Yesterday, the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) released their Premier League Team of the Year. To be honest, it’s incredibly boring! Manchester City boasts six players, while four players are from Liverpool. The lone player not from either of the two clubs in Manchester United’s Paul Pogba. As a Chelsea fan, I have to admit I’m fuming that Eden Hazard hasn’t made the team. The man has been nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award but can’t make the Team of the Year? Ridiculous.
Nevertheless, the PFA Team of the Year got me thinking. I want to make my own Team of the Year, but with only one player maximum from each club. That way, players who get overlooked by stars from bigger clubs get a chance to make the squad. The team will be set up in a 4-3-3 formation and will not feature two players from the same team. For my readers who may not be mathematically inclined or are a little confused, it’s going to be a starting XI with eleven players from eleven different Premier League clubs! So let’s get into my Premier League Team of the Year!
GK- Neil Etheridge, Cardiff City FC
Let’s get controversial right away shall we? I picked Etheridge over a slew of bigger names like Ederson, Alisson, and De Gea. Why? Because he means more to Cardiff than any of those other keepers do to their respective teams. Yes, Allison has 18 clean sheets and Ederson has 16. Etheridge only has 8 but he has made 120 saves this year! To compare, Alisson has been asked to make only 67 saves this year while Ederson has only had to save 50 shots! Etheridge gets peppered with shots every game and has to make save after save. His eight clean sheets are one of the major reasons Cardiff still have a chance to avoid relegation this season.
LB- Lucas Digne, Everton FC
In all honesty, Andy Robertson is the clear-cut number one left-back. Lucas Digne has been a quality servant for Everton this season. He has made 32 appearances and has tallied four goals (all of which have been amazing) and four assists. Digne has averaged two tackles and two interceptions per match. In those 32 matches for Everton, his match rating is 7.36, which is very solid. He has even popped up to score a wicked volley against Manchester United (Check it out here).
CB- Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool FC
When you’re the best center-back in the world, you make this list. Virgil van Dijk is one of the main reasons why Alisson has 18 clean sheets. He dominates in the air and does not let anything get past him. There’s a reason Liverpool are in the title race and in the Champions League semifinals. His ability on the ball and as the leader of a defense is what lands him on this list.
CB- Fabian Schär, Newcastle United
Time to toot my own horn again! I predicted that Schär would be a sneaky signing for the Magpies this season. He has played 21 games this season, although that’s not a lot, he has been a rock when he plays. He has won five Man of the Match awards for Newcastle and popped up for three goals as well. Schär only cost $4 million this past summer and he has been great value for money.
RB- Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Crystal Palace
One of my favorite young players in the Premier League is 100% deserving of a spot in this team. At 21 years old, Wan-Bissaka has been a vital player for the Eagles this season. He averages just under 4 tackles per game and almost 2.5 interceptions. Wan-Bissaka has played 32 games this season for Palace and has been right up there with Wilfred Zaha as the most vital player. If you ask me, he won’t be a Crystal Palace player for much longer.
CM- James Maddison, Leicester City
Here is another example of Leicester’s ability to scout lower league or little known players. Maddison was star for Norwich City last season and Leicester clearly saw what they liked! He has jumped in and has been one of their most creative players this season. In 33 matches he has seven goals and six assists out of the midfield. Maddison is the type of player who can unlock a defense with his passes through the middle but play out wide when necessary. I really applaud this signing by Leicester and I believe he belongs in my Premier League Team of the Year.
CM- Paul Pogba, Manchester United
Pogba was selected to the PFA Team of the Year and since we can only do one player from each club, it fell perfectly for him to make this team. Many people thought Pogba didn’t belong in the team, he’s a high quality player who has not played well recently. His ability on the ball is strong and he is a cool head from the penalty spot. Although this inflates his goal total, I believe that he is a world class player. He makes this team because I can’t put Bernardo Silva or Fernandinho in, but he is still a great player and he helps United control matches.
CAM- Christian Eriksen, Tottenham
A product of the Ajax wonder-kid academy, Eriksen has been at his consistent, elite best this year. Harry Kane has been struggled through injuries this season. Much of his load fell on Eriksen’s shoulders and he has helped to push Tottenham to 3rd in the Premier League this season (which I predicted here!), and helped them reach the Champions League semifinals. His twelve assists this season put him behind only Eden Hazard (13) in the Premier League. He’s also scored seven goals in the Prem this year with an average match rating of 7.1. Eriksen is a world class attacking midfielder and belongs in this team.
LW- Eden Hazard, Chelsea FC
Time to right the wrongs! Eden Hazard has been without a doubt Chelsea’s best player this season. He has also been one of, if not the, best wingers in the Premier League this season. Sixteen goals and thirteen assists puts him at 29 goal contributions this season. That’s first in the Premier League. Hazard has won thirteen Man of the Match awards this season. The player who took his spot in the PFA Team of the Year, Sadio Mane, has only been named man of the match five times. Mane’s 18 goals is incredible, however he’s only supplied one assist this season. Hazard belonged in the PFA Team of the Year and he for sure belongs in my Premier League Team of the Year.
ST- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal FC
Sergio Aguero can’t be in this team because I’ve selected Sterling as my Manchester City player, therefore Aubameyang gets the nod in my team. Auba is tied with Aguero for most goals in the Premier League this season at nineteen. His pace and finishing are top class and he has led the line well for Arsenal this season. He’s also popped up with five assists, which is solid for a striker. The Gabonese international is a top striker and a worthy second option to Aguero in my opinion.
RW- Raheem Sterling, Manchester City
The final player in my Premier League Team of the Year is Manchester City’s dynamic winger, Raheem Sterling. His creativity and flair have helped push City all season and it shows on the stat sheet. Sterling has seventeen goals and ten assists this season. His 27 goal contributions is behind only Eden Hazard and his average match rating of 7.69 is second also to Hazard (7.8). With three games left in the Premier League will he be able to push City to a second straight title? I’m excited to watch and I hope you are too!
So that’s it for my Premier League Team of the Year! What do you think? Am I wrong? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to share and subscribe. Thanks again to Fredrik (@F_edits), I had to give Hazard his own picture after he got robbed. Have a great day all, God bless!