The Premier League season has drawn to a close and there was no shortage of drama despite Liverpool romping to the title, finishing on 99 points to claim a 19th top-flight championship.
Manchester United qualified for the Champions League after a 2-0 win at Leicester City on the final day of the season, but it was heartbreak for Bournemouth and Watford who were relegated along with Norwich.
ordan Henderson and Kevin De Bruyne are the frontrunners for the coveted PFA Player of the Year award but Cloudbet has analysed all the data to see which players are most valuable (MVPs) to their team, rather than necessarily the best in the league.
That is to say in games those players were replaced by someone else, the team’s chances of winning goes significantly downhill. Below are the top five MVPs in the Premier League acording to Cloudbet’s statistical data.
MORE FROM EMPIREGIST
Alisson – Liverpool
Arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, Alisson proved how important he was to Liverpool in the games he missed as well as the games he played.
The Brazilian kept 13 clean sheets and saved 72 per cent of shots, with only six goalkeepers recording a higher save percentage this season, whilst his clean sheet tally was bettered only by Nick Pope and Ederson.
This is in stark contrast to Adrian, who stepped up when Alisson was injured for eight games and suspended for another but could only stop 63% of shots at him and keep just two clean sheets.
When Alisson started this season, Liverpool’s odds of winning dropped by an average of 15% compared to when Adrian was on the teamsheet.
Allan Saint-Maximin – Newcastle United
It may be his debut season but the importance of Allan Saint-Maximin to Newcastle United cannot be understated.
The winger featured in 26 games this season and the Magpies won 10 of those, drawing eight and scoring 29 times – with Saint-Maximin netting three of those and assisting a further four. Only Jonjo Shelvey recorded more goal involvements for the club.
In the 12 matches that the Frenchman missed out on, Newcastle only managed a single victory, scored a meagre nine times, and a points-per-game average of 0.50 compared to 1.46 when Saint-Maximin played.
Jack Grealish – Aston Villa
Aston Villa survived relegation by the skin of their teeth thanks to eight points from their final four games, and it was fitting that local hero Jack Grealish scored their last goal of the season as they drew 1-1 at West Ham.
Grealish, who now holds the record for most fouls drawn in a single season with 167, played in 36 of Villa’s Premier League games this term and was central to their incredible escape from the bottom three.
One of the two fixtures the midfielder missed was against Liverpool in November and Villa’s odds to win that match lengthened by over 15% when he was confirmed to miss out.
Bruno Fernandes – Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes has been the one of the best players in the Premier League this season despite only joining Manchester United on February 1.
The Portuguese playmaker recorded eight goals and seven assists in just 14 starts, and the Red Devils’ odds got shorter by an average of 12% compared to the first half of the season.
By the time Man Utd played Brighton in July, the change compared to the teams’ first meeting back in November suggested Fernandes was worth an extra 0.7 expected goals per game to United.
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
Although it was Wilfried Zaha’s worst season in front of goal with just four strikes to his name, his effect on punters is still as strong as ever.
Cloudbet reported a 10% shift in markets when he doesn’t start for the Eagles. For instance, Palace were favourites to beat Everton on the first game of the season but when Zaha was confirmed to only on the bench, the Toffees odds shortened.
More recently, when Zaha was substituted after 15 minutes when Palace played Liverpool in June, the odds of Roy Hodgson’s team instantly lengthened.
Jordan Ayew actually had a greater attacking impact than Zaha, with his nine goals going a long way to keeping Palace up. Without his nine strikes, the Eagles would have amassed up to 14 points fewer.