Who makes the top 10 performers outside the Premier League 'Big Six'?

England outcast James Maddison and Brentford striker Ivan Toney make the cut, with two Newcastle stars at the top of the list while Wilfried Zaha and Declan Rice miss out… but who else makes the top 10 performers outside the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’?

  • The top 10 performing Premier League players outside the ‘Big Six’ is revealed
  • Man United, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea stars are excluded 
  • Leicester’s James Maddison and Brentford hotshot Ivan Toney make the cut
  • But Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and West Ham’s Declan Rice both miss out
  • Who else makes the list? Sportsmail takes a look at the facts and figures below…
  • Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates

Erling Haaland, Luis Diaz, Gabriel Jesus, Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Thiago Silva. 

All among the top performers in the Premier League this season. And all playing for sides in England’s historic ‘Big Six’: Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea.

With most teams having played nine games so far this season, five of those traditional heavyweights make up the current top six, with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds – down in 10th – the only side failing to live up to expectations.

But there are plenty of stars strutting their stuff further down the table, with James Maddison and Ivan Toney among the top 10 performing players outside the Big Six, according to recent statistics from SofaScore.

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and West Ham’s Declan Rice miss out, but there are three Newcastle players and a pair of Brighton midfielders making the list.

So who else is included? Below, Sportsmail crunches the numbers and reveals who makes the list.

James Maddison is one of the top 10 performing players outside England’s traditional ‘Big Six’

Brentford striker Ivan Toney also makes the cut, according to recent statistics from SofaScore

Below, Sportsmail reveals who makes the list – with several Newcastle players (above) included

10. Ivan Toney (Brentford)

It is perhaps little surprise that the form which catapulted Ivan Toney into his first England squad also sees him make this list.

After a very creditable return of 12 goals and five assists last campaign on the west London side’s return to the top flight for the first time in 74 years, he has started this season like a house on fire with six goals – half of last season’s total – already.

A marvellous hat-trick, involving a long-range chip, a free-kick and a penalty, in a 5-2 thrashing of Leeds proved a particular highlight and put Toney in the reckoning to play the back-up role to striker Harry Kane in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad.

The 26-year-old, who scored from the spot against former club Newcastle on Saturday, also delivered two assists as part of a hugely dominant performance which saw him bully Lisandro Martinez in a 4-0 win against Manchester United in August.

He is also one of 16 outfield players to have played every minute of the season so far, along with Bees team-mate Rico Henry.

Toney walked off with the match ball after scoring a superb hat-trick in a 5-2 win against Leeds

9. Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Everton had the fifth-worst defence in the league last season, conceding 66 goals as they narrowly escaped relegation.

This year, however, they seem to have turned a corner under Frank Lampard, with a new central defensive pairing of summer arrivals James Tarkowski and loanee Conor Coady, plus Nathan Patterson drafted into the starting XI as part of a back four. 

Crucial to their new-found defensive solidity has been England No 1 Jordan Pickford, whose litany of spectacular saves last season arguably kept the Toffees up. This year his form has only continued, with 33 saves and an impressive save percentage of 78.6.

Although he has only kept one clean sheet, Everton’s current record of just nine goals conceded is the joint-best in the division, along with Manchester City, Newcastle and Brighton.

An instinctive stop to deny Mohamed Salah at the end of the Merseyside derby in September was a standout moment and surely his place between the sticks for England in Qatar is nailed on.

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been key to Everton’s new-found defensive solidity this season

8. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)

In the last three full seasons, Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic scored 26 goals in the Championship, three in the Premier League, then a record 43 in 44 games in the Championship again.

He seemed destined to always be labelled one of those players who smashed it in the second tier but could not make the step up to the Premier League.

Now those doubts have been swiftly dismissed, after six goals in his first six games back in the top flight.

Strong, surprisingly skilful – he won the penalty he scored against Liverpool by dribbling past Virgil van Dijk – and an all-round nightmare to play against, he is a talismanic figure in a Fulham side who lie in the top half.

His goals have come at an average of every 111 minutes and he has six from an expected goals (xG) total of 4.4, showing he is a ruthless finisher too. 

Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic has six goals in eight this season and has started brilliantly

7. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle)

Mercurial winger Allan Saint-Maximin has only played 355 minutes this season due to injury, and only 12 since the 1-1 draw against Wolves in early August, but still makes the cut due to his scintillating showings before his absence.

Having a hand in all three goals in the 3-3 draw against title contenders Manchester City showcased how unplayable he can be at times.

And the last-minute improvised volley to equalise against Wolves was a special moment too. 

The Frenchman has created seven chances and has a dribble success rate of 57.1 per cent. Manager Eddie Howe will hope to have him back fully fit as soon as possible after he came off the bench in Saturday’s 5-1 win against Brentford. 

6. Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton)

This has been the season Alexis Mac Allister has really nailed down a spot in Brighton’s midfield.

Although he played 33 times last season, many of his appearances were off the bench as he went in and out of the team under Graham Potter, now at Chelsea.

But he has played every minute of the Seagulls’ league campaign so far, and appears to be as safe a pick under new boss Roberto De Zerbi as Potter.

The diminutive Argentine has four goals from those eight matches – albeit three of them from the penalty spot – and is already 80 per cent of the way to last season’s total of five.

With three chances created, and high success rates of both passing (431 passes at 87.5 per cent) and dribbling (85.7 per cent), he could well be in Argentina’s starting team for the World Cup.

Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister (left) has played himself into Argentina’s starting team

5. Ruben Neves (Wolves)

It’s been a bit of a nightmare start to the season for Wolves. Just one win, in the relegation zone, and manager Bruno Lage was sacked earlier this month.

A rare chink of light for them has been the consistently positive showings of Ruben Neves in midfield.

The Portuguese star was ever-present before Saturday’s 3-0 loss against Chelsea and scored a trademark long-range thunderbolt in the 1-1 draw against Newcastle.

Creating seven chances and a passing success rate of 85.7 per cent highlights his importance to the team. 

Can they keep hold of him in the next two transfer windows? It will surely be a priority for whoever succeeds Lage. 

Midfielder Ruben Neves (above right) has been a rare chink of light in a poor season for Wolves

4. Pascal Gross (Brighton)

Brighton’s explosive start to the season, while better attributed to a cohesive off-field structure, philosophy and a vibrant young team on the pitch, can also be partially accredited to players like Mac Allister and Pascal Gross.

The German, 31, is a wise older head in the south coast club’s dynamic young midfield of Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo, 20, and has impressed with his creativity and playmaking ability.

He scored both goals in an opening day 2-1 win against Manchester United and the winner against Leeds, and has also provided two assists this term.

Gross’ chances created total of 17 is right up there in the division. A late bolt into the Germany squad for the World Cup is unlikely, but he is at least worth consideration for Die Mannschaft’s Hansi Flick. 

German Pascal Gross (centre) has been instrumental to Brighton’s fine start to the campaign

3. James Maddison (Leicester)

Potentially England’s best player outside the national team squad, fans seem united in the belief Maddison should make it on the plane to Qatar.

For whatever reason, Southgate doesn’t seem convinced, but Maddison is still delivering results for Leicester despite the Foxes lying bottom of the league.

Maddison has five goals and two assists from his eight games and has created nine chances, marking him out as a key attacking outlet for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

If he keeps this up, surely it would prove Southgate’s consistent exclusion of him is down to off-field matters.

Lots of fans seem united in the belief James Maddison must make the plane for the World Cup

2. Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle)

Potentially Newcastle’s most talented midfielder ever, said Sportmail‘s Craig Hope after Bruno Guimaraes’ magnificent double in the 5-1 rout against Brentford on Saturday.

Described by manager Howe as a ‘bargain’ at £36million. And very likely in the starting team for one of the favourites for the World Cup, Brazil.

What a player. And he didn’t need the peroxide blond trim to stand out at St James’ Park on Saturday.

That brace against the Bees were his first goals of the season, and he has only recorded one assist, but that underplays his influence on this resurgent Newcastle side fuelled by Saudi Arabian money.

He boasts a shot conversion rate of 66.7 per cent, has created 11 chances, has a passing accuracy of 86.6 per cent, dribble success rate of 60 per cent and duel success of 60.6 per cent. But he is far more than just the numbers.

Bruno Guimaraes scored a double for Newcastle in their 5-1 thrashing of Brentford on Saturday

1. Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)

Signing Kieran Trippier for £12million on a two-and-a-half deal might not have been the sexiest deal carried out by the Magpies.

Since being taken over by the ultra-rich Saudi Arabian backers, Newcastle have signed Alexander Isak for £63m, Sven Botman for £30m, Bruno for nearly £40m, and Chris Wood for £25m.

So Trippier’s arrival was small-fry, at least in monetary terms. But his leadership, influence on and off the pitch and set-piece prowess, among other qualities, have been crucial to the club’s revolution.

They are now bona fide contenders to qualify for Europe, and much of that is down to Trippier, who looks likely to go to the World Cup ahead of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, and could now be in England’s starting line-up with Reece James and Kyle Walker currently sidelined.

Nine games, one goal – a fine free-kick against Man City – two assists, four clean sheets, 11 chances created, and he has won possession 69 times, giving him an average match rating of 7.58.

The numbers, at least, indicate he is the best performer outside the top six.

Kieran Trippier (above, right) is statistically the best performer outside the Big Six this season

The top performing players outside the Premier League’s Big Six. Graphic: sofascore.com




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