holds. A set of fantastic finishes, but the adaptation to leadership and to being Tottenham’s main reliance for goals is what has been the most impressive addition to Son’s locker.
1. Cristian Romero (25 years old)
If you cast your mind back to a game at St. James’ Park near the end of last season, Tottenham leaked five goals in 21 minutes in an embarrassing 6-1 defeat. Cristian Romero started in that embarrassing performance, so the turnaround has been astonishing.
The Argentinian was named co-captain alongside James Maddison this season and has taken responsibility for organising an extremely raw, inexperienced defence. Tottenham currently boast the third-best defensive record in the league with nine goals conceded. It is clear that Romero’s influence and commanding presence are a large reason for that.
Cristian Romero has provided strong and composed performances in every Spurs game so far this season. In terms of a standout moment, it has to be the screamer against Burnley. What should be recognised is the turnaround in defence, and for that, he has been the most impactful player of this season for Spurs.
It was painfully difficult to exclude Guglielmo Vicario and Destiny Udogie, who have also had a great impact on Ange Postecoglou’s progressive style of play.
While Spurs are almost certainly in a honeymoon period, the encouraging start of such an inexperienced team is simply exciting. Ange Postecoglou deserves the credit but it is the team which is fuelling the results have earned recognition.
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