The 10 most improved players of the Premier League season – ranked

The 2023/24 Premier League season has been full of surprises, with Aston Villa becoming a top-four force, Jurgen Klopp deciding to leave Liverpool, and Arsenal matching Manchester City in the title race.

The biggest surprise, however, was just how many previously not thought about players have become genuine Premier League stars.

From Jean-Philippe Mateta, to Dominic Solanke, to Cole Palmer, here’s the most improved players in the division this season – ranked.

10. Rodrigo Muniz

Rodrigo Muniz

Muniz has been a surprise star / Clive Rose/GettyImages

Considering the fact that Fulham were seemingly hellbent on signing Armando Broja during the January transfer window, it’s pretty fair to say that not a lot was expected of Rodrigo Muniz.

Not only has Muniz become first choice, ousting Raul Jimenez in the process, he’s become a regular goal-getter.

9. Leon Bailey

Leon Bailey

Bailey has impressed / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

A lot was expected of Leon Bailey when he first joined Aston Villa back in 2021, but for the first two seasons not a whole lot was delivered.

One goal in his maiden Premier League campaign was followed by four in his second which…isn’t great.

This season however, Bailey has finally found his feet.

His 10 goals and nine assists have been vital to Villa’s ascent up the Premier League table in 2023/24.

8. Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley

Barkley is back to his very best / Matt McNulty/GettyImages

After many, many seasons in the footballing doldrums, not many people thought Ross Barkley still had it.

In 2023/24, he proved he still did.

The creative midfielder was back to his very best at Luton Town, providing stability and class during a renaissance campaign.

7. Jean-Philippe Mateta

Jean-Philippe Mateta

BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM / Malcolm Couzens/GettyImages

Jean-Philippe Mateta has the enjoyed the hot streak of his life in front of goal in the latter stages of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign.

The 26-year-old, after netting just two league goals all last season, has bagged double digits since the end of February, including braces against West Ham and Newcastle United.

The fact that he tucks in his jersey is pure Barclays too. We love it.

6. Douglas Luiz

Douglas Luiz

One of the league’s best / Neville Williams/GettyImages

There’s always been a very, very good player in Douglas Luiz somewhere, and this season he found it.

The box-to-box midfielder has been one of the very best in the Premier League, providing defensive steel, expert ball retention and over a dozen goal contributions.

He’s done it all for Villa.

5. Jarrod Bowen

Jarrod Bowen

Bowen has become prolific / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

David Moyes’ decision to move Jarrod Bowen into a number nine role may have been one of the best of his career.

The England international instantly became one of the best strikers in the division when shifted infield from his regular right-wing position, scoring a truckload more goals than he did in the 2022/23 season.

4. Jarrad Branthwaite

Jarrad Branthwaite

Future star / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Do Everton avoid relegation without the emergence of Jarrad Branthwaite?

Honestly, probably not.

The towering centre-back was the rock at the heart of Sean Dyche’s defence throughout the campaign, helping the Toffees concede 15 fewer goals than any of their relegation rivals.

3. Dominic Solanke

Dominic Solanke

Prolific in front of goal this season / Michael Steele/GettyImages

Dominic Solanke had been a prolific goalscorer in the Championship for a couple of seasons, but there were always question marks around whether he could bring that goalscoring from to the top flight.

Under the guidance of Andoni Iraola, he managed to do just that.

His 19 goals in the Premier League for a team like Bournemouth is genuinely remarkable, and should be enough to earn him a place on the plane to Euro 2024 this summer.

2. Anthony Gordon

Anthony Gordon

Actually very good / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Plenty of eyebrows were raised when Newcastle United opted to fork out £45m for Anthony Gordon in the January 2023 transfer window.

In the second half of the 2022/23 season, his one goal in 16 games didn’t do much to prove his doubters wrong.

His 11 goals and 10 assists this season certainly have though.

Gordon has looked like a completely different football over the last 12 months, playing with a confidence and a swagger that we genuinely didn’t think he could ever have.

1. Cole Palmer

Cole Palmer

Top player / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

From third or fourth choice option, to one of the best footballers in the Premier League within one year.

It’s been quite the rise for Cole Palmer.

The attacking midfielder has been exceptional since being given the chance to play regular football at Chelsea, remarkably racking up over 30 goal contributions in his first campaign as a Premier League starter.

The sky’s the limit for Palmer.

Source: 90mins

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