THE Premier League is finally set to return on June 17.
After a three-month lockdown, the excitement is building for the final few games of the 2019-20 season.
While Liverpool require a maximum of two wins from their final nine games to secure their first-ever Premier League crown, there is still plenty at stake.
There is a real relegation battle to be fought and a bitter scrap for the European spots.
As we prepare for the Premier League’s return, we’re taking a look at the best five players in every position.
Here, it’s the turn of the central midfielders… who makes the cut and in what order?
THERE’S no doubt about this one – De Bruyne is the best central midfielder in the world, let alone the Premier League, right now.
The Manchester City star, 28, has a range of passing rarely seen these days – and is more than capable of finding and executing a killer final ball.
De Bruyne has racked up eight goals and a sensational 16 assists in this season alone while many of his Man City team-mates have been below par by their extraordinarily high standards.
Where Pep Guardiola and Co would be without De Bruyne is a mystery… but you can bet Chelsea wish they’d never let him go.
THEY may have made a mistake over De Bruyne, but in signing Kante from Leicester in 2016, Chelsea made a phenomenal decision.
The French star is utterly tireless and can almost win games single-handedly by marshalling a shaky Stamford Bridge defence.
Often played out of position last season under Maurizio Sarri, Kante is back where he belongs in the “Claude Makelele role” – now widely regarded as the “Kante role”.
He’s even added goals to his game, scoring three times in 18 Premier League games this season, proving he’s easily one of the best in the world, despite his injury troubles this term.
BIZARRELY one of the most underrated footballers in the Premier League, Henderson easily deserves a spot in the top five – taking third on our list.
With a tenacious attitude, tremendous range of passing and desire to keep on running, the England star was leading the race for Player of the Year before lockdown.
Henderson’s all-round ability saw him lead Liverpool to back-to-back Champions League finals, winning in 2019, and has the Reds 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League table this season.
Jurgen Klopp saw his side’s form drop massively just before lockdown with Henderson injured – and that is no coincidence.
If nothing else, Henderson being sidelined proved to many doubters just how influential the Kop skipper really is…[pod_component pod_component_config_id=”apEdj7MkN” pod_component_config_url=”https://www.thesun.co.uk/nu-sun-pod-component-config-prod/apEdj7MkN.json” pod_component_config_loader_url=”https://www.thesun.co.uk/nu-sun-pod-loaders-prod/1.66.0/componentLoader.js?101297″ src=”https%3A%2F%2Fiframe.thesun.co.uk%2Fnu-sun-pod-widgets-prod%2Fiframe-pod.html%3Fid%3DapEdj7MkN%26script%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesun.co.uk%2Fnu-sun-pod-loaders-prod%2F1.66.0%2FcomponentLoader.js%3F101297%26config%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesun.co.uk%2Fnu-sun-pod-component-config-prod%2FapE
WHILE it may be based on a small sample size, having only joined the Premier League in January, Fernandes has already proven he belongs.
The Portuguese star hasn’t missed a beat since leaving Sporting Lisbon, despite many newcomers struggling with the pace in England early on in their careers.
But Manchester United’s sudden upturn in form since his arrival is certainly no coincidence.
Fernandes has already scored twice and added three assists in just five Premier League games, adding a much-needed creativity to the Old Trafford midfield.
If Paul Pogba leaves this summer, which is more likely than not, United won’t miss him half as much any more, with Fernandes on the books.
MAN UTD will miss Pogba even less should he quit this summer if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can negotiate a move for Leicester star Maddison.
The England ace, along with Jack Grealish, has been on United’s radar all season.
And his performances at the King Power Stadium certainly haven’t put any of his suitors off.
Maddison has scored six times and added three assists this season, with his danger from set-pieces a huge plus for the Foxes.