A blockbuster start to the 2022/23 Premier League season has seen shock results, dramatic red cards and a mountain of stunning goals.
Arsenal are currently top of the table with a perfect five wins from five matches, sparking wild scenes of celebration from their supporters as they look to end an agonising wait to win the Premier League that stretches back to 2003/04.
Manchester City, however, are hot on their tails, and boast a squad packed with enough talent to surely see them overcome the difficulties of the mid-season 2022 FIFA World Cup and push for their third top tier title win on the bounce.
Elsewhere among the big boys, Spurs and Liverpool have had strong starts, while Chelsea and Manchester United have both struggled to find consistent form in the early stages of the season.
Meanwhile, Brighton and Hove Albion have got their season off to another flyer this year, while newly promoted sides Bournemouth, Fulham and Nottingham Forest are all currently clear of the relegation zone (which wasn’t enough to stop Bournemouth sacking Scott Parker), with the likes of Aston Villa and Leicester City lurking towards the bottom of the table.
Here are the August Premier League Player of the Month picks from the team of NationalWorld Sport writers...
Molly Burke - Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
The opening month of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign has been full of some exceptional individual performances but one player that stands out from the rest is Manchester City’s Erling Haaland.
The striker has already exceeded expectations at the Etihad Stadium after scoring a whopping nine goals in five matches and made his start even more impressive by bagging two hat-tricks in consecutive matches - with the latter coming in only 38 minutes against Nottingham Forest.
The 22-year-old’s goal tally so far set a new Premier League record for a player’s first five games and it is likely to be the first of many records he breaks at Manchester City, with Mohamed Salah’s 32 goals from the 2017-18 season likely to be set in his sights.
I feel sorry for the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Rodrigo and Aleksandar Mitrovic - whose unbelievable starts to the campaign are overshadowed by the unstoppable Norwegian.
Martyn Simpson - Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United)
There’s a lot of speculation about players who will score the most goals and provide the most assists this season, but if I was to put money on the individual who will be the ‘most fouled’ in 2022/23 then I’d have the mortgage on Saint-Maximin.
Opponents know exactly what the mercurial Newcastle ace is going to do but knowing and actually stopping him are two different things. The free-kicks and corners he wins are an asset with the threat of Kieran Trippier and Fabian Schär over the dead ball or Jamaal Lascelles and big Dan Burn in the box awaiting a delivery.
Even when defenders do manage to win possession from the Frenchman, the Magpies have been excellent at resetting their shape, regaining the ball and getting it straight back to the feet of their Gucci loving gem.
He capped off an excellent run of games for Eddie Howe’s side in August with a sensational volley against Wolves to earn Newcastle a deserved point at Molineux - probably the Premier League Goal of the Month for August.
Susanna Sealy - Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)
Arsenal are currently sitting top of the Premier League after winning five out of five possible matches so far this season.
At the end of the last season, the Gunners had to settle for a place in the second-tier of European football, the Europa League. but now they are glowing with success and it appears one man has been the answer to their innumerable prayers.
Gabriel Jesus has injected some much needed positivity and competitiveness in a team that found itself dejected and lost by the end of the 2021/22 season.
After ripping through the Gunners’ summer pre-season opponents, the striker has been able to replicate his July triumphs, becoming a pivotal factor in Arsenal’s early Premier League success.
So far the 25-year-old has already scored three goals and provided three assists in just four matches and is already among the bookies’ favourites to win the Golden Boot for 2022/23.
His new manager, Mikel Arteta, has spoken of his ‘winning mentality, confidence and spark’ and the Brazilian’s much-needed refreshing energy has given the Gunners new found inspiration to get back on a winning streak.
Jason Jones - Aleksandar Mitrović (Fulham)
Were it not for a missed penalty against Wolves and a decisive late goal from Arsenal, Fulham would have been joint-top of the Premier League on Wednesday morning.
Counterfactual histories never really benefit anybody, but that is still quite the remarkable start to a campaign for a team who were given about as much chance of staying up as a millstone in a swimming pool before a ball was kicked.
Vital to the Cottagers’ early season form has been Aleksandar Mitrovic. Minor discrepancies aside (it was the hulking Serbian who missed that aforementioned penalty againste Wolves), Mitro has been nothing short of electric in his return to the Premier League.
Five goals in as many games have gone a significant way to disproving the concerns of even his most vocal critics, many of who suggested that he was the heir apparent to Dwight Gayle’s “Too good for the Championship, not quite good enough for the top flight” throne.
There is still an awful long way to go this season, but if Fulham are break their perpetual cycle of relegation and promotion, Mitrovic is surely the man who can help them do so.