With the transfer window swinging wide open in less than 12 hours it's time for the Premier League to batten down the hatches, as the fierce fight begins to retain top stars while attempting to add quality from elsewhere.
The Premier League lost it's top player from last season in Gareth Bale last summer, but has quickly seen a host of magnificent, consistent performers fill with the Welsh Wizard's void and underline their star status in a blistering, unpredictable start to the campaign.
While the focus among Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool fans may be very much on marquee signings they must first ensure they keep their best players, with rivals from La Liga and beyond lurking in the background waiting to pounce on rumours of discontent.
Here GMS has decided to pick out the playmakers, finishers and leaders that title contenders can simply not afford to lose at the halfway stage of an engrossing campaign.
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