Let me first start this off by saying that there is a difference between the most valuable player on a Premier League club and the best player. Sometimes this could be the same player where their skill and ability have made them the center point at which the team rises or falls. In the case of the most valuable player though, this is a player that if they were not on the team the season could be shaping up a lot differently than expected. Of course this list is totally opinion based on my opinion, and when lists are built on opinion there is always room for debate. So read on, then debate away.
5. Tim Krul (Newcastle United)
Of course Newcastle has got to be one of the surprising stories of this season. I do not think many people south of St James' Park (I just cannot call it Sports Direct Arena) would have thought that the Magpies would be sitting just outside the top four contending for a Champions League place. Demba Ba is one of the top signings of the summer transfer period and an argument can be made that he is their best player this season, but who had Tim Krul as their starting fantasy goalkeeper when the season started? If you had chosen a Newcastle goalkeeper at the start of the year there was a strong chance it would have been Steve Harper. But Alan Pardew went with an unknown Dutch keeper who has done nothing but play more minutes this season than any other keeper in the Premier League and have Newcastle in position to return back to Europe next season.
4. Christopher Samba (Blackburn)
I may have been able to persuade you with my number five choice, but picking a player on a team sitting in the relegation zone may have you scratching your head. Remember though what this article is about, the most valuable players to their team. How bad do you think Blackburn Rovers would be this season if they did not have Samba patrolling the middle of their defense? How bad do you think Blackburn Rovers will be now that Samba has sold to Anzhi Makhachkala? I think they are now a sure bet for relegation.
3. Brad Friedel (Tottenham)
Everyone knows how talented Spurs are this year. Everyone knows how they play exciting football. But does everyone know why they are still in the rear view mirrors of the two Manchester clubs? It has to do with the stability that Friedel has provided for them in goal this season. Harry Redknapp knew how poor goalkeeping had denied Spurs another shot at the Champions League last year, so by going out and signing (or stealing in fact) Friedel from Aston Villa, the question of Tottenham's shaky keeping in the past has been solidified by the 41-year old American. If you doubt how valuable of a player Friedel really is, just look at the struggles of Aston Villa this season since they have let him go?
2. Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
As with most players on this list, Toure comes in at number two not being the most talented player on his team. Maybe not even one of the five most talented players on City. I really have been impressed at how hard Toure works in the midfield of City, as the driving force forward and as a very solid defensive midfielder when called upon. I think I was most impressed with just how valuable Toure was after he left to go to the African Cup of Nations earlier this year. It was not that City were terrible without him, but it just seemed as though something was lacking without his presence. Manchester City do not seem as sharp without the big Ivorian powering up the middle, being the link between the defense and David Silva. With him back and healthy Manchester City have to be considered the favorites at this moment to win their first Premier League title.
1. Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
Hopefully there should be no debating this choice where the might have been with the others. 23 goals in 26 games for the Gunners. Basically the entire goalscoring offense for Arsenal and the only reason that they are even being considered for Champions League football. It is also quite amazing this is happening despite the Dutchman's record for being injured more often than not.
Honorable Mentions: Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Demba Ba (Newcastle United), Leighton Baines (Everton), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Lucas Leiva (Liverpool), Luka Modric (Tottenham), Nani (Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City), Michel Vorm (Swansea).
Again as I stated earlier this list is entirely based on what I have seen this season in the Premier League. If you have another opinion, please feel free to differ in the comments below.