The best midfielders in the Premier League in 2023 have been the ones able to detect tempo, keep their cool under heavy pressure and put their teammates in favourable attacking opportunities.
And while the Premier League remains the most hotly disputed domestic football competition in the world, there have been plenty to choose from for our list.
Looking at real-life performances, as well as their mirrored fantasy football stats, these are the 10 best midfielders I’ve been able to identify in the Premier League in 2023.
Who are the 10 Best Midfielders in the Premier League in 2023?
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Kevin de Bruyne was breaking all sorts of records prior to his August injury. His stats were so good and consistent that they helped lay claim to de Belgium being one of the very best midfielders in Premier League history.
De Bruyne registered 16 league assists last season and was the playmaker of the season. No player had more goal-scoring or shot-creating chances per 90 minutes. And were it not for the injury that has sidelined him for the past five months, he’d be higher on our list.
Moises Caicedo (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Moises Caicedo‘s performances for Brighton were an absolute revelation. Elevated by Roberto De Zerbi’s tactics, the Ecuadorian midfielder secured a big-money move to Chelsea.
And, while the deal to London has not yet worked out, we shouldn’t forget about the performances that brought the defensive midfielder to be so highly esteemed. Caicedo is a tough but highly technical midfielder that has earned comparisons to Fabinho or N’Golo Kante.
Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea)
While we are on the subject of great players who haven’t quite found their footing at Chelsea, let’s talk about Enzo Fernandez.
The Argentinian was the brightest young star at the 2022 World Cup and even secured a winner’s medal. His stats as a newbie EPL player are also encouraging. Fernandez is one of the best midfielders in the league for progressive passes and blocks. And while his potential his obvious, it remains to be seen how Mauricio Pochettino will able to utilize it going forward.
Casemiro (Manchester United)
Casemiro, a multi-Champions League winner, was a transformative force for Manchester United when he joined the Old Trafford side in August 2022.
Things have soured since, and lengthy injuries haven’t helped the Brazilian’s cause. But for the first part of 2023, Casemiro was one of the top midfielders in the world for blocks, tackles and interceptions. It earns him a place on our list, and it’s enough to make United fans hopeful of a return from injury and back to form.
Declan Rice (Arsenal)
Declan Rice’s costly transfer to Arsenal was viewed with scepticism by numerous pundits. Yes, Rice was an England international. But his performances for West Ham United varied from exceptional to mediocre.
However, Rice has shown that he can be the player to elevate Arsenal and maintain their newfound status as EPL challengers. A great passer, as well as a robust defensive midfielder, Rice has become one of the Gunners’ best players.
James Maddison (Tottenham Hotspur)
James Maddison’s return among the best midfielders in the Premier League is a testament to the importance of the right player being used in the right setup.
Yes, the end of Maddison’s tenure with Leicester City was a depressing sight. His transfer to Tottenham, virtually replacing team captain Harry Kane, has quickly set him back on the path to success. With Ange Postecoglou acting as mentor, Maddison has spearheaded Tottenham’s great start to the season and has revealed himself, once again, to be one of the best playmakers in the Premier League.
Dominik Szoboszlai (Liverpool)
Dominik Szoboszlai has been on the radar of top clubs for many years. In fact, he nearly joined Arsenal back in 2022.
As a new Liverpool recruit, the Hungarian wasted no time in showing his worth. In fact, judged on initial performances, Szoboszlai seems the ideal midfielder for Jurgen Klopp’s brand of football. He has scored twice and assisted twice in 20 appearances. But the most impressive thing has been the ease with which the midfielder manages to guide The Reds through the centre of football pitches.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
Bruno Fernandes is one of the most talented midfielders in the world. As a classic number 10, there are few better than him. Still, with Manchester United’s form oscillating widely, it’s been easy to lose sight of this.
However, let’s remember Fernandes’ 2023 for the highlights. The Portuguese had the highest expected assisted goals in the league last season and made the highest number of key passes and through balls. It’s hard to argue with those kinds of stats, even if those tailed off toward the end of the year.
Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
Martin Odegaard was a wonderkid who, in 2023, convinced just about everyone that his quick elevation on the world stage was not due merely to hype.
In 2023, Odegaard secured a near-permanent spot in Arsenal’s midfield line and almost led the team to a surprising Premier League win. Few midfielders were able to control the centre of the pitch quite like the Norwegian, who also registered 15 goals last season. It turns out that Real Madrid’s loss has been Arsenal’s gain.
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Manchester City has been able to rely on so much talent over recent years, that it’s easy to forget just how Bernardo Silva routinely is.
His technique is flawless. When he is on the ball, Bernardo plays like a man who knows he will not lose it. This year, he has led the EPL midfielder list for progressive passes received, progressive carries, and touches in the opponents’ penalty box. It takes a special kind of player to receive this kind of trust from Pep Guardiola and Bernardo Silva is that kind of player.
Rodri (Manchester City)
Rodri scored the winning Champions League that secured a perfect season for Manchester City. That was certainly memorable, but it’s not the only reason why the Spaniard leads our list.
City is the most successful club in recent memory and Rodri has often been the unsung hero. His recent suspension has underlined just how dependent Pep Guardiola’s side are on the defensive midfielder’s involvement.
No other player last season in the EPL made more passes in the final third. Over the last year, Rodri is in the 1% of players from the top five leagues for passes attempted and passes completed. He is an inexhaustible footballing dynamo and the best midfielder in the Premier League in 2023.