Each year, one of the greatest sources of intrigue ahead of the release of the new FIFA game isn't new game modes or gameplay improvements, but player ratings, which have been a point of contention amongst fans for the best part of a generation.
Jamie Vardy was famously furious at his own rating at the start of last season, joining Romelu Lukaku in scoffing at his perceived shortcomings. There's no doubt that the usual English media hype and not much attention to his astonishingly shite first touch has played a major role in Wayne Rooney maintaining an 85-ish rating over the past few seasons, but the Manchester United captain doesn't feature in the 11 highest-rated Premier League players in EA Sports' newest FIFA edition.
FIFA 17 Player Ratings
We begin with a four-way tie for the 8th highest-rated player.
Petr Cech: 87
Given his predilection for being beaten at his near post in recent seasons, it seems a tad generous, but he's still just the third highest-rated 'keeper in the league.
Cesc Fabregas: 87
He finished last season strongly after everyone said he was, well, finished. Back to his vintage best in Chelsea's opening two fixtures of this season.
Paul Pogba: 87
If he continues as he started last Friday night, he won't be long leapfrogging some of the lads ahead of him with Live Form. For now, anything higher would be a bit of a farce.
David Silva: 87
The quintessential David Silva rating. He's still just 30, but you wouldn't be shocked to see him remain at 87 when EA Sports add the United Arab Emirates league in 2023.
Mesut Ozil: 88
Recognition for a six-goal, 19-assist haul in the Premier League last season. Sure, he staggered on occasion - particularly with the reintroduction of Alexis Sanchez - but after a long wait, Arsenal fans saw Ozil at his imperious best for the majority of the last campaign.
Kevin de Bruyne: 88
If you judge footballers purely by their FIFA rating, as I do, this simply adds to the clusterfuckery of Chelsea allowing De Bruyne to depart for Wolfsburg in 2014. The beauty of the Belgian playmaker in FIFA terms is that he's lethal off either foot, as is the case in what you might call 'real life'.
Thibaut Courtois: 89
There's no doubting his ability, even if his form was occasionally shaky last campaign. 89 seems fair for the level of goalkeeping the rangy Belgian can produce, and normally does.
Eden Hazard: 89
A sensational Euros and strong opening to his club campaign has dispelled any doubts following his sulky displays last season. With the potential of two beastly strikers running channels off him and a near-unbeatable goalkeeper in their own half, Chelsea will be a massive threat online this year.
Sergio Aguero: 89
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 90
Standard, but he'll probably be disappointed.
David De Gea: 91
The highest rated Premier League player in FIFA 17, and now - even allowing for Manuel Neuer's consistent magnificence and general arse-chancery - surely the best goalkeeper in world football. He'll be clapping his defenders around the head when he sees he's not just United's no.1, but FIFA's PL no.1. 'Cheers, lads. I couldn't have done it without you.'
FIFA 17 is released on September 29th.