Seven early Player of the Season contenders... Who gets your vote?

Juan Mata 2

Chelsea, Swansea City, Everton, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool players feature...

It's early days, but we are more than midway through the season and it never hurts to take a look at who has been the pick of the bunch in the Premier League so far.

There may be some popular choices and there may be a couple of unpopular ones in the list below. And no, Shaun Wright-Phillips does not feature.

Let us know your opinion...

Juan Mata

Last season it was David Silva setting the league alight early, this time it is fellow Spaniard Juan Mata. He even had the first month off after a hectic summer schedule at Euro 2012 and the Olympics, and the rest has paid dividends. Starting with his two assists in the 2-1 victory away to Arsenal in September, he has been irrepressible since, scoring against the same opponents this weekend. He is the leader of Chelsea' attack, at at just 24, is confirming his reputation as one of Europe's most feared talents. Already this season in the league alone he has eight goals and 11 assists.

Luis Suarez

2011/12 was not a good season for Suarez; apart from Evra-gate - he was far too wasteful in front of goal, but fortunately for Liverpool he has stepped up when they really needed him this campaign. The Uruguayan is showing why he is so highly regarded and - most of the time - doing his talking on the pitch. He will never be everybody's cup of tea, his diving admission the latest controversy, but few can argue with a player who has scored 16 goals already in the league and is only bettered by a certain Dutchman.

Michu

We were going to try and mention Michu without the words £2 million, but it's impossible not to emphasise just what a bargain he is. The Spaniard is always a goal threat whether it be midfield or up front, and he has already repaid his fee and then some. Michu is a proven matchwinner, who led the Welsh side to wins at the Emirates and Stamford Bridge in recent months and is being talked up for a Spanish international call-up with manager Vincent del Bosque reported to be monitoring him. He has 13 goals and two assists to his name.

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard is unlikely to be a popular choice for the award, because the opinion on him remains split. This is largely thanks to the huge amount of hype surrounding his transfer - £32 million is a lot to live up to, and the Belgian has had to live with the 'Next Cristiano Ronaldo' tag he was billed with. He has had a lot of moments where he has drifted out of games, but when Chelsea are at their best, Hazard is running the show. Say what you like about him, but his contribution of six goals and 11 assists in the Premier League is almost identical to teammate Juan Mata.

Marouane Fellaini

Big haired Fellaini made a big impact early in the season, although his momentum was disrupted with his December red card which saw him suspended over the festive fixtures. He has been a key man in Everton's midfield, and has added regular goalscoring to his game, by playing in a further forward midfield role, vacated by the departed Tim Cahill. If he can get back to his early Autumn form, and propel Everton's push for a Champions League place, he will be a contender for the award. He has eight goals and five assists so far this season.

Jan Vertonghen

The third Belgian in this list, Jan Vertonghen has settled instantly to life in the Premier League after his summer switch to Ajax. He had had to cope with playing at full-back for much of it, but has been one of the most consistent defenders in the division, all in his debut campaign. Already he has become the leader of the Spurs defence, and a goalscorer too, including an impressive one at Old Trafford early in the season. He has scored twice, provided one assist, and helped keep six Premier League clean sheets as Spurs fight for the Champions League spots. Which defenders have performed better than him this season?

Robin van Persie

The reigning PFA Player of the Year and Football Writers Player of the Year, Robin van Persie has to be in with a real shout of repeating the feat this year. Since his switch to Manchester United, he has looked an even better player than he did at Arsenal. He has scored crucial goals for United, netting against Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, and looks like being worth every penny of the £24 million United paid for him. He tops the goalscoring charts and it's hard to see him not winning the Golden Boot once again. The Dutchman has 18 goals and nine assists already, but will he get the one thing he wants, a medal...?

VOTE NOW...

Who is your Player of the Season so far?
Juan Mata0%
Luis Suarez0%
Michu0%
Eden Hazard0%
Marouane Fellaini0%
Jan Vertonghen0%
Robin van Persie0%
Other: (Please specify)0%

Who gets your vote? Who else deserves to be on the list?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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