We use the Opta Player Ratings to analyse the stats of the Premier League players of the week from Matchday 16.
For a quick primer on how the Opta Player Ratings are calculated, you can check our explainer here.
In short, the Opta Player Ratings take into account over 100 different metrics to provide an accurate measure of performance for every player over a single match, specific period or whole season. Those metrics power six subcomponents for each player – categories like shooting, passing and defending. Then, those subcomponents are combined to calculate a total score (from 20-100) according to a player’s position in the match.
These ratings are at the heart of our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences, so if you think you can predict the upcoming Player Ratings each week, you should have a go at playing. There are a ton of prizes to be won.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the top performers from Matchday 16 in the Premier League.
1. Richarlison – 97.4 (TOTTENHAM 4-1 Newcastle)
Sunday was a good day if you’re a Tottenham fan. Ange Postecoglou’s side ended their five-game winless run in the Premier League (D1 L4) with a 4-1 win over Newcastle United, securing their joint-biggest league victory of the season in the process (also 5-2 vs Burnley in September).
It was also a very good day for Tottenham forward Richarlison who netted his first Premier League brace since April 2022. His first goal – Spurs’ second – was particularly important to settle the nerves of the home crowd who had seen their side lead in their previous five league matches and yet not win any of them, losing four. That strike came after Son Heung-min had turned Kieran Trippier inside and out to reach the left byline, and the South Korean’s cross found Richarlison six-yards out who swept home with his left foot.
That goal was just Richarlison’s third in the Premier League for Tottenham, and his first non-headed effort. The Brazilian went on to add Spurs’ third (another left-footed finish), and he finished the game with as many goals as he’d managed in his previous 39 appearances in the competition beforehand.
With Spurs still overly reliant on Son for goals, there is every chance they look to sign a goalscoring centre-forward in January. Richarlison has four fixtures before the New Year to prove they don’t need to.
2. Harry Wilson – 97.2 (FULHAM 5-0 West Ham)
Another game, another 5-0 home win for Fulham. Easy this Premier League lark, isn’t it?
With Fulham leading 3-0 at half time, Harry Wilson’s introduction added further torment for the Hammers. The Welshman scored the goal of the day, cutting in from the right edge of the box to bend in a beautiful curled strike into the far corner.
He also grabbed an assist, unselfishly squaring the ball for Carlos Vinícius to tap into an empty net, crowning the end of what has been a remarkable week for Fulham. They’ve now scored at least three goals in four successive top-flight league games for just the third time in their history, previously doing so in October 1959 and October 1961. They’ve also now won three successive home Premier League games in the same season for the first time since April 2011 under Mark Hughes.
3. Jack Grealish – 96.0 (Luton 1-2 MANCHESTER CITY)
Jack Grealish scored what turned out to be the winner as Manchester City registered an unconvincing 2-1 victory against newly-promoted Luton. This was an important win for City – their first in the Premier League since a 6-1 victory against Bournemouth at the beginning of November – after they’d gone four straight games without a win.
Grealish missed City’s defeat against his former club Aston Villa through suspension, but after a good performance off the bench against Spurs, and due to the absence of Jérémy Doku, Pep Guardiola handed him just his fourth league start of the campaign.
His goal, which came just two minutes and 51 seconds after Bernardo Silva had cancelled out Elijah Adebayo’s opener, proved to be decisive. That was one of seven touches in Luton’s box that Grealish had – a joint-high figure in this game – as he found lots of joy down the left-hand side. His teammates were all too happy to feed him:
4. Simon Adingra – 95.3 (BRIGHTON 1-1 Burnley)
Simon Adingra’s second-half header salvaged a late, but deserved, point for Brighton against Burnley on Saturday.
In truth, this felt like two points dropped rather than one gained, with Brighton dominant throughout the game. They had 29 shots – their most in a Premier League game this season – and accumulated a total of 2.78 expected goals (xG). Only in their 4-1 win over Luton on the opening matchday had they generated a higher xG total in game in 2023-24.
But their profligacy in front of goal, combined with James Trafford’s heroics, stopped them from picking up the three points. With a score of 94.7/100, Trafford can consider himself unlucky not to make his own appearance in our top five this week.
Adingra was a livewire on the right, frequently beating his man to whip in several dangerous crosses. He created four chances in total, his second-highest tally in a game for Brighton this season, and the second most in this match behind Pascal Groß. He was on the receiving end of an inviting cross himself, with Groß whipping an inswinger from the left to the far post. The Ivorian had a simple header to level the scores. Adingra then teed up Jack Hinshelwood with a chance to win it late on, but the teenager’s header was well-saved by Trafford.
5. Tom Cairney – 95.3 (FULHAM 5-0 West Ham)
Last matchday’s Opta Player of the Week ranks inside the top five once again.
In his first consecutive start this season, Fulham’s captain was again influential in the middle of the park. After setting career-best tallies for touches, attempted passes and successful passes midweek against Nottingham Forest, Cairney broke those records again at the weekend.
He completed 104 of his 110 passes, while touching the ball 119 times. Only three midfielders have hit 100+ in those three categories in a Premier League game this season: Rodri, Groß and Yves Bissouma.
The Scot was also brilliant out of possession, winning the ball back on 12 separate occasions. Only Antonee Robinson (13 times against both Liverpool and Manchester United) has won the ball back more often for Fulham in a league game this season.
Top Performers by Game: Matchday 16
Here were the top-performing players in each game in MD 16:
Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool: Harvey Elliott, 94.1
Brighton 1-1 Burnley: Simon Adingra, 95.3
Manchester United 0-3 Bournemouth: Philip Billing, 91.7
Sheffield United 1-0 Brentford: Wes Foderingham, 82.2
Wolves 1-1 Nottingham Forest: Matheus Cunha, 89.6
Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal: John McGinn, 84.3
Everton 2-0 Chelsea: Conor Gallagher, 88.1
Fulham 5-0 West Ham United: Harry Wilson, 97.2
Luton Town 1-2 Manchester City: Jack Grealish, 96.0
Tottenham 4-1 Newcastle: Richarlison, 97.4