GMS contributor Ricardo Lewis takes you through his list of top five Premier League enigmas:

5) Hatem Ben Arfa

The French graduate of Clairfontaine plays with an individualism and reckless disregard of  defensive discipline that has meant he is sometimes a liability.

At his worst, he can be anonymous and also leave his full back exposed. Yet, Ben Arfa is in possession of an incredible talent and the former Marseille and Lyon winger has demonstrated the positive side of his mercurial talents this season. Wonder goals against Fulham and Aston Villa strengthen his belief in his potential to be a future Ballon d'Or winner.

4) Andrey Arshavin

The Russian playmaker's arrival at Arsenal in 2009 sparked only slightly less excitement than Ozil's recent transfer.

A star of Euro 2008, his incredible dribbling and creativity had reportedly attracted admiring glances from Barcelona.

He was expected to dazzle at the Emirates and, for six months or so, he did. Complimented by Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie, Arshavin produced a spell of near-world-class form that culminated in his four goal haul against Liverpool.

Yet, the last couple of seasons were marked by quiet and disinterested performances, occasionally punctuated by a flash of genius. His relatively impressive Euro 2012, playing in the hole rather than out wide, was not enough to convince Wenger that he  would return to his best in an Arsenal shirt.

3) Mario Balotelli

Were he only judged on his time at Manchester City, the Italian would be number one.

Balotelli is an explosive fusion of raw talent and volatile temperament. The fireworks, flings with glamour models and their best friends, and a host of other incidents created an off-field persona that so often seemed to sabotage his on pitch performances.

He always seemed just as likely to smack a 25-yarder past the goal keeeper as smack the keeper in the face.

There are two enduring images of him in England. One, his red card against Arsenal that seemed to have derailed City's title bid in 2012.

The second, more potent, is an expressionless Mario with arms outstretched and shirt raised to reveal the message "Why Always Me?"

Thankfully, AC Milan seem to have given him more support in conquering his mental demons and fulfilling his incredible potential. 16 goals in 20 games suggested a new  and improved Mario. Then, he missed a penalty and got (harshly) sent off against Napoli for being "intimidating." Ultimately, the signs are, and one hopes, that he will show the world his true talents with AC and Italy.

2) Nani

Young, skilful, Portuguese winger moves from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United. The Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons were unavoidable and, at times, have crippled Nani; at others have empowered him.

Nani's United performances have often featured wild, overhit crosses and frustratingly poor decisions. Yet, he is in many ways a victim of squad rotation and untimely injuries.

When he had a run in the team, for 18 months from January 2010, he was the best winger in the Premier Legue.

He amassed 14 assists and nine goals in 10/11 and seemed to have shaken off the burden of Ronaldo's shadow. Yet, in the last couple of seasons, he has been in and out of the United side, rarely stringing together successive good performances.

Against West Brom this season, the Old Trafford faithful witnessed the full extent of Nani's erratic nature. After spending the first half whipping in delightful crosses that his team failed to capitalise on, his performance faded into indecision that drew exasperated gasps from the crowd.

If David Moyes is still intent on being successful at United, consistently getting the best out of Luis Nani would not be a bad idea. 

1) Fernando Torres

In 2008, Fernando Torres stood amongst Xavi, Lionel Messi, Ronaldo, and Kaka as the top five players in the world at the Ballon d'Or ceremony.

In the last couple of years, he has been the most widely mocked and maligned footballer in the world.

Torres at Liverpool was a revelation, firing 81 goals in 142 games for the Anfield club.

His combination of unstoppable pace and ruthless finishing allowed him to tear through the best defences in the Premiership, in Europe, and in the world. Yet, since injury in 2010 and his £50 million move to Chelsea, he has been the ultimate enigma.

Woeful misses have often accompanied bad touches in his time in a blue shirt, and it has been saddening to see such a supremely gifted striker struggle to find his way to goal.

Every now and then, the determined glint has reappeared in his eyes and fans have welcomed the return of the old Torres, but he has yet to reproduce his Liverpool form consistently.

A promising start to last season, marked by a superb strike against Newcastle, suggested that the signing of Hazard would bring out his best. He finished the campaign with just eight Premier League goals.

However, the Europa League seemed to provide him with the low key platform to show something resembling his best with six goals. Indeed, despite all the criticism and disappointing displays, Torres has produced moments of greatness that will forever be remembered in the history books.

He was top scorer at Euro 2012, scoring in the final, and Confederations Cup 2013. He fired the crucial goal that secured Chelsea's advancement past Barcelona, as they went on to win the Champions League. Against Tottenham Hotspur, this season, he demonstrated improved desire but ended his game with a red card and now faces a four match ban. Time will tell if the Special One can help him rekindle his best permanently.

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Topics:
#Football
#Premier League
#Fernando Torres
#Hatem Ben Arfa
#Mario Balotelli
#Nani
#Andrey Arshavin
#Luis Nani