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LiveScore's top five Premier League stars of 2021
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Matthew Storey
LiveScore
Ruben Dias has been one of the Premier League's standout performers
Ruben Dias has been one of the Premier League's standout performers

The year is drawing to a close after a thrilling 12 months of Premier League action.

We are in the middle of an exciting title race currently but who have been the standout players in 2021?

LiveScore pick out the Premier League’s top five performers.

Mohamed Salah

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been in scintillating form in the second half of 2021 and is undoubtedly one of the stars of the Premier League show.

The Egyptian’s record over the course of the year stands at 40 top-flight games played and 24 goals scored.

That includes 15 in 18 this term, including a couple of moments of pure brilliance in back-to-back games against Manchester City and Watford.

Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports at the time: "I don’t think there’s anyone playing better in the world.

"His record this season has been absolutely outstanding. You can never question what he has done at Liverpool if at all, but right now is the sharpest I’ve ever seen him."

Joao Cancelo

Joao Cancelo has been the league's best full-back over the past year
Joao Cancelo has been the league's best full-back over the past year

The remarkable rise of Joao Cancelo shows no signs of slowing down at Manchester City.

Cancelo has excelled on both sides of City’s defence over the past couple of seasons and was a key cog in their title-winning side.

Former City striker Paul Dickov said of the 27-year-old: "He’s been outstanding. He’s assisting and scoring goals himself and for me he’s the best full-back, in terms of creating stuff, and how important he is to the team.

"The form he’s showing this season in either full-back position, he’s right up there (with the best in the world)."

His thumping strike against Newcastle last weekend was a stunner and with four assists and four big chances created this season teams are always wary of the Portuguese.

Ruben Dias

Ruben Dias has barely put a foot wrong since joining City and he was the league’s standout defender in 2021.

Still only 24, Dias’ reputation has only grown as he established himself as a leader in Pep Guardiola’s side.

They let in 19 goals in 24 games after new year on their way to the title last season, with four of them coming in the four Dias missed, and have only improved this term.

The current Premier League leaders have conceded nine times in 18 matches with Dias featuring in 17 of them.

While the likes of Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nathan Ake are regularly rotated, Guardiola rarely puts a side out without the reliable Portuguese.

Declan Rice

Declan Rice has established himself as one of the Premier League's top performers
Declan Rice has established himself as one of the Premier League's top performers

The driving force behind West Ham’s stunning 2021, Declan Rice is now a guaranteed starter for club and country.

Rice has been exemplary in the middle of the park and his game has continued to reach new levels over the past 12 months.

Gone are the days of opposition fans accusing the 22-year-old of only passing sideways — his driving runs and progressive passes have been key for the Hammers.

David Hunt, West Ham’s former head of academy recruitment, told the Evening Standard: "He is world-class.

"He’s put himself in a world-class bracket and he's the best player in his position in the world.

"The frightening thing is he will find a way to get better again, that is the secret to it. He will keep going and going and going."

Jorginho 

Finishing third in the Ballon d’Or voting was a clear sign of just how impressive Jorginho has been this year.

The Italian has not always been loved at Chelsea since signing from Napoli but he is a key cog in Thomas Tuchel’s wheel.

With a plethora of talented players ahead of him, Jorginho was the glue in the middle of the park that helped keep them solid.

His best displays in the year did often come in tournaments other than the Premier League.

But winning the Champions League and European Championship is no mean feat and Jorginho deserves to be on this list.

Do you agree with our picks? Let us know by tweeting @LiveScore.

Tags

Premier LeagueManchester CityLiverpoolChelseaWest Ham United
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