Premier League Team of the Season: Who Makes the Final Cut?

It’s been another thrilling Premier League campaign and it’s not over yet. Chelsea had been way out in front at the top of the table, but with their lead now cut to four points, Spurs retain hope of their first top-flight title since 1961. Champions League places are still up for grabs, while the relegation scrap is very much on, so there is lots to look forward to in the closing weeks.

But who are the players who have been most influential in 2016/17? Every supporter will have their own opinion but here is a strong set of contenders for team of the season.

At the back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“David Luiz playing the ball forward” by Ben Sutherland (CC BY 2.0)

Goalkeepers such as Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois and Hugo Lloris have been in fine form but they sit behind two of the meanest defences in the division. Ideally, we should be looking at a stopper who has been busier than most so step forward Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford. The Black Cats are near-certainties for the drop with a price as short as 1/150 quoted in bet365’s Premier League Betting markets but their struggle is not down to Pickford.

The 23-year-old has been exemplary at the back and received his first full international call-up to the England squad in October. With Sunderland preparing for the drop, Pickford has been linked with a number of bigger, Premier League clubs.

Often, the stats don’t lie and the back four have all excelled in their respective areas of the pitch. At right back, Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia is a modern, attacking defender who has beaten more opponents and placed more crosses than any other Premier League player this season.

On the left, Chelsea’s Marco Alonso has scored more goals from open play than any other left back and is therefore another key figure in an attacking lineup. The centre-back pairing features David Luiz from Chelsea who is partnered by Toby Alderweireld from Spurs. Many fans were shocked to see Luiz brought back from Paris St-Germain at the start of the season but he has eradicated the mistakes from his game to become Chelsea’s key defender statistically. As for Alderweireld, the 28-year-old is the main reason why Spurs have conceded just eight games at home in 2016/17 so far.

Midfield

Marshalling the midfield is the favourite to take the PFA Player of the Season award. Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante has helped transform his side into likely title winners and has helped teammates improve along the way.

One of the men to benefit from Kante’s acquisition is Eden Hazard, who also makes the team. The Belgian has 14 goals from 29 league games to date and has successfully completed more through balls than any other player.

Chelsea and Spurs occupy the top two places in the Premier League right now and the two teams dominate our midfield. Dele Alli comes in after a sensational year that has seen the England international contribute 16 goals in 30 league matches, while Eriksen has simply created more chances than anyone else in the division.

Front Men

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ромелу Лукаку / Romelu Lukaku” by Aleksandr Osipov (CC BY-SA 2.0)

We’re going for goals by playing two up front and it therefore makes sense to go for the two most deadly strikers in the Premier League. Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane have 44 league goals between them this season in their personal battle for the Golden Boot and that combined tally gets them into our team.

It will be argued that we’ve been harsh on the likes of Adam Lallana, Tom Heaton, Sadio Mane and David Silva to name but four but each member of this XI has made a strong claim. Statistics back those claims up and it’s certainly a side packed with attacking potential at the end of a thrilling Premier League season.

By Matt Blanchard