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Joleon Lescott's Premier League stars of Matchday 20
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Joleon Lescott
Mohamed Salah scored twice in Liverpool's 4-2 victory over Newcastle
Mohamed Salah scored twice in Liverpool's 4-2 victory over Newcastle

Liverpool have opened up a clear lead at the top of the Premier League — but the title race is only just beginning to warm up!

Matchday 20 brought wins for the Reds, Manchester City and Aston Villa while Arsenal suffered another costly slip-up at Fulham.

With one game still to come this evening, I've picked out my five star performers from the latest round of action.

Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

Anyone who has seen Cole Palmer play knows he's an exceptional talent but he's now starting to dictate games instead of only producing big moments and flashes of brilliance.

He's quickly become one of the main men in that Chelsea side. He missed the Crystal Palace game through suspension but Mauricio Pochettino didn't hesitate to recall him for the trip to Luton.

If you give Cole the ball, he'll make things happen and you'd have to say he's been their most effective summer signing, outperforming some big names who arrived with high expectations.

When I look at Chelsea, I do think the future is bright. Even if some players aren't hitting the level now, most of them look like they'll get there in time.

Max Kilman (Wolves)

Wolves put Everton to the sword impressively and I was delighted to see Max Kilman score the opener and keep a clean sheet.

Max is such a classy and composed defender and I'm sure he still has aspirations of breaking into the England fold, which is going to be challenging but is not out of reach.

At 26, a top-four club could still be tempted to move for him. I joined Manchester City at 27 and you're coming into your best years as a centre-back both physically and mentally.

But being Wolves captain is a huge honour and I believe he'll have absolutely no regrets if he stays put at Molineux and leads that team for a few years.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Mohamed Salah is set for a few weeks away from Liverpool representing Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations — and the Reds will miss him hugely.

Sometimes we see Salah pop up with goals having had a quiet game but against Newcastle he was at the heart of everything and got himself on the scoresheet twice. 

I genuinely think when he smells the opportunity to get a defender on the back foot and run at them in the box, there's nobody better in world football.

He's now level with Erling Haaland in the Golden Boot race and while I still make the Norwegian a firm favourite, it would be silly to completely rule out Salah dethroning him.

Mohamed Salah was at his breathtaking best against Newcastle
Mohamed Salah was at his breathtaking best against Newcastle

Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest)

Nottingham Forest thoroughly deserved their win against Manchester United and Morgan Gibbs-White seems to save his best for the big games. 

I've worked with Morgan and he's a player I'm a big fan of. So versatile, so determined and a player who possesses a very high football IQ.

Personally, I've always felt that No10 is his best position and Forest are reaping the rewards of him playing there. And that free-kick is something I've seen him do plenty of times in training!

I think it was important for Nuno Espirito Santo to get some points on the board early given how popular his predecessor was and results like this one will give him a massive boost.

Michael Olise (Crystal Palace)

In Michael Olise, Crystal Palace have an exceptional talent in their ranks. I absolutely love watching him play.

He bagged a brace against Brentford and the only criticism I'd have is that he should be scoring even more goals given the ability he possesses.

It was a smart move from Palace to tie him down to a new deal once speculation started in the summer. He's a Champions League-level talent and he's going to fetch them a serious fee in time.

Olise was definitely on England's radar given he was born here and played his youth football here but he was determined to play for France — and I'm sure he'll feature for them in due course.

Joleon Lescott was speaking to Matthew Hill


Joleon LescottPremier LeagueChelseaCole PalmerWolverhampton WanderersMax KilmanLiverpoolMohamed SalahNottingham ForestMorgan Gibbs-WhiteCrystal PalaceMichael Olise
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