Of the 22 players on a football pitch, there is always one or two who stand-out from the rest. The ultimate cream of the crop.
They can be leaders who will their team to victory, or skilful players who provide a bit of spark to their team's play. Whether through guile or through will power, they are the most important players on their team.
With that in mind, here are the top five most valuable players in the English Premier League:
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Coutinho - Liverpool
Coutinho is the closest thing Liverpool have right now to a world class footballer. He has the skill, vision and finishing ability of a top notch player.
It was on display in Liverpool's opening match as he smoothly turned a Stoke defender and fired a twenty yard shot into the top corner. In a rather drab match, Coutinho provided the spark that gave Liverpool three points.
That will not be the first time Coutinho saves Liverpool either. He has the quality to make something from nothing, especially among a front line that does not have the same fire-power after the departure of Luis Suarez and the injury problems of Daniel Sturridge.
It's his talent that makes him invaluable to Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool.
Harry Kane - Tottenham
Having scored 21 goals last season, it seems like Tottenham have found their franchise goalscorer. While Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado failed to live up to the billing, Harry Kane has thrived.
His all around game is remarkably mature for such a young lad. He can provide relief for his defence by holding up the ball, making a simply lay off, and keeping possession when necessary. Yet, he can also be the focal point of the attack with his constant movement and goal scoring ability.
In Mauricio Pochettino's high press, fast tempo style, Harry Kane is the perfect fit. His hard work and skilful play is exactly what Tottenham need to be successful.
Simply put though, Harry Kane is the Spurs' most important player because without him who would score their goals?
Nemanja Matic - Chelsea
Nemanja Matic is the lynch pin in Jose Mourinho's Chelsea squad. His discipline and ability to dictate the tempo of the match make him Chelsea's most important player.
In his deep lying role, he has done for Chelsea what so many Arsenal midfielders failed to do, be a disciplined holding midfielder. He provides enough stability to protect the back four and allow for the creative freedom of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian. As they bombard forward, Matic is the one who prevents opposition counter attacks.
For all his defensive capabilities, his offense is just as important. As the connection between the back four and the more advanced midfielders, he can dictate the tempo of the match. When Chelsea plays quickly, he makes the forward passes into the creative players. When they want to keep possession, he always makes sure he is open for square balls and is always an option for the back four. He allows Chelsea to progress their possession further up the field.
His abilities on both side of the ball make him the most important player in the defending champion's squad.
Michael Carrick - Manchester United
It is no secret that during the last campaign Manchester United had better form when Michael Carrick was in the squad.
Whether he was deployed as the centre of three centre backs or as the holding midfielder, his calming influence had a winning effect for the Red Devils.
Carrick has the ability to control a game reminiscent of Paul Scholes. He seems to always be in the right place at the right time, can dictate the tempo of a match, and can pick out a pass like no one else.
His thread the needle passing ability is especially important in Louis van Gaal's slow build up play. As the field becomes more compact, Manchester United needs a player who can thread a pass into the forward's feet. With all the sideways and backwards passes, it becomes all the more important when Carrick plays a forward ball into Rooney, Mata, Young or Memphis Depay.
If Manchester United aim to challenge for the title this year, it will be Michael Carrick who must be on form so that the Red Devils can realize their ambitions.
Jose Fonte - Southampton
Southampton's defence has undergone some serious change over the past couple of seasons. It has seen the sales of Luke Shaw, Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren; while Toby Alderweireld decided to move to Tottenham after a season playing for the Saints.
Yet, despite the change, there has been one constant in Southampton's defence: Jose Fonte. When others left, Jose Fonte remained the rock of the Saints' defence. He has been the leader who has led his defence to become one of the best in the league.
Even when Fraser Forster got injured, and he was forced to play alongside Kelvin Davis, Paulo Gazzaniga, and now Maarten Stekelenburg, Fonte has organized his defence to continually be one of the best in the league.
Without Jose Fonte, it is a serious doubt whether Southampton would have experienced nearly the same Premier League success as they have.
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