Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez has been outstanding, albeit a little bity, in 2013.

It's that time of year when the heaters are getting turned up, the mulled wine comes out and people are more concerned with New Years Eve plans than the sporting calendar. While the best Premier League players are normally judged on how they perform over the course of the season, IBTimes UK decided to take a look at the stars who have been able to back up a good finish to 2012-13 with an equally brilliant start to 2013-14. And the results are markedly skewed towards Merseyside...

Daniel Sturridge - Liverpool

Going from being a regular feature on Chelsea's bench at the end of 2012 to a regular starter for Liverpool in 2013, Sturridge has turned out to be the spark the side needed to get their Champions League ambitions well and truly on track. His move from London to Merseyside saw the striker score 11 goals for the Reds before the season finished, after scoring just twice for Chelsea in the first half of the 2012-13 campaign.

And with Luis Suarez serving a heavy suspension for biting Branislav Ivanovic, Sturridge ably filled in and continued the new season where he left off, with six goals in his first five games.

Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge has added to Suarez's flair at the front for Liverpool.

Injury has cut his year short with Suarez taking the reigns up front for Liverpool now, but the club will be looking back on the Sturridge deal as one of Brendan Rodgers' best moves in the transfer market to date and Chelsea could be kicking themselves as their current strikers struggle in front of goal.

Luis Suarez - Liverpool

If Sturridge was the spark Liverpool needed up front Suarez has been the smouldering coal powering the engine of the side. He was on course to win the golden boot and player of the season in the first half of the year but the biting incident left the Uruguayan on the sidelines until six games into the new season. After a controversial summer the club stuck by him and have been well and truly repaid with 17 goals coming in just 11 league appearances.

Now, instead of concentrating on the striker's controversial antics, football pundits can't take their eyes off his brilliant form and should it continue there will be no competition for the golden boot.

David De Gea - Manchester United

David de Gea
De Gea has become a stable keeper for Manchester United and will likely bring the club success in the long-term.

Joining United in 2011 as a long-term replacement for the outgoing Edwin van der Sar was never going to be an easy task for De Gea and he certainly took some stick from the media and fans alike as he fumbled through his first season at Old Trafford. But despite the club displaying some of their poorest defensive displays in Sir Alex Ferguson's era during the 2012-13 season, the keeper provided a welcome sense of stability to help the side convincingly win the title.

In the current season United have been poor but De Gea has continued to show himself capable of succeeding Van der Sar with aplomb.

Leighton Baines - Everton

Baines has been the man behind Everton's success this season and the left-back was as good at the end of the 2012-13 season as he has been in the beginning of the current campaign. So good was his form that former David Moyes was willing to risk paying over the odds for Marouane Fellaini – a risk that didn't pay off – to ensure Baines joined him at Manchester United.

Leighton Baines
Leighton Baines was wanted by Manchester United in the summer for good reason.Reuters

The ambition of finishing above Liverpool at the end of last season was achieved with Baines' attacking and defensive qualities helping the side to a sixth place finish. This season, after being able to hold onto Baines despite the transfer speculation, Everton are planning to match the full-back's ambition and are currently just one point off the top four. England left-back Ashley Cole is looking over his shoulder.

Romelu Lukaku - West Bromwich Albion, Everton

Another reason for Everton's success, on-loan Lukaku is going from strength to strength despite being unable to break into the first team of his parent club Chelsea.

The beginning of the year saw Lukaku make his mark at West Brom with 17 goals in a season that saw him burst onto the Premier League scene. When he made the move to Everton in August it turned out to be a brilliant temporary signing for a club who initially thought it would be a tough first season without David Moyes, but are now flying in the league under Roberto Martinez

Lukaku has scored eight times this season and while Jose Mourinho says he's playing in a different league with the Toffess than Chelsea could offer the rest of the Premier League are more than aware of what a brilliant signing he has been for Everton this season.