Wednesday 13 December 2017 / 08:53 AM

TOP 10 PLAYERS OF PREMIER LEAGUE 2016/17

The Premier League is done for another year. Take a look as Commentary Box Sports brings you our list of the top 10 players in the competition for season 2016/17.

10: Diego Costa (Forward, Chelsea)

He may well be the Premier League’s most disliked player, but there can be no doubting Costa’s standing as one of the competition’s elite forwards, and his role up front was significant for The Blues.

Even during times when his team wasn’t firing, the Brazilian-born Spanish international was efficient up front, finishing the season with 20 goals and constantly putting himself in scoring positions, along with getting under the skin of opposing players in the process.

9: Sadio Mané (Midfield, Liverpool)

Sometimes you just can’t beat pace, and this Senegalese wide man has plenty of it.

His ability to beat markers off the ball added another facet to Liverpool’s passing game, while he was a direct threat on goal when he could run in behind often helpless backlines, finishing the season with 13 successful strikes. His season was cruelled by a knee injury which meant he only made 27 appearances, but the 25-year-old is still deserving of a spot on this list.

8: Gary Cahill (Defender, Chelsea)

Marshalled the backline as Chelsea went all the way to the title, with his usual dominance in the air and ball-playing out of danger.

Tackled at 75 per cent efficiency and won 91 of his aerial battles on his way to being involved in keeping 15 clean sheets.

7: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Forward, Manchester United)

Not many expected Zlatan would still have something to offer in the Premier League when he arrived at United at the ripe old age of 34. How wrong they were.

The towering Swede was consistently among coach Jose Mourinho’s best players this season, netting 17 times to finish seventh overall in the league, with United losing only three times when he was on the field.

6: César Azpilicueta (Defender, Chelsea)

Excelled in a Chelsea back three under Antonio Conte, finding new levels on the ball and off it.

Azpilicueta played every minute of every Premier League game for the champions this season and led the entire league in passes completed, stringing together 64 per game on average. The Spaniard also sat inside the competition’s top 20 for tackles won, and showed a strong understanding of his role at the back for Chelsea.

5: Kevin De Bruyne (Midfielder, Manchester City)

Enjoyed his best season in the Premier League, showcasing playmaking skills which at times bordered on sublime.

De Bruyne featured in the top few in most of the key attacking midfield categories, topping the Premier League in goals assisted with 18, three more than his nearest challenger. The former Bundesliga Player of the Year also finished second for most through balls. While he only netted six goals in 26 appearances, with nine shots coming off the woodwork he could easily have featured towards the top half of the Golden Boot list as well.

4: Thibaut Courtois (Goalkeeper, Chelsea)

Kept a clean sheet in almost half of his games in season 2016/17, going without a goal against on 16 occasions and making 68 saves across the year.

The Belgium National team keeper was great in the air, claiming more high threats than any other top-tier shot-stopper.

3: Alexis Sanchez (Forward, Arsenal)

The little Chilean was untouchable at stages this season, combining magical footwork and ball skills with deadly execution on goal.

He scored goals in over 60 per cent of his games, but unlike most of his rivals in the Golden Boot race, Sanchez wasn’t an out-and-out scorer, also providing 10 assists for the Gunners, a stat which was good enough to sit tenth in the Premier League.

2: Harry Kane (Forward, Tottenham)

Scored 29 goals in 30 appearances to further confirm his standing as England’s best marksman, shooting at over 50 per cent accuracy across the year. It was Kane’s brilliance which drove Spurs to a late-season title chance, and in addition to his own haul he also set up seven goals for teammates.

The 23-year-old won the Premier League’s Golden Boot award for the second straight year, while his goals to games ratio of 0.97 was the best ever achieved by a Golden Boot.

1: N’Golo Kante (Midfielder, Chelsea)

Like a Rat Terrier with a sniff of a rodent, Kante retrieves the ball in defence better than any in the Premier League, and combines it with a number of other classy attributes which earned him top spot on this list.

Only Everton’s Idrissa Gueye made more than Kante’s 127 tackles this season, while he made 82 interceptions as well to sit inside the top 10 for that category. Far from being simply a defensive dynamo, the Frenchman completed 60 passes per game on average and played a leading role as a creator in the title-winning side.

[YouTube – K1NG]

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About the author

Corey Rosser

One of CBS’s newest contributors, Te Aroha product Corey is the New Zealand correspondent for NRL.com, the editor for the excellent new site Kiwi League Central, and a guru of the local Auckland rugby league scene.

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