Premier League: Darwin Nunez, Bruno Fernandes and Kepa Arrizabalaga – who tops our POWER RANKINGS?


As the World Cup edges ever nearer, the Premier League calendar shows no signs of relenting as we were treated to another gameweek of action with the dust barely settling on last weekend’s contests.

It was a goal-shy week with just 13 goals across nine top-flight games but there was no shortage of drama in another enthralling set of fixtures.

Steven Gerrard’s time at Aston Villa finally came to an end after he was sacked by the club following Thursday’s disastrous 3-0 defeat by Fulham.

Steven Gerrard was sacked as Aston Villa manager following a dismal 3-0 defeat by Fulham

Cristiano Ronaldo stole the headlines when stormed down the tunnel before full-time after refusing to come on as a substitute for Manchester United against Tottenham

Cristiano Ronaldo stole the headlines when stormed down the tunnel before full-time after refusing to come on as a substitute for Manchester United against Tottenham

LAST WEEK’S TOP 10

10. Mohamed Salah – new entry 

9. Ivan Toney – new entry

8. Joao Cancelo – down five

7. Phil Foden – down one

6. Mason Mount – new entry

5. Gabriel Martinelli – down one

4. Virgil van Dijk – new entry

3. Harry Kane – up four

2. Erling Haaland – down one

1. Bukayo Saka – up one

Elsewhere, there was an impressive win for Manchester United over Tottenham in what was no doubt the Red Devils’ best performance under Erik ten Hag in the Dutchman’s tenure so far. 

Leicester secured a big win against fellow strugglers Leeds to ease the pressure on Brendan Rodgers, while Liverpool backed up Sunday’s victory against City with another 1-0 success over West Ham.

Newcastle continued their fine form, and there were also wins for Crystal Palace and Southampton.

However, there were no goals between Brentford and Chelsea or Nottingham Forest and Brighton who shared the spoils.  

With all that in mind, here’s the latest top 10 of Sportsmail’s Premier League Power Rankings.

10. Darwin Nunez – new entry

After scoring in the Community Shield victory over Manchester City, many had tipped Darwin Nunez to be the best summer signing in the Premier League, outshining Erling Haaland.

That prediction couldn’t have been more wrong considering the contrasting fortunes of the two forwards so far this campaign, but there are signs Nunez is starting to find his feet.

The Uruguayan has now scored in his last two starts and netted a superb match-winning header against West Ham on Wednesday.

He impressed throughout the game and was unlucky not to add to his tally, hitting the post with a powerful effort while Lukasz Fabianski pulled off a couple of stunning stops. 

Nunez also became the fastest player in Premier League history as he reached 23.61mph during the clash at Anfield. 

Darwin Nunez impressed for Liverpool and was their match-winner in the win over West Ham

Darwin Nunez impressed for Liverpool and was their match-winner in the win over West Ham

9. Phil Foden – down two

There was no game for Manchester City or Arsenal in midweek as their clash was postponed so that the Gunners could play their rearranged Europa League tie with PSV. 

However, Phil Foden remains in the top 10 purely because he has been in scintillating form so far this season with six goals and three assists in 10 starts.

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The 22-year-old, who penned a new long-term deal with City last week, is hitting his straps just at the right time ahead of hopefully playing a crucial role for England at the World Cup this winter. 

8. Kepa Arrizabalaga – new entry

Chelsea stopper Kepa continues his redemption story after being reinstated as the Blues No 1 by Graham Potter

Chelsea stopper Kepa continues his redemption story after being reinstated as the Blues No 1 by Graham Potter

It is rare to have a keeper in the Power Rankings, but the redemption story of Kepa Arrizabalaga has been nothing short of sensational.

The Spaniard, reinstated as Chelsea’s No 1 following the arrival of Graham Potter and thanks in part to Edouard Mendy’s injury, has fully repaid his new manager’s faith.

He made five saves during the Blues’ 0-0 draw with Brentford in what was an end-to-end encounter.

Kepa has now kept five clean sheets in a row and has bounced back superbly after there was seemingly no coming back from how low his stock had dropped to at the club. 

Following the stalemate with Brentford, the keeper told Amazon Prime: ‘I’m feeling very well, I’m feeling confident with and without the ball. 

‘I’m feeling like I’m helping the team when they need it, so [I’m] happy,

‘Of course, every player needs this confidence, this push, and I think for the goalkeeper it’s even more important when you have continuity.’

7. Aleksandar Mitrovic – new entry

What a season the Serbian striker is having as he netted his eighth goal in just 10 games during Fulham’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

Marco Silva’s side are flying high in ninth place, and look an impressive outfit, although the impact of Aleksandar Mitrovic cannot be underestimated.

Having previously scored 24 goals in 104 games in the top flight, the forward could’ve added to his tally on Thursday night if it wasn’t for several fine stops from Villa keeper Emi Martinez and some desperate defending from the west Midlands outfit.

Mitrovic has now scored 60 goals in 68 games for club and country since the start of last season and has every chance of staying in the top 10 for the foreseeable future. 

Aleksandar Mitrovic continued his superb season with his eighth goal in just his 10th game

Aleksandar Mitrovic continued his superb season with his eighth goal in just his 10th game

6. Harry Kane – down three

A tough week for Harry Kane and the rest of Antonio Conte’s side as they put in an insipid performance against Manchester United.

However, Kane was still their brightest hope of scoring and forced David de Gea into two good saves.

He drops this week but he is still quietly enjoying his best ever start to a Premier League campaign with nine goals in 11 games. 

Unfortunately for Kane, such is the remarkable start to Erling Haaland’s Man City career, with 15 league goals already, that no one is talking about him.

Nevertheless, he is looking in fine form and that will no doubt please Gareth Southgate as time ticks towards the World Cup.

It was a tough week for Tottenham and Harry Kane, with Spurs' talisman dropping three places

It was a tough week for Tottenham and Harry Kane, with Spurs’ talisman dropping three places

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5. Eberechi Eze – new entry 

Eberechi Eze’s talent has never been in question but his progress was brutally halted when he ruptured his achilles back in May 2021.

He was flying in his first full season in the Premier League and had been picked in Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad for last summer’s Euros.

After recovering from his long-term injury, it took Eze a while to recapture his form, but the Crystal Palace playmaker is now purring. 

His goal during Palace’s 2-1 win over Wolves on Tuesday was his second in three games and he is demonstrating all that undoubted talent. 

Eberechi Eze continued his fine form after recovering from a serious achilles injury

Eberechi Eze continued his fine form after recovering from a serious achilles injury

Ahead of the clash with Wolves, Palace boss Patrick Vieira had backed Eze to gatecrash his way into Southgate’s plans.

He said: ‘If we perform well as a team, those players are always going to have a chance to go (to the World Cup). Ebe is one of them because he has been playing well and scoring goals.

‘I always believe that when you’re building a group for a World Cup, you always have one or two surprises, and he can be one of them.’

Sportsmail then reported on Wednesday that Southgate, who is a big fan of Eze, has named him in his provisional 55-man squad for the World Cup.

4. Miguel Almiron – new entry 

Eddie Howe continues to work his magic with Newcastle having now won 17 out of his 38 league games in charge of the Toon army but perhaps his most notable impact has been the transformation of previously underperforming players. 

Miguel Almiron arrived from the MLS with rave reviews but he has struggled ever since swapping Atlanta United for Newcastle, scoring just nine Premier League goals in 110 games before this campaign. 

However, the Paraguayan looks reborn, and he has scored five goals in just 11 games so far this season and four in his last four.

The match-winner against Everton on Wednesday was another long-range screamer from Almiron, who seems intent on having his own goal of the month competition after a wonder goal against Fulham earlier this month.

Miguel Almiron has transformed his Newcastle career since Eddie Howe took over the club

Miguel Almiron has transformed his Newcastle career since Eddie Howe took over the club

Howe was effusive in his praise of his new star after the game.

‘You can’t underestimate the quality of the goals that he’s delivered for us,’ he said post-match.

‘The one against Fulham was an incredible strike and this one, Bruno’s (Guimaraes) weight of pass to him is very good so he was able to hit it first time, but still he had so much to do.

‘I think what I have noticed is a real confidence in his training and his technical delivery of what we’re asking him to do. I think that’s definitely going up a level.’

It remains to be seen whether this is just a rich vein of form or a more prolonged transformation, but the midfielder fully deserves his spot in the top 10 this week.  

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3. Bruno Fernandes – new entry

‘Would I be stirring if I said Bruno looks happier in this team without Ronaldo?’, Alan Shearer said while on co-commentary on Amazon Prime.

‘I just look at his performance tonight and his energy. I look at his leadership and the qualities he has offered both defensively and offensively and he has done so much for them in this performance tonight – he deserved that goal.’

Bruno Fernandes was superb for Manchester United during their win over Tottenham on Wednesday as the Portuguese star showed the qualities that made him so successful when he arrived at Old Trafford back in 2020. 

United skipper Bruno Fernandes looked back to his best during United's 2-0 win over Spurs

United skipper Bruno Fernandes looked back to his best during United’s 2-0 win over Spurs

His sumptuous curled effort that secured the win suggested signs of the playmaker being back to his best and Ten Hag will hope that is the case.

As skipper in Harry Maguire’s absence, Fernandes is the talisman in the team.

With Ronaldo now seemingly absent for the foreseeable future after his strop following the game, Fernandes now has the chance to kick on after a welcome return to form on Wednesday. 

2. Erling Haaland – non-mover

It is perhaps generous to leave Erling Haaland at second despite not playing, but given the Norwegian’s quite frankly ridiculous start to the season, it also feels harsh to move him down.

While he didn’t score in Sunday’s defeat by Liverpool, his record of 15 goals in 10 games is absurd. 

After a well-earned rest in midweek, and with fixtures to come against Brighton, Leicester, Fulham and Brentford before the World Cup break, don’t expect to see Haaland stopping anytime soon. 

Erling Haaland remains in second place following his absurd start to his Premier League career

Erling Haaland remains in second place following his absurd start to his Premier League career

1. Bukayo Saka – non-mover

Another non-mover despite not playing, Saka has taken his game to another level this year and while not the Premier League, he impressed again in the Gunners’ 1-0 win over PSV in the Europa League on Thursday.

Like City, Arsenal face a favourable fixture list and head to Southampton on Saturday before hosting basement side Nottingham Forest.

Few would put it past Saka continuing his fine form and keeping the Gunners flying high at the top of the table at the World Cup break. 

Bukayo Saka remains top and impressed during the Gunners' Europa League win over PSV

Bukayo Saka remains top and impressed during the Gunners’ Europa League win over PSV



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