When looking for a word to describe the first month of this new Premier League season, strange is certainly one of the first words that come to mind; no fans, surprise results, and an abundance of goals everywhere. Similarly, many of the players who have caught the eye in these opening matches have been some of the less expected ones, with hat-tricks seemingly becoming a weekly occurrence and bore draws being so far absent from this strange new Premier League. Entertainment has been plentiful, but which players make it into our first Team of the Month this season?
Team of the Month in Premier League (September 2020)
GK: Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace)
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises in the Premier League’s opening month was the rapid and successful start from Crystal Palace. Having ended last season dreadfully, the Eagles won 2 of their opening 3 matches, with goalkeeper Vicente Guaita playing a big part in these triumphs. A total of 11 saves and a man of the match award in the narrow victory over Southampton are telling indicators of the excellent start he has had.
RB: Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion)
Brighton had something of a topsy-turvy opening month, but one area of consistency has been the form of young fullback Tariq Lamptey. Signed in January, Lamptey has returned some stellar performances for the Seagulls, particularly in their 3-0 win against Newcastle, and his performances have earned him a Premier League player of the month nomination. Will Chelsea regret letting him go so easily?
CB: Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa)
It may be early days in this season’s Premier League, but Aston Villa fans will surely be hopeful of avoiding a repeat of last season’s relegation dogfight after seeing their side secure two clean sheets in their opening two fixtures. In addition to the impact of the new signings, Ezri Konsa has also looked much improved in these opening matches, forming a strong partnership with Tyrone Mings. Konsa also bagged the winner in Villa’s opening day triumph over Sheffield United.
CB: Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)
It’s rare that we feature two centre backs from the same team, but such is the nature of Villa’s impressive start and the relentless goal scoring across the Premier League that Tyrone Mings deserves his spot in the XI. His leadership in the Villa defence has been as important a reason as any for their impressive start and back to back clean sheets. Like Konsa, Mings also managed to register a goal this month, in Villa’s 3-0 victory at Fulham.
LB: Timothy Castagne (Leicester City)
Losing Ben Chilwell could’ve seemed like a massive blow to Leicester City’s hopes of progression this season, but in Timothy Castagne it seems that they have a more than capable replacement. Intelligent, versatile and comfortable on either flank, Castagne has played a crucial role in the Foxes’ flying start, notching a goal and two assists to prove he can help his side at both ends of the pitch. Really impressive business from Leicester yet again.
CM: James Rodriguez (Everton)
Everton have raced out of the blocks in 2020/21, and were one of just three sides to have won all three of their September fixtures. Blockbuster signing James Rodriguez has been central to the Toffees’ excellent start, notching a goal and an assist and providing an outstanding level of flair and creativity to Everton’s forward line. One of the signings of the season so far without question.
CM: Mateusz Klich (Leeds United)
It’s been a long, long wait for Leeds United to return to the top flight, and now that they’re here they’ve wasted little time in capturing everyone’s attention, with some relentlessly energetic and entertaining football. Stalwart midfielder Mateusz Klich has played an important role in the early success of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds machine, bagging two goals and an assist in September.
RW: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) (C)
The first player of a clinical front four is Dominic Calvert-Lewin, an Evertonian who looks reborn under the management of Carlo Ancelotti. Calvert-Lewin scored in all three September fixtures, including a hat-trick against newly-promoted West Brom at Goodison Park. His five goals make him the joint highest scorer in the league, and this week’s announcement that he had been called up to the England squad for the first time was well deserved.
LW: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
It’s been business as usual for the reigning champions Liverpool, whose perfect start has perhaps gone slightly under the radar as a consequence of the sky-high standards they have set in the past 18 months. Winger Sadio Mane has unsurprisingly been one of the standout players yet again for the Reds, having netted three goals in as many fixtures, including a brace away to Chelsea.
ST: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham have had something of a mixed start to the season, having combined some clinical performances with a number of blunt ones. Spurs talisman Harry Kane has been one of his side’s better performers, with one goal and five assists throughout the opening month. His four assists to Son Heung-Min in the victory over Southampton marked the first time an English player had achieved that in a Premier League match, and highlighted his creative abilities that sometimes go underappreciated.
ST: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
The final member of our XI is last season’s top scorer Jamie Vardy, who is showing few signs of slowing down in 2020/21. The 33-year-old has scored five times in the opening three games, and became the first player in Premier League history to net a hat trick against Manchester City in their own stadium. Could he claim another golden boot this season?
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti (Everton)
This is a difficult decision between Ancelotti and Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, but the way that Ancelotti has transformed Everton in his relatively short time there really has been magnificent. Smart signings, better defending, and vastly improving the players already at the club have been three key successes of Ancelotti’s tenure at Goodison, and it’s being reflected in the results. Everton are very lucky to have him.