Football

The Balls.ie Alternative Premier League Team Of The Year

The Balls.ie Alternative Premier League Team Of The Year

The PFA Premier League Team of the Year has been announced, with representatives from three clubs making the cut. Considering the major debate surrounding the selection of Paul Pogba, you could even argue that only Liverpool and Manchester City players should have made the XI.

That got us thinking, what would the team of the year be if we were forced to be a little more inclusive? What if we could only pick one player from each team?

The goal was to pick the best player from each club, without having to change players around to fill certain positions. An attempt was also made to rewards individual seasons as much as possible, although team success was also taken into account.

Alternative Premier League Team Of The Year

GK: Ben Foster

 

Foster has been in fantastic form since joining The Hornets last summer, even if their goals conceded stat may not quite reflect that fact. He has been a steady presence at the back this season, one of the major reasons Watford have managed to vault up the table.

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RB: Matt Doherty

Incredibly unlucky to miss out on the actual team of the year, Doherty was a no-brainer selection in this side. The Ireland international has been in sensational form this season, scoring four goals and registering four assists in a right wing back role.

He has been perhaps the most vital attacking outlet in a very strong Wolves team.

CB: Jamaal Lascelles

Newcastle have conceded the fewest amount of goals in the bottom half, with their defence being breached only 44 times. For comparison, that is six and two fewer goals than Manchester United and Arsenal have conceded respectively.

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Lascelles has been the driving force behind that. He is Rafael Benitez's voice on the pitch, marshalling a defence that has almost singlehandedly kept Newcastle in the division.

CB: Virgil van Dijk

The rumoured player of the year, Virgil van Dijk has enjoyed the type of season we rarely see in the Premier League. He is an absolute colossus at the back, transforming Liverpool from a defensive shambles into one of the meanest backlines in European football.

He also still hasn't been dribbled past this season. There's three games left, lads. In recent weeks it has gotten to the stage that attackers refuse to take him on because they know they will lose the ball. Talk about influencing a game.

LB: Lucas Digne

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With Andy Robertson out of contention, Lucas Digne has probably been the next best left back in the league. He has enjoyed a fantastic debut season on Merseyside, solving Everton's left back problem that has been present since the decline of Leighton Baines.

His defending can be a little bit suspect at times, but there are few doubts about his abilities going forward. Take that cracking goal against Manchester United last weekend as the prime example.

CM: Ryan Fraser

If there was an award for most improved player, Ryan Fraser would surely be in the mix. The diminutive Scot has enjoyed a real breakout season, shouldering most of the playmaking responsibilities at Bournemouth.

He has seven goals and 12 assists to show for his efforts, and the 25-year old may have earned himself a big money move this summer.

CM: Declan Rice

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Regardless of any lingering disappointments about his international allegiances, it cannot be denied that Declan Rice has enjoyed a fantastic campaign at West Ham. Operating as a holding midfielder, he has been amongst the best in the division at that position.

Still only 20-years old, he has plenty of room to grow.

CM: Luka Milivojevic

You may have expected to see Paul Pogba in this spot, but something feels wrong about including a player that only performed for two months of a 10-month season. Instead we opted for Crystal Palace skipper, and fantasy football legend, Luka Milivojevic.

While he may have developed a reputation as a penalty specialist, there is plenty more to his game. He can control the tempo of the play wonderfully, while he adds a bit of steel and ball carrying ability to the middle third as well. His penalty record is pretty phenomenal too to be fair.

RW: Raheem Sterling

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The only player apart from van Dijk that can stake a legitimate to player of the year honours, Raheem Sterling has been incredible for Manchester City. With 17 goals to his name in the league, the finishing problems that plagued him earlier in his career seem to have been resolved.

His movement around the penalty area is second to none, perhaps the biggest impact Pep Guardiola has had on his game. He is a nightmare for opposing defenders, with the 10 assists also under his belt pointing to fantastic playmaking abilities.

ST: Heung-Min Son

Son has played out wide a lot this season, but he has been at his most effective playing through the middle when Harry Kane has been out of the team. The South Korean has come up big for Spurs a number of times throughout the campaign, scoring a number of late goals.

It has certainly been the best season of his career thus far, and he is quickly becoming Tottenham's most important player.

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LW: Eden Hazard

Hazard's form has come and go over the course of the campaign, but he is certainly deserving of a spot in this team. Chelsea would be in a far more perilous position without the Belgian, who has scored or assisted on 49% of their goals this season. That is the highest mark of any player in the division.

The Team In Full:

Manchester United and Arsenal are unlucky to have no representatives in the side, but there are few individuals in those squads that could have any real complaints. Apart from that, the team pretty much picked itself!

Thoughts?

SEE ALSO: People Can't Quite Understand How Paul Pogba Is In The Premier League Team Of The Year

Gary Connaughton

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