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[Top 5] Players of the Year 2012/13: The Wingers/Attacking Midfielders

After another glorious campaign of football, Tom Gatehouse compiles a glittering Top 5 of Attacking Midfielders and Wingers for the last Premier League season.

Dazzling and dynamic, a brilliant attacker can terrorize the opposition defenders with their pure speed, expert eye to provide relief for their defenders, and also infuse deadly thrust into every attacking foray.

The 2012/13 season has been a pedestal of excellence for a multitude of wingers and attacking wide men. A Top 5 in this category is a tough ask for any pundit, player or punter. ‘Sensational’ seems to be the opportune word in describing every player on this list. They have lit up the league on an individual level, and are each vital to the success of their respective clubs. Here is the Top 5 wingers and wide men for the 2012/13 season:

5. Theo Walcott, Arsenal

Arsenal’s English enigma, Walcott, has had arguably his most consistent, and devastating season yet. Blessed with the speed and agility of an impassioned hare, Walcott is adept to playing either on the wing, or in his favoured position as striker. Netting an impressive 14 times, and with a hearty 13 assists to his name, he has been a stand-out player for Arsenal this season.

Arguably the up-and-coming campaign will be the true test of how far Walcott has come. Still only 24, time is on his side, but due to past inconsistencies during his long stay at the Emirates, not every fan will be.

4. Eden Hazard, Chelsea

Signed in the summer for a whopping £32 million, Chelsea certainly had high expectations of the recently turned 22 year old. While he has not had the most consistent of seasons, he has shown enough of his raw ability to warrant a place on this list. The Belgian blew everyone away in his first few Premier League games, scoring and setting up with such ease. Possessing incredible poise and balance, complemented by his solid core strength, Hazard is, without a doubt, one of the most dangerous players in the league.

Although Hazard’s progress in the first team was often interrupted by rotation among the other Blues wingers, as outgoing coach Rafael Benitez looked to utilize the full depth of his squad, Chelsea were arguably at their best when the wing-wizard was on the pitch, and his blossoming partnership with Mata was a joy to behold. Expect plenty more dazzling displays come the new season!

3. Santi Cazorla, Arsenal

When Arsenal lost their talisman, Robin Van Persie, last summer to bitter rivals Manchester United there was an almost audible shudder from Gunners fans everywhere; such was the disappointment and shock. What concerned them most, however, was the problem of replacing him.

While the minute Spaniard, Cazorla, is not direct replacement for the striker, his creativity and vision has eased the anxiety felt deep within the club. With 12 goals and 13 assists, his debut season in the Premier League has been superb. The fulcrum of most Arsenal attacks, Santi Cazorla proved to be a wonderful addition to the Gunners’ ranks; a most typical Arsenal player considering his elegance and skill, Arsenal will surely add even more creativity in the summer, to further complement the attacking prowess of their micro-menace.

2. Juan Mata, Chelsea

After a stunning debut season in West London, which saw him become the most influential player for the then European Champions, Juan Mata has followed up with another brilliant campaign, full of spectacular goals and multiple examples of his selfless genius.

Despite not being a regular in the Spanish National side, Mata is arguably one of the best attacking midfielders in the English top flight. The Spaniard tops the Premier League assists charts, and secured an overall total of 35 assists in all competitions for the Blues. Absolutely crucial to Chelsea’s successes on the pitch, his absence was keenly felt when boss Benitez saw fit to rotate his line-up. Also scoring an impressive 20 goals in 64 appearances, Mata’s brilliance cannot be overstated.

1. Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur

There could only be one winner in this poll, and it is Tottenham’s god-like Gareth Bale. Plucked as a left-back all those years ago from Southampton, Bale has blossomed, evolved, and transformed into one of the very best players in the world.

The list of superlatives to describe the Welshman depletes with every passing game, and the Press will surely be grateful for the end of the season so as to restock, and prepare for another extraordinary campaign. But the question is, where will that be? With Real Madrid constantly linked with a swoop for the 23-year-old, Tottenham’s failure to secure a Champions League spot may prove costly.

Winner of all three of the major awards handed out at the close season in English football, scorer of 26 goals in 44 games for Spurs, and arguably the best winger to grace English shores since Cristiano Ronaldo; the sky is the limit for the young man. Watch him soar.

What do you think? Anyone unfairly left out? Let me know in the comments below!

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