We're at the half-way point in Premier League season and it's Manchester United that currently top the table with a seven-point advantage in the title-race over Manchester City. Thus far in this campaign, who has been the club's most outstanding player? There's a poll below so be sure to cast your vote and if you wish to further elaborate, please share your thoughts in the comments section. Here's a list of candidates along with a brief description of their current season*:
* I won't go into much detail because I don't wish to influence anyone's vote. Discussion and debate can be had in the comments section.
* Michael Carrick: The Englishman has been the stalwart in midfield and this is perhaps evident by him starting 18 of the 19 league games thus far. He currently sits second in the Premier League with 85.4 passes completed per game and at an impressive 88.5% success rate. He's also contributed with 4 league assists. Carrick's passing is reliable in deep positions, his positional awareness is key in shielding the back four, and his range of passing can quickly ignite an attack or create a chance.
* Rafael: The Brazilian has been United's most consistent defensive performer and until recently, when Phil Jones and Chris Smalling finally made their returns from long-lasting injuries. it seemed like he was never going to get a day off at right-back. The positional awareness of the 22-year-old continues to improve and his maturation has been lauded by manager Sir Alex Ferguson. His energy and tenacity also aid him well when he surges forward down the right flank into the attack in support of Antonio Valencia. Rafael has made 15 league and 5 European appearances thus far.
* Wayne Rooney: The Englishman had a slow start to the season due to fitness concerns. Since October though, Wazza's form has generally been very good and he's once again showed the work-rate and contentiousness that makes him a world-class No.10 when he's in the mood. He's even dropped deeper into midfield when needed and this partially explains why his goalscoring numbers have been down. His influence, though, in these past few months, has not as his industry and playmaking have been key to United's early-season success.
* Robin van Persie: The £24m signing from Arsenal, and reigning Player of the Year in the Premier League, has been a delight at his new club. He's currently the joint-leading scorer in the league with 13 goals and he's scored 16 across all competitions in 23 appearances. His 6 league assists, one shy of joint league leaders Rooney and Juan Mata, also exhibits his ability to create chances for others (1.9 chances created per game tops the team). His movement is tremendous as well and he's also shown the ability to work with all of United's strikers.