Jack Butland (England)
Tipped for the top at a young age; Stoke City are reaping the rewards this season by Butland’s marvellous adaptation to first-team football following Asmir Begovic’s departure with a string excellent displays in the Premier League. Despite just one shutout in eight league games; Butland’s heroics between the sticks has single-handedly cushioned the Potters’ stuttering start to the season.
Russell Martin (Scotland)
I’m sure a Home Nations XI call-up would cap off a superb start to the season for the Norwich City skipper. The Scotland international has impressively found the back of the net three times for the newly promoted Canaries in the Premier League already, whilst also celebrating the birth of his son just hours before equalising against Liverpool at Anfield.
Phil Jagielka (England)
Roberto Martinez believes Jagielka is England’s most in-form defender following his leading display against Merseyside rivals Liverpool on Sunday. Having played every minute of every game so far this season; Jagielka has led the Everton team from the very back, whilst helping develop fellow centre-half pairing John Stones.
James McArthur (Scotland)
Mirroring Crystal Palace’s sublime opening to the Premier League campaign, midfielder McArthur has been a strong influence in the Eagles’ resolve and bid for European football this season. The Scotland ace is happy to hold back and let Palace’s creative stars showcase their attacking prowess in the final third of the pitch, allowing McArthur to sit deep and sniff out any danger that lurks through the midfield to great effect.
Ross Barkley (England)
Still just 21 years of age; the Everton midfielder maestro raced out of the starting blocks this season with goals in his opening games against Watford and Southampton. Barkley is fast becoming a regular England starter under Roberto Martinez’s guidance at Goodison Park, with the Liverpool-born star starting to add vital goals to his game.
Theo Walcott (England)
The Arsenal forward is finally looking fit, sharp and ready to spearhead the Gunners’ Premier League title charge after pinching Olivier Giroud’s first-team spot this season. Plagued by injury in the past, the 26-year-old is finally back in favour at both club and country level after four goals in all competitions so far this campaign.
Steven Naismith (Scotland)
The Scotland striker is enjoying his most fruitful spell in front of goal for Everton so far this term, most notably scoring the thrilling hat-trick against Premier League champions Chelsea last month. Despite being far from prolific for the Toffees in recent years, Naismith’s determination is something to admire. If he doesn’t find the back of the net himself, his work rate off the ball regularly forces mistakes and tees up his club colleagues for goalscoring opportunities.