Deciding on my Premier League XI for this season was not that difficult a task really. In terms of individual performances, there have been stand out players in every position all season. My manager pick wasn’t exactly a hard decision either.
Martin Dubravka – A crucial player for Newcastle this season, and a huge part of the reason why Newcastle weren’t forced into a relegation battle. Nick Pope was a strong contender, but Burnley’s defensive success this season has come down Mee, Tarkowski and Pope as a unit, so in terms of who has been the best keeper on their own, Dubravka has the highest number of saves this season with 140, and 11 clean sheets. Hats off to him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – This was clear-cut. TAA registered 13 assists this season, second only to KDB, with his stats in all areas of his game outclassing a lot of competition in his position. Putting stats aside for one second though, as a Liverpool fan, Trent is a fantastic young talent to watch. Although not the brightest spark coming back from the restart, his performances pre-lockdown were enough on their own to justify his place in this Prem XI.
Virgil Van Dijk – Again, in this Liverpool team that has outclassed all opposition in the Prem this season, Virgil has been one of the most important players in the side. Liverpool were the best team defensively this season with only 33 goals conceded in 38 games, with Van Dijk arguably the main fact for this extraordinary stat. What a piece of business he was
James Tarkowski – Tarkowski has been one of the best, no-nonsense players in the Premier League this season, with 200 clearances (111 with his head) and 47 blocks. Another solid season from James Tarkowski, taking Burnley to a top-half finish. At a time when England are unsure about who to play at centre half in the Euros, Tarkowski really shouldn’t be a player to be sniffed at.
Andy Robertson – I am desperate not to pick Liverpool players here, but with their domination in the league it is hard not to. Alongside stellar performances from Trent and Virg I had to put Robbo in as well. Once again, 12 assists, nearly 2,500 passes this season (yes, 2,500!) puts him into the top five for assists and passes in the Prem. In terms of a player being integral to both the defensive and attacking performances of a team all season, Trent and Robbo personify this perfectly.
Kevin De Bruyne – Second to only Henderson in the race for Prem Player of the Year in my opinion. Nothing needs to be said about KDB, other than he is pure class and will retire as Manchester City’s best player of all time, and this season he has only continued such efforts. 20 assists this season, and such a creative player.
Jordan Henderson (Player of the Year) – I missed Jordan every time he wasn’t on the pitch, and it reflected in certain results, like the 3-0 loss at Vicarage Road. He drives the team forward with such pace and prowess, and has been a major part of the reason Liverpool won the league this year.
Mo Salah – Many people thought that Salah wouldn’t be able to replicate the achievements of his first season at the Reds. Considering he gets a lot of unfair criticism from many about his abilities, Salah has still worked his way into the top 5 goalscorers (and the top goalscorer that isn’t a centre forward), and has also racked up 10 assists, putting him joint fourth there as well. Although he is not quite at the heights that he was when he first arrived, there is nobody ahead of him in this position in the Prem at the moment.
Sadio Mane – Raheem Sterling was very close to going in here, but Sadio has shown his capability to score and assist (18 goals and 7 assists to Raheem’s 20 goals and 1 assist). Ask any Liverpool fan, “Who is the most reliable to be involved in a goal out of that front three?”, 90% of the time Mane’s name will be the answer. Electrifying player since the day he arrived, and this season has been far from an exception.
Danny Ings – A career reborn. I was always a big advocate for Danny Ings at Liverpool, and it was such a shame that he ran into the injury troubles. I would have him back at Liverpool in a heartbeat. Ings has worked so hard for Southampton this season, creating and scoring lots of goals. I genuinely hope that he gets a move to a top six side as at 28 he can still further his career. 22 goals this season, and still only joint 2nd in the goal table. What a player, and Southampton are very fortunate to have him.
Jamie Vardy – Take a bow Jamie. I don’t need to explain the career that Vardy has had. From a major fan of a lower league side, I recognise how great a career Vardy has had. And at his age as well, to have been awarded a Premier League golden boot when he has spent the majority of his career outside of the Premier League is quite simply outstanding.
Chris Wilder – This was very nearly Jurgen Klopp, but the achievements of Chris Wilder this season have been fantastic. I haven’t recognized any Sheffield players in this team, and to be perfectly honest, there haven’t been any stand out performers in that Sheffield team. This proves my point even more, that even though he doesn’t have any stand-out players in his side, Chris Wilder has turned a team of decent players into a team of consistent performers.
Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons
Last modified: 11th August 2020