It would be easy to pick Robin Van Persie, as he is clearly the reason that Arsenal have been able to climb out from the doldrums into top-four contention, and his league-leading goal count rises every week. However, being a defender myself (when I get the rare chance to play), I’m going to go with one of my own, and say that Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany has been the most valuable player to his team this year.
Note that the category isn’t best player, it’s most valuable, i.e. who would leave the biggest hole if suddenly plucked from their side. Kompany is both an emotional leader and a defensive anchor, helping City do what every team must do to win in the long-run: control the midfield. City has only let in 25 goals this season, which puts them first in goals conceded and, as a result, goal differential.
If you take Kompany out of the mix, City would have a serious (if not insurmountable) problem in the defense and midfield, and if anything is going to get them past United in the upcoming derby, it’s going to be shutting down the wings and keeping a clean sheet to sap the Red Devils’ momentum. No Kompany, no chance at the title. How’s that for valuable?
For me, the most valuable player in the Premiership is the one that wins you the most games. As a caveat, though, I also feel it should be someone who has been reared by the club, so someone that the league has produced rather than some star brought in.
For that reason, it pains me to say, Gareth Bale is the most valuable player in the English Premier League.
Brought up in the English divisions Bale worked his way up. He did not cost £30-odd-million and he did not need a translator with him in the changing room. He earned his spurs, as it were, before starting for Spurs.
More so than this, though, while he is British (Welsh) he is also a draw around the World. After he single-handedly tore Inter Milan apart in the Champions League there have been big teams looking at the winger-come-full-back. He has been linked with Barcelona, he has been talked about as Britain’s best player right now and he has consistently played for Spurs.
His value for the London club is that he has helped make them a CL team. He has also helped Harry Redknapp get to where he is now. Redknapp would not be linked with the England job had he not had Bale. He is the one example given out to say that old ‘Arry can mould a talented individual into a world class performer. Well, it cuts both ways.
Bale’s mere inclusion can make a Monday night game valuable to broadcasters and when he does eventually leave Tottenham it will be for a massive amount of money. There are not really any stats out there to corroborate my opinion, but hey, I reckon that as a fan of soccer I value Bale higher than any foreign starlet or massive ego like a Terry or a Rooney.
Rebuttal: Eric Imhof
I didn’t know my colleague was such a xenophobic purist. Also, it’s very hard to concentrate with Swansea losing a game they’re completely dominating. Another pint of Boddington’s? Sure.