Sunday, 14 Apr 2024

Best Premier League Central Midfielders: The Elite 20 CM, CDM in the 2023/24 EPL

best midfielders in premier league

The heartbeat of any team, central midfielders hold a special role in the Premier League. They inspire their clubs to greater heights, controlling the engine room on the pitch. This battle for dominance in the center is crucial, and the top teams cannot afford to yield.

In the 2023/24 season, The Sporting News polled its football writers to rank the best performers in each position. Based on their responses, we have compiled an average to present the top 20 central midfielders in the Premier League.

Top 20 Central Midfielders in the Premier League

20. Tomas Soucek (West Ham)

Tomas Soucek
A reliable presence, Soucek has been a fine partner to Declan Rice during West Ham’s rise. Known for his defensive prowess and goal-scoring ability, the Czech Republic international finished the 2020/21 season with an impressive 10 goals.

19. Matheus Nunes (Manchester City)

Matheus Nunes
Nunes caught the eye at Wolves and faces the challenge of establishing himself in City’s midfield. Praised by Pep Guardiola as “one of the best players in the world,” the Portugal international brings promise to the Premier League.

18. Cheick Doucoure (Crystal Palace)

Cheick Doucoure
Palace’s valuation of Doucoure at £70 million reflects his importance to the team. The midfielder has become the heartbeat of the side and is attracting attention from top clubs.

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17. Philip Billing (Bournemouth)

Philip Billing
An athletic and skillful midfielder, Billing has been a standout performer for Bournemouth. With an eye for goal, he has scored 25 times in the Premier League over the past three seasons.

16. Abdoulaye Doucoure (Everton)

Abdoulaye Doucoure
Doucoure’s versatility and ability to play anywhere on the pitch make him invaluable to Everton. He played a crucial role in securing the club’s Premier League status and will continue to be a key figure under new management.

15. Amadou Onana (Everton)

Amadou Onana
Signed from Lille, Onana showcased his talent amidst Everton’s relegation battle last season. As a young player, he displayed promise and will be looking to further progress in the upcoming season.

14. Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)

Douglas Luiz
Originally from Manchester City, Luiz has found his place at Aston Villa. With six goals and six assists last season, the Brazilian midfielder has proven his worth in the Premier League.

13. Mathias Jensen (Brentford)

Mathias Jensen
Jensen’s elegant playing style makes him a vital cog in Brentford’s midfield. Filling the void left by Christian Eriksen, he has been instrumental in the team’s success.

12. Christian Eriksen (Manchester United)

Christian Eriksen
Eriksen’s return to top-flight football with Brentford was followed by a move to Manchester United. The playmaker’s calming influence and creativity have provided a boost to the team.

11. Mateo Kovacic (Manchester City)

Mateo Kovacic
Kovacic joined Manchester City from Chelsea, taking on the No. 8 shirt previously worn by Ilkay Gundogan. Known for his control of tempo through passing and dribbling, the Croatian midfielder is well-suited to Guardiola’s style of play.

10. Sandro Tonali (Newcastle United)

Sandro Tonali
Tonali made an immediate impact on his Newcastle debut, showcasing his skills and scoring a goal. The former AC Milan player brings excitement and hope for the Magpies’ future.

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9. Joao Palhinha (Fulham)

Joao Palhinha
Palhinha’s presence was instrumental in Fulham’s strong finish last season. With impressive defensive numbers, he has attracted interest from top clubs like Bayern Munich.

8. Thomas Partey (Arsenal)

Thomas Partey
After settling his fitness issues, Partey became the influential midfield enforcer Arsenal expected. Despite a dip in form from other midfielders, Partey’s contributions have been crucial.

7. Moises Caicedo (Brighton)

Moises Caicedo
Caicedo’s breakthrough performance at Brighton earned him the title of the most expensive British player ever signed by Chelsea. Despite a shaky start, he has the potential to dominate the position for years to come.

6. Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea)

Enzo Fernandez
Fernandez, known for his efficiency, has quietly impressed since joining Chelsea mid-season. His contributions have played a part in Argentina’s recent success at the World Cup.

5. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Bernardo Silva
Silva’s potential move away from Manchester City fell through, and he remains a crucial player for the team. His versatility and commitment make him a perfect fit for Guardiola’s style of play.

4. Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle United)

Bruno Guimaraes
Guimaraes has been a transformative addition to Newcastle’s midfield. Physically imposing and technically excellent, he has raised the quality of the team.

3. Casemiro (Manchester United)

Despite mixed opinions about his age, Casemiro quickly proved his worth at Manchester United. His goal-scoring ability has been vital, including the opening goal in the Carabao Cup final.

2. Declan Rice (Arsenal)

Declan Rice
Rice’s leadership inspired West Ham’s triumph in the Europa Conference League. He became the most expensive British player ever when he joined Arsenal. His defensive skills and recoveries make him a force to be reckoned with.

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1. Rodri (Manchester City)

Rodri’s clutch goals and composure under pressure have made him an invaluable player for Manchester City. His ability to control the game with precise passes and tempo control sets him apart.


Q1: How were the top 20 central midfielders in the Premier League determined?
A: The Sporting News polled football writers to rank the top performers in each position, and an average was calculated based on their responses.

Q2: Which team has the most midfielders in the top 20 ranking?
A: Manchester City has a strong presence in the top 20 central midfielders, reflecting their dominance in recent seasons.

Q3: Are there any young talents to watch out for in the list?
A: Sandro Tonali, Moises Caicedo, and Joao Palhinha are young midfielders who have already made an impact and have the potential for a bright future.

Q4: Are there any surprises in the rankings?
A: The rankings reflect the performances of the players and their impact on their respective teams. Each player has earned their position based on their skills and contributions.


The Premier League boasts an array of talented central midfielders who play a crucial role in their teams’ success. From controlling the game’s tempo to providing a defensive shield, these midfielders are the heartbeat of their clubs. The top 20 ranking highlights their skill, influence, and impact on the game. Check out the other articles in the series to discover the best players in different positions within the Premier League.