The start of the month usually marks the release of the latest edition of Four Four Two – and this month’s was an important one.
The edition released this week covers the EFL’s top 50 players, and Four Four Two got in touch with us in January to ask for our nominations for the top five players in the EFL, as well as Preston’s best player.
We voted for Ben Pearson as Preston’s best player, whilst these were our rankings for the rest of the EFL – written before Jarrod Bowen’s move to West Ham United.
1. Said Benrahma
2. Kalvin Phillips
3. Aleksandar Mitrovic
4. Jarrod Bowen
5. Matheus Pereira
This week, we found out the top 50. Mitrovic, Phillips, Benrahma and Pereira were all in the top five, and were joined by QPR playmaker Eberechi Eze.
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Remarkably though, Pearson and star defender Ben Davies didn’t make the cut. Neither were included in the top 50, with just one Preston player in there – Davies’s centre back partner Patrick Bauer, who was number 44.
Many would say that Pearson is very, very close to Phillips in terms of quality, yet the Leeds man came second and Pearson wasn’t even included. That was odd for North End fans, but they also saw two ex-Preston players in there.
Winger Danny Mayor was number 49, with the 28-year-old impressing down at Plymouth. Mayor has hit one goal and six assists for Argyle this season, starring yet again in League Two.
Mayor has carved out a strong Football League career for himself since being let go by Preston in 2012. Mayor maybe hasn’t hit the heights expected of him, but being named in the top 50 is a sign of his quality.
Another League Two ace was in there, as Eoin Doyle was named at number 27. The Irishman was a flop at Preston, scoring just seven times in 45 games whilst predominantly being remembered for his fight with teammate Jermaine Beckford.
Doyle has though hit headlines this season, having smashed 23 goals in 23 games on loan at Swindon Town, before making his move to Wiltshire permanent in January.
Four Four Two are right to make sure the Championship, League One and League Two are all represented in their top 50 list, but going with Bauer over both Pearson and Davies has left some baffled.