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Premier League mid-season report card for all 20 clubs

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Making an impression: Diafra Sakho, David de Gea, Alexis Sanchez and Leonardo Ulloa have starred for their respective clubs Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Making an impression: Diafra Sakho, David de Gea, Alexis Sanchez and Leonardo Ulloa have starred for their respective clubs Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Making an impression: Diafra Sakho, David de Gea, Alexis Sanchez and Leonardo Ulloa have starred for their respective clubs Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Star players and flops of season so far as we review and grade their campaigns after 10 matches.

Arsenal

Star man: Alexis Sanchez. More goals, assists, shots and chances created than any Arsenal player. Hard-working and skilled.

Biggest flop: Mathieu Flamini. Tenacious but has made mistakes at key moments and Arsenal still lack a truly world-class holding midfielder.

Their target should be: Breaking into the top two rather than the top four in the Premier League and winning their Champions League group.

Overall grade: C

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Alexis Sanchez celebrates after opening the scoring for Arsenal in their Premier League win over Burnley at the Emirates. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez celebrates after opening the scoring for Arsenal in their Premier League win over Burnley at the Emirates. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Alexis Sanchez celebrates after opening the scoring for Arsenal in their Premier League win over Burnley at the Emirates. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

 

Aston Villa

Star man: Christian Benteke was showing signs of returning to his best before his red card against Spurs but Alan Hutton has certainly been consistent since his surprise return.

Biggest flop: Joe Cole is yet to make a Premier League start and is already gathering dust on the substitute's bench.

Their target should be: Proving there is a future with Paul Lambert as manager. His detractors are growing in number and all the unwanted records are being broken.

Overall grade: D

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Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and assistant Roy Keane. Martin O'Neill will be filly briefed on Jack Grealish's progress at Villa given the presence of his assistant Roy Keane as number two to Lambert (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and assistant Roy Keane. Martin O'Neill will be filly briefed on Jack Grealish's progress at Villa given the presence of his assistant Roy Keane as number two to Lambert (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

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Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and assistant Roy Keane. Martin O'Neill will be filly briefed on Jack Grealish's progress at Villa given the presence of his assistant Roy Keane as number two to Lambert (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

 

Burnley

Star man: Scott Arfield. The midfielder has been a rare highlight so far for Sean Dyche’s team and his progress has left him on the brink of a senior Scotland call-up.

Biggest flop: Danny Ings. The 26 goal hero of Burnley’s promotion campaign has scored just once in the top flight. Was always going to find it tough, but needs to produce more goals quickly.

Their target should be: Survival. Reaching the Premier League was a huge achievement, but staying up would be a football miracle due to the club’s tiny budget.

Grade: D

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Danny Ings rounds Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard on his way to scoring for Burnley in their Premier League clash with Everton at Turf Moor. Photo: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Danny Ings rounds Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard on his way to scoring for Burnley in their Premier League clash with Everton at Turf Moor. Photo: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

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Danny Ings rounds Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard on his way to scoring for Burnley in their Premier League clash with Everton at Turf Moor. Photo: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

 

Chelsea

Star man: Has to be Diego Costa. Strong case for Cesc Fabregas but Costa has given Chelsea what they have lacked for so long – a reliable, powerful, charismatic striker.

Biggest flop: The fans - well according to Jose Mourinho they are given their lack of noise. On the field the players have been outstanding. Maybe only John Obi Mikel might wonder why he should still be there.

Their target should be: Winning the Premier League and maybe also the Champions League. Why not? Chelsea have an outstanding squad and an outstanding manager and can enjoy an outstanding season.

Overall grade: A

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Eden Hazard has been one of the key players for Chelsea

Eden Hazard has been one of the key players for Chelsea

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Eden Hazard has been one of the key players for Chelsea

 

Crystal Palace

Star man: Mile Jedinak: Not quite at the dominating central midfield level of last season but still a formidable presence.

Biggest flop: Wilfried Zaha. Returned ‘home’ with so much hope but, so far, he has not been the same player who first left Selhurst Park.

Their target should be: Remaining above the relegation zone while managing the potential takeover by Josh Harris.

Overall grade: C

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Neil Warnock, pictured, distanced himself from Mark Clattenburg's disciplinary sanction

Neil Warnock, pictured, distanced himself from Mark Clattenburg's disciplinary sanction

Neil Warnock, pictured, distanced himself from Mark Clattenburg's disciplinary sanction

 

Everton

Star Man: James McCarthy is a pillar of consistency in central midfield, although Samuel Eto’o has added star quality. McCarthy gets the vote, though.

Biggest Flop: Does anyone know the whereabouts of Arouna Kone? He signed over a year ago, but still appears to be missing in action.

Their target should be: A Champions League spot is there for the taking if Roberto Martinez’s side can get some momentum – and Ross Barkley hits top form.

Overall grade: D

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Swansea boss Garry Monk is a keen admirer of Ross Barkley, pictured

Swansea boss Garry Monk is a keen admirer of Ross Barkley, pictured

Swansea boss Garry Monk is a keen admirer of Ross Barkley, pictured

 

Hull City

Star Man: Mohamed Diame – The Senegal midfielder looked a good player at West Ham and Wigan, but he has been a brilliant one since signing for Hull for just £3.5m, scoring four goals in seven appearances.

Biggest Flop: Tom Ince has once again failed to live up to the hype. The winger made just four appearances for the Tigers after signing in the summer before being shipped out on loan to Nottingham Forest.

Their target should be: A mid-table finish free from relegation fears would represent steady progress for manager Steve Bruce and he is on course for that to happen.

Overall Grade: C

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Alex Bruce is set to miss the whole of November

Alex Bruce is set to miss the whole of November

Alex Bruce is set to miss the whole of November

 

Leicester

Star man: Leonardo Ulloa may be enduring a lean spell of late but few could have predicted such an impressive impact since his arrival from Brighton.

Biggest flop: Nick Powell has barely played since signing on loan from Manchester United, with his parent club already believed to be concerned with his lack of game time.

Their target should be: Less unnecessary tinkering with the squad and playing with more width should help them to recover after a sticky spell.

Overall grade: C

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Andy King played for Leicester in their 2-0 defeat to Swansea on Saturday

Andy King played for Leicester in their 2-0 defeat to Swansea on Saturday

Andy King played for Leicester in their 2-0 defeat to Swansea on Saturday

 

Liverpool

Star man: It says everything about Liverpool’s season that there is no easily identifiable star man so far. You’d have to say Raheem Sterling has been carrying the team's hopes.

Biggest flop: In contrast to above, you can take your pick here. All the new players have been criticised, but at £20 million Lazar Markovic is the most troubling.

Their target should be: Despite their early difficulties, Liverpool must be targeting the top four. Owners FSG will not have been anticipating the drop in standard witnessed thus far.

Overall grade: D

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Liverpool's Mario Balotelli during the match at St. James' Park. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Liverpool's Mario Balotelli during the match at St. James' Park. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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Liverpool's Mario Balotelli during the match at St. James' Park. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

 

Manchester City

Star man: Sergio Aguero. The Argentine forward has been peerless, scoring 12 goals, including a derby winner against Manchester United. No World Cup hangover for Aguero.

Biggest flop: Yaya Toure. Set the bar high with 24 goals from midfield last season, but has looked unfit and disinterested this time around, with only two goals to show for his efforts.

Their target should be: Retaining the title. The true measure of champions is the ability to defend the title, but only Manchester United and Chelsea have managed it in the Premier League era.

Grade: B -

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Manchester City's Yaya Toure was reportedly subjected to racial abuse within hours of rejoining Twitter

Manchester City's Yaya Toure was reportedly subjected to racial abuse within hours of rejoining Twitter

Manchester City's Yaya Toure was reportedly subjected to racial abuse within hours of rejoining Twitter

 

Manchester United

Star man: David de Gea - The Spanish goalkeeper has been in outstanding form behind a shaky and unsettled defence. Has become a crucial figure for United.

Biggest flop: Radamel Falcao - Clearly still struggling for fitness after a cruciate ligament injury, the loan signing from Monaco would benefit from some time to rediscover his sharpness.

Their target should be: Top four. Having lavished over £150m on new signings, top four should be the minimum target, but United’s unconvincing start suggests it will not be easy to attain.

Grade: C -

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Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini will not face action over an alleged spit at Sergio Aguero

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini will not face action over an alleged spit at Sergio Aguero

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini will not face action over an alleged spit at Sergio Aguero

 

Newcastle United

Star Man: Papiss Demba Cisse. The striker had fallen out of favour and was on the brink of leaving last season, but scored four goals in three games on return from injury to effectively save manager Alan Pardew from the sack.

Biggest flop: Facundo Ferreyra. Nobody is entirely sure why the Argentinian striker was signed. He is a close friend of captain Fabricio Coloccini and only arrived on loan, but he has not made a single first team appearance.

Their target should be: Stop regarding cup competitions as a meaningless distraction in the quest to secure another mediocre top 10 finish. Do not fall back into relegation trouble.

Overall grade: C-

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Newcastle fans display a sign in favour of manager Alan Pardew after the match between Newcastle United and Liverpool. Stu Forster/Getty Images

Newcastle fans display a sign in favour of manager Alan Pardew after the match between Newcastle United and Liverpool. Stu Forster/Getty Images

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Newcastle fans display a sign in favour of manager Alan Pardew after the match between Newcastle United and Liverpool. Stu Forster/Getty Images

 

QPR

Star man: Charlie Austin. Five goals this season to continue an extraordinary career journey that will inspire non-league players everywhere.

Biggest flop: Rio Ferdinand. Big wages, big reputation but most notable contribution has been via Twitter. Out of the team on form.

Their target should be: To avoid relegation and improve a recruitment record that has produced such little value for the wages being paid.

Overall grade: D

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Rio Ferdinand received a three-match ban for a tweet while on-field incidents like Joe Hart's confrontation with referee Michael Oliver during the Manchester derby  go unpunished. Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Rio Ferdinand received a three-match ban for a tweet while on-field incidents like Joe Hart's confrontation with referee Michael Oliver during the Manchester derby go unpunished. Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Rio Ferdinand received a three-match ban for a tweet while on-field incidents like Joe Hart's confrontation with referee Michael Oliver during the Manchester derby go unpunished. Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

 

Southampton

Star man: Jose Fonte. Easy to look towards the new signings but Saints have conceded just five goals and Liverpool look like they chose the wrong centre-back.

Biggest flop: Saphir Taider. Lasted less than a month at the start of the season because the club felt he did not match their standards.

Their target should be: An improvement on eighth last season would still be a huge achievement but the top six now looks feasible.

Overall grade: A+

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Southampton's Graziano Pelle celebrates scoring their first goal of the game. Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Southampton's Graziano Pelle celebrates scoring their first goal of the game. Mike Egerton/PA Wire

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Southampton's Graziano Pelle celebrates scoring their first goal of the game. Mike Egerton/PA Wire

 

Stoke City

Star man: Victor Moses was much maligned during his spell on loan at Liverpool last season but has been inspired under Mark Hughes.

Biggest flop: Bojan has struggled to adapt to English football since signing from Barcelona, although his performance in Saturday's draw against West Ham hinted at a brighter future.

Their target should be: Regaining the fear factor at the Britannia Stadium would be a huge plus as Stoke look to build on last season's top ten finish.

Overall grade: B-

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Peter Crouch is sent off by referee Lee Mason. Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Peter Crouch is sent off by referee Lee Mason. Mike Egerton/PA Wire

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Peter Crouch is sent off by referee Lee Mason. Mike Egerton/PA Wire

 

Sunderland

Star Man: Steven Fletcher is a good enough striker to score the goals that will turn Sunderland from a solid Premier League team into a good one, but manager Gus Poyet must hope he keeps clear of injuries at last.

Biggest flop: He was their most expensive signing and arrived with England recall aspirations, but Sunderland are yet to see a truly commanding performance from Jack Rodwell in midfield.

Their target should be: There has been a drive for stability at the Stadium of Light and they need to keep faith with manager Gus Poyet and hope he can lift them out of relegation trouble again.

Overall grade: D

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Jordi Gomez of Sunderland celebrates after scoring his team's winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sunderland at Selhurst Park

Jordi Gomez of Sunderland celebrates after scoring his team's winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sunderland at Selhurst Park

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Jordi Gomez of Sunderland celebrates after scoring his team's winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sunderland at Selhurst Park

 

Swansea

Star man: Gylfi Sigurdsson was always going to be a shrewd signing for Garry Monk and his influence since returning cannot be understated.

Biggest flop: Bafetimbi Gomis has barely played, with Swansea opting for Wilfried Bony in a lone role, and there are already suggestions he wants out.

Their target should be: Swansea were written off as relegation candidates before a ball was kicked but consistent results could see them finish in the top 10.

Overall grade: B+

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Swansea manager Garry Monk has welcomed the prospect of future investment at the club

Swansea manager Garry Monk has welcomed the prospect of future investment at the club

Swansea manager Garry Monk has welcomed the prospect of future investment at the club

 

Tottenham Hotspur

Star man: Hugo Lloris. The goalkeeper has made a convincing case to be regarded as the best in the Premier League and Spurs will do well to hold onto France’s captain.

Biggest flop: Emmanuel Adebayor. Just two goals this season and the highly-paid (£170,000-a-week) high-maintenance striker has failed to deliver. In the final year of his contract it is hard to see how the 30-year-old will stay.

Their target should be: Still top four – although top six is more realistic. It is wide open and a Champions League place is certainly possible while Spurs remain determined to do well in the cup competitions, not least the Europa League.

Overall grade: C

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Nacer Chadli believes Tottenham's Harry Kane, pictured, can earn an England call up

Nacer Chadli believes Tottenham's Harry Kane, pictured, can earn an England call up

Nacer Chadli believes Tottenham's Harry Kane, pictured, can earn an England call up

 

 West Brom

Star man: Saido Berahino's reputation continues to rise and he could see his excellent form rewarded with a call-up to Roy Hodgson's senior squad.

Biggest flop: Brown Ideye was signed for a club record £9m in the summer but Albion have been stunned by his total lack of impact.

Their target should be: With over 10 players coming in this summer, Albion continue to improve with each game and should be out of the relegation battle this season.

Overall grade: B

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West Brom's Saido Berahino is keen on an England call

West Brom's Saido Berahino is keen on an England call

West Brom's Saido Berahino is keen on an England call

 

West Ham

Star man: Diafra Sakho. It is a toss-up between Sakho and strike partner Enner Valencia – with a nod towards Stewart Downing – but seven goals in seven games for a striker playing in the French Second Division last season says it all for Sakho.

Biggest flop: It has to be Andy Carroll. It is harsh to say, because the striker is injured, but he is the club’s record signing and they have barely seen him out on the pitch. A continuing huge disappointment.

Their target should be: Top eight and a good FA Cup run. West Ham should finish comfortably in the top 10 and the owners would like to do well in the cup. They have invested heavily and are due some success.

Overall grade: A

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Stewart Downing of West Ham celebrates scoring his team's second goal with team-mate Kevin Nolan during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and West Ham United at the Britannia Stadium on November 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

Stewart Downing of West Ham celebrates scoring his team's second goal with team-mate Kevin Nolan during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and West Ham United at the Britannia Stadium on November 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

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Stewart Downing of West Ham celebrates scoring his team's second goal with team-mate Kevin Nolan during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and West Ham United at the Britannia Stadium on November 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

 

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