​We all love a success story. 


Whether it's a whole squad stepping up to the plate, a new signing overcoming adversity to shine on the big stage, or when a player who looks bang average manages to encourage his critics to lower their pitchforks and put out their torch fires with a sudden renaissance, it's always nice to see.

Taking a look at each side in the Premier League, here are the players who've improved the most during the 2019/20 season.


20. Norwich - Todd Cantwell

Todd Cantwell

Most will simply point out that Cantwell has been ​Norwich's best player this season, but his performances have sky-rocketed when compared alongside last term.


Bagging six Premier League goals already, that's five more than he achieved across the entirety of the season before. Meanwhile, Cantwell had also grabbed two assists in the top flight - the same he accrued in the Canaries' title-winning Championship campaign.


19. Aston Villa - Ørjan Nyland 

Ørjan Nyland

Flashing the cash throughout last summer, ​Aston Villa's spending spree tipped over the £100m mark. Included in that significant outlay was an £8m move for Tom Heaton, who came in directly to usurp Nyland from the starting lineup. 


The Norwegian had some questionable performances in their previous promotion push and was one of the areas in need of an upgrade ahead of a return to the top flight.


Yet, when Heaton was ruled out for the season, back he came and looked significantly more confident and assured with some fine displays - particularly during their run towards the Carabao Cup final. 


18. Bournemouth - Diego Rico 

Diego Rico

A stop-start debut campaign for the Cherries didn't highlight Rico's talent, but the injury to Charlie Daniels earlier in the season paved the way for the Spaniard to cement the left-back slot as his own.


Sure, ​Bournemouth have been pretty woeful this term, but decent crossing ability and tireless running from Rico has at least seen their failings lessened somewhat.


17. Watford -  Christian Kabasele 

Christian Kabasele

While the rumours linking Kabasele with a move to Arsenal and Manchester United were a touch wide of the mark, they did confirm that the central defender has enjoyed a decent individual campaign in a year most ​Watford fans would rather forget happened.


The Belgian has improved drastically since the appointment of Nigel Pearson, having previously fallen way down the pecking order at Vicarage Road.


16. West Ham - Robert Snodgrass

Robert Snodgrass

His days at ​West Ham looked numbered when he was shipped off on loan to Aston Villa, but since returning to east London, Snodgrass has made 24 Premier League outings, scoring more goals this term than he had in the entirety of his Hammers career.


There's no questioning how exceedingly poor the Irons have been this term, but Snodgrass' dead-ball ability and wicked left foot have been vital in their bid to avoid the drop.


15. Brighton - Alireza Jahanbakhsh 

FBL-ENG-PR-BRIGHTON-WATFORD

It doesn't take much to improve on zero goals and zero assists in 19 Premier League outings, to be fair.


Just for his stunning volley against Chelsea alone, his inclusion is worthy, but his all-round play and the added confidence from getting his first ​Brighton goal has meant his threat in the final third is (slightly) more prevalent.


14. Southampton - Danny Ings

Danny Ings

Leading the scoring charts for his club and putting himself in the running for a return to the England fold means ​Southampton's pick is a relatively easy one.


He did manage seven league goals last season, but having hit 15 already for the Saints, it's Ings' best goalscoring return since his 2013/14 Championship season with Burnley.


13. Newcastle - Federico Fernández 

FBL-ENG-FACUP-ROCHDALE-NEWCASTLE

Failing to nail down a regular starting berth on Tyneside in his first season at the club, all eyes were instead on Fabian Schär, who stole the limelight with a couple of stunning goals and impressive displays.


This time around, Fernández has upped his game and forced his way into Steve Bruce's starting lineup, demonstrating similar levels of form he showed during his final year at Napoli and helping ​Newcastle record admirable defensive record. 


12. Everton - Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

The Ancelotti effect has been noticeable across ​Everton's recent resurgence, but none more obvious than with Calvert-Lewin. The Yorkshire striker has bagged eight goals in 11 outings under the Italian and alongside Ings, is now in the England debate. 


11. Crystal Palace - Jordan Ayew

Jordan Ayew

Laughs could be heard across the country when it was finalised that Ayew and Christian Benteke would once again be the Eagles' strike force heading into the new season. Neither have been prolific (in any way shape or form) but Ayew's eight league goals have since silenced a few critics.


Moreover, did you see that goal against West Ham?


10. Burnley - Nick Pope

Nick Pope

Pope didn't feature at all last season, as a result of a shoulder injury and not being able to usurp Tom Heaton from the Burnley starting lineup.


This time around (and with Heaton out of the picture) Pope looks a new man. 


All facets of his game have improved; from kicking to commanding the penalty box, he's looked a different player, and nobody in the league has more clean sheets than his 11 this term.


9. Arsenal - Shkodran Mustafi

Shkodran Mustafi

Do not scratch your eyes. The keyword here is 'improved', and under Mikel Arteta's tutelage, Mustafi has done just that. Is he the answer to ​Arsenal's defensive problems? No. Has his slight upturn in form banished the countless dreadful performances before that to the grave? No.


But, has he become less error-prone and generally more solid since December? Yes.


8. Tottenham - Serge Aurier

UEFA Champions League"Red Bull Leipzig v Tottenham Hotspur FC"

It's a really sorry state of affairs at ​Spurs when the massively criticised Aurier scoops this gong. 


Hear me out, though, as this is by no means an indicator of his defensive abilities. Those are still comprehensively abysmal. But in an attacking sense, he's made some fine improvements in the final third with four assists and one league goal.


7. Sheffield United - John Lundstram

John Lundstram

In the summer building up towards their return to the top flight, there were suggestions that Lundstram might even be sold by Chris Wilder. Instead, the manager stuck with his midfielder, and in return, he's been rewarded with some outstanding displays in the centre of the park.


From playing only a handful of Championship matches last season, he's since become a near ever-present this term, with four goals and three assists not even fully telling the story of how improved his performances have been.


6. Wolves - Adama Traore

Adama Traore

With muscles on top of muscles and pace on top of pace, everyone is fully aware of the ceiling that Traore has. 


This season, he's managed to mould all the elements into one almighty package. Seven assists alongside four league goals make his previous season's tally look even more pitiful than it was, and the signs of a player finally coming into his own has got the Black Country purring.


5. Manchester United - Fred

Fred

When you cost £52m and have the underwhelming debut season Fred had at Old Trafford, you can be sure criticism is coming your way. Offering little to the midfield, with sideways passes and careless control, it looked like Fred would join the long line of flop signings made since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure.


Which is why the turnaround he's made has been highly commendable. More forward-thinking in his approach, tenacity off the ball and combativeness in possession, Fred looks a player reborn. Sure, his goals and assists return leave a lot to be desired, but it's a work in progress that's on a steady incline. ​United will be pleased.


4. Chelsea - Mateo Kovačić 

Mateo Kovacic

Coming from Real Madrid on loan, much like Fred, Kovačić's debut season did little to excite. Fortunately for ​Chelsea, he was just on loan, so it wasn't that bad. 


However, when they opted to sign him permanently for £40m - more out of desperation than anything else - a considerable upturn in form was needed.


That has certainly been the case. Kovačić boasts fine technical ability and ball retention, and with such great control, he's capable of carrying the ball through the thirds and opening the spaces for his teammates. Needs more goal involvements, but looks like a totally different player this season.


3. Leicester  - Çağlar Söyüncü 

Caglar Soyuncu

Players coming from abroad almost always need time to settle. But sometimes you look at a player and how they're adapting and think, 'there's no way this will work'. That looked to be the case for Söyüncü last season, but blimey, what difference a summer makes.


Harry Maguire left and the Turk has been one of the standout defenders in the league since. His partnership with Jonny Evans has been superb, and now the likes of Manchester City are being linked with him. Goes to show what hard work and dedication can do, right?


2. Manchester City - Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez

Mahrez's unpredictability was the key factor in him winning the player's and fan's Premier League Player of the Year award in 2016. However, that faded from his game after joining ​City, and while still top drawer, he never quite reached those heights.


This season has been different, though. That unpredictability has come back into his game - as have goals and assists aplenty - even if he's not a regular starter, and a return on City's big investment is finally being seen.


1. Liverpool - Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson

Now into his ninth season at ​Liverpool, Anfield might finally be seeing the very best of Henderson. Shouts for him winning the PFA Player of the Year award aren't without substance, as every facet of his game has been an improvement on the previous term.


Eight goal involvements in 25 league matches is a solid return, but it's his leading by example which earns the most plaudits. He sets the tone with the midfield press, never stops running (or shouting) and leaves nothing on the pitch and has been one of the Premier League's, not just the Reds', star performers.


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