Fernando Torres tops the Premier League
And that rigorous analysis shows the Liverpool striker to be the Premier League’s most effective player over the last year, ahead of Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard.
Torres – who sits fifth in the overall rankings that are headed by Barcelona’s Thierry Henry - has scored 19 league goals since last October. With 17 goals between January and September, Torres is the Premier League’s top scorer since the turn of the year.
The Spanish international has converted an impressive 22% of the chances that have come his way, a much better ratio than the league average of 13%, and has already started the 2009/10 season in fine style, netting eight times including a devastating burst of three goals in 47 minutes against Hull City.
But as befits a top player who will shoulder many of Spain’s hopes at next summer’s FIFA World Cup™ finals, his performances against Liverpool’s main rivals have been exceptional. In 2009, he scored three goals against Chelsea and one against Manchester United, helping Liverpool to a second place finish in the Premier League last season whilst he also scored twice against Arsenal in last April’s 4-4 draw at Anfield.
Top 10 Players – English Premier League
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“He works selflessly for the team and is brave enough to go in where other players wouldn’t. And the most important thing is that he is still getting better. He is a vital player for Liverpool and we are lucky to have him in the Premier League.”
Vidic lies second behind Torres in the Castrol Rankings Analysis of the Premier League's best players. The centre-back was instrumental in Manchester United’s title winning side last season and he did not miss a single minute of action during United’s run of 14 consecutive clean sheets – a new Premier League record.
Vidic won an impressive 75% of tackles made but his contribution wasn’t restricted to his own penalty box. The Serb also contributed four league goals during the campaign, making him the joint-most prolific defender in the Premier League.
Closing behind Vidic is Lampard who has once again demonstrated how important he is to Chelsea’s hopes of success. The midfielder fired in 110 shots on goal last season, more than any other Premier League player and with 12 goals and ten assists, was involved in almost one in three of Chelsea’s goals.
The Castrol Rankings are no closed shop excluding players from outside the top four clubs from last season and currently, of the 20 top-performing players in the Premier League, five are playing for clubs who finished fifth or lower last season.
These include two outfield players - Emmanuel Adebayor, who joined Manchester City from Arsenal in the summer and Everton’s Tim Cahill – and three goalkeepers; Shay Given (Newcastle and Manchester City), Tim Howard (Everton) and Mark Schwarzer (Fulham).
Fulham’s Australian keeper is the highest ranked Premier League player not to have played for one of the “big four” sides in the last 12 months. Schwarzer managed the best save percentage of all first choice ‘keepers in the Premier League last term (80.2%) and had kept a clean sheet in over a third (15) of his 38 league appearances in goal for the Cottagers over the 12 month period since October 1st 2008 – an impressive return for a player that arrived on a free transfer.