Saturday, August 15, 2020

Premier League Team of the Season (So far)

We’re three quarters of the way through the Premier League season now, and there’s a lot of talk with regards to who will make it into the Premier League’s Team of the Season. I’ve come up with a team that, at this current stage of the season, I believe contains the eleven best players so far.

Keeper – Alisson Becker

For me, this one was a tough decision. There’s plenty of choices in nets in the Premier League these days. From Alisson, to Ederson, to arguably the best keeper in the world in David De Gea, we have plenty of choices. However, this season Alisson has been a godsend for Liverpool. I firmly believe that if it weren’t for some of his top class performances, Liverpool would be significantly worse off.

Alisson has kept 14 clean sheets in the league this season, conceding just 15 times in total. By comparison, Ederson has kept 12 clean sheets and conceded 20 times whilst De Gea has just six clean sheets and a massive 35 goals conceded. It’s a wonder Dave doesn’t have chronic back ache picking the ball out of the net that much.

Anyway, the stats don’t lie and they ultimately made my decision for me.

Defence – Matt Doherty

The back four was probably the easiest part of the whole team in all honesty. There haven’t really been any stand out performers at right-back among the top six, but Matt Doherty has been absolutely quality down the flanks for Wolves this season.

Doherty plays the right wing-back role in the 5-3-2 system Nuno Espirito-Santo likes to employ. He has been deadly this term, notching himself three goals as well as four assists. Just Joao Moutinho and Raul Jimenez have more assists for Wolves this season. There’s also only three defenders in the league with more goals than the Irishman.

Defensively, he has yet to make a single error leading to a goal all year, he has a tackle success rate of 63% and has recovered the ball for his team 111 times. He is in my opinion, the perfect wing-back. He has outstanding attacking capabilities as well as being a very astute defender too. This one was a no-brainer for me.

Defence – Virgil Van Dijk and Aymeric Laporte

These two have been stalwarts at the back for the top two teams in the division. This was by far and away the easiest decision in the whole team. Without Van Dijk, Liverpool would be a shadow of the team they are these days. He has brought unbelievable stability and strength to a back four that was in chaos just 15 months ago.

Aymeric Laporte has been the stand out player defensively for Manchester City this season. Whether he’s filled in at left-back or started in the middle, he’s been consistently brilliant all season long. Absolutely unquestionable choices there for me.

Defence – Andrew Robertson

The young Scot is the best left-back in the league right? Does anyone even come close? What he offers to the Liverpool team going forward as well as at the back is outstanding. No defender in the league has assisted more goals than Robertson has this season. In his time in the North West, he has only been on the losing side of a Premier League match three times with just one of them coming this term.

Robertson has achieved a lot in his young career and in my opinion, he is only going to keep getting better. The accolade of being hailed as the best left-back in the world is not out of sight. He’s already the best in the league, so why not?

Premier League Midfielders

Midfield – Fernandinho

Fernandinho has to be in this team. The difference that man makes to the Manchester City team is absolutely unparalleled. When Fernandinho starts, City attain an average of 2.4 points per game and concede just 0.8 times per game. When the Brazilian is missing, the number of points drops to 2.0 and the goals conceded per game jumps to 1.4.

When you consider those numbers, as well as the fact he is 33-years-old, City must be terrified for the future. Age will catch up with him sooner rather than later and City have to look at bringing in a potential replacement for him in the summer. It just must happen if they want to continue being one of the best teams around – they just aren’t the same without him. Tanguy Ndombele might be a name worth looking at.

Midfield – Paul Pogba

Premier League team of the year

If you had asked me to do this team in November, Paul Pogba would have been at the very bottom of the list of potential midfielders. However, his resurgence since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has been so monumental that it is just impossible to leave him out.

Since OGS arrived we have begun to see the Pogba from Juventus – The Pogba that Manchester United spent £90million on. It’s taken two years, but he’s finally turned up. OGS has given him the creative freedom he craves and he has torn through most every team United have played. Before Jose Mourinho lost his job on December 18th, Pogba had just three goals and three assists in the league. In the two months since, he has notched eight goals and assisted five more – OGS has definitely brought the best out of the Frenchman.

Due to the unbelievable swing in his form, it was impossible to leave him out so he’s here to stay.

Midfield – Christian Eriksen

This was a tough one in all honesty, but given that we have gone for a midfield three with an attacking midfielder, Christian Eriksen was the logical choice. Only Eden Hazard has more assists than the Dane this season and much like Pogba, he has drastically improved his season since Christmas. Until 24th November, Eriksen had registered just two assists and no goals all season.

Since then, he has racked up seven assists and scored five times in the league alone. If he keeps up his current form, he’s guaranteed a position in the team of the season come May. In Tottenham’s last Premier League match, he both scored and got an assist as well as getting an assist in their stunning 3-0 Champions League victory against Borussia Dortmund last week. If he keeps that form up, Burnley could be in big trouble come the weekend.

Left Wing – Son Heung Min

I mean, do I even need to bother justifying this one? Son has carried the weight of the Spurs team on his shoulders for a while now.

In what seems to be a running theme in this team, Son hadn’t registered a single goal this season until Spurs hosted Chelsea on November 24th. You’ll no doubt remember the goal – it was the one where he dribbled past most of the team on the right wing before making David Luiz look silly and blasting it past Kepa (If not then watch the video below and skip to 1:04).

Since that game, Son has bagged 11 goals and basically carried Spurs – that is despite a trip – albeit a short one – to the Asia Cup. He deserves his place in this team more than anyone.

Right wing – Mo Salah

This one is hardly a surprise either. He’s the joint top scorer in the league this season and although his start to the season wasn’t amazing, he has really started to hit the lofty heights of last season again. 17 goals in 26 appearances this season and showing no sign of slowing down, Salah would be a damn good bet to take home the golden boot once again.

Striker – Sergio Aguero

Here is the man who will be looking to make sure that what I just said about Salah doesn’t happen. He is the other player joint top of the golden boot race with the Egyptian and despite now being in his thirties, he is showing no signs of letting up just yet.

He has 17 goals in 23 appearances this season, with six of them coming in his last three games. He has managed to bag a hat-trick against both Chelsea and Arsenal this month – his form is quite frankly frightening to be honest.

It goes to show that a world class player in Gabriel Jesus is barely getting a look in for that City first team. Aguero is the best striker in Manchester City’s history and has broken all the records imaginable at the club.

For more like this, visit our dedicated football page here. Meanwhile, follow us on Facebook for more opinions and analysis right to your timeline.

Kieran Harm
Kieran hails from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and holds a degree in Sports Journalism from the University of Brighton. He covers a range of sports, specialising in football and NFL. Kieran is a long-suffering member of the Toon Army as well as a very proud member of Broncos Country.

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