A LOOK AT THE PREMIER LEAGUE'S BEST XI FROM THIS SEASON as 2020/21 season draws to a close
The Premier League 2020/2021 is drawing to a close. The strangest of seasons amidst the pandemic saw many storylines unfold. Pandemic ensured that the season was mostly finished in empty stadiums except for few games where fans were allowed. At the end of the season, a joint effort from clubs and boards and fans ensured that the season was finished smoothly. A Premier League team of the season gives us a better estimate of the season.
Manchester City won the Premier League again making it 3 for them in the last 5 years. Liverpool who have won the league after almost 30 years have failed to defend it successfully. Clubs like Fulham, West Bromwich Albion along with Sheffield United have returned to the Championship swiftly. Leeds United has enjoyed a fantastic comeback season in the top flight after 16 years of wilderness. The top 4 race is intriguing and could go to the final day.
When it comes to players, few have come into the league from abroad like fish to water and made an instant impact. Few players have rediscovered themselves this season and are having the best seasons of their career. Bruno Fernandes, Ruben Dias and Vladimir Coufal belong to the former class whereas John Stones, Luke Shaw and Gareth Bale belong to the latter.
As we approach the business end of the season, FootTheBall brings you the Premier League Team of the Season.
EDOUARD MENDY – CHELSEA
The 29-year-old arrived from Rennes at Chelsea late in the summer transfer window. Chelsea had problems with Kepa Arizzabalaga in goal and had to find a replacement. The tall Senegalese keeper who was had a fantastic season with Rennes as they qualified for the Champions League was courted. A reported fee of £22 million was paid for his services.
🧤 Edouard Mendy = most clean sheets (8) in history by a goalkeeper for an English club in a single season…
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 7, 2021
Mendy had a wonderful start to life as he kept 5 consecutive clean sheets which was Chelsea’s first in a decade. He uses his height to his advantage as he stretches and makes himself big to thwart strikers. A good starting position is also a notable trait. Overall he has 16 clean sheets this season and is only two shy of Ederson’s 18. He can lift the Champions League in just his first season in England if he can contain Manchester City.
Honorable Mention: Emiliano Martinez at Aston Villa, Robert Sanchez at Brighton and Ederson at Manchester City are having successful seasons.
JOAO CANCELO – MANCHESTER CITY
After arriving from Juventus in the summer of 2019, Cancelo had to wait for an entire season to make his mark. Injuries and Kyle Walker’s form made a tough roadblock for him to cross. In the second season, he truly found his spark under Pep.
Cancelo a right-back by trade can also play as a right-winger or a left-back. He has basically redefined the full-back role this season. Pep Guardiola’s system gave him the freedom to roam the pitch freely and add an extra body in the attack. He has thus got one goal and 3 assists in the Premier League campaign. Endless stamina and running make him a road-runner who shuffles up and down the pitch for fun. Cancelo can play a key role in City winning the Champions League.
Honorable Mention: Kyle Walker for Manchester City has been solid as ever. Vladimir Coufal has been great for West Ham United. Chelsea’s Reece James deserves recognition as well as an honorable mention in the PL team of the season.
RUBEN DIAS – MANCHESTER CITY
The Portuguese has taken the Premier League by storm. After sealing a £65 million move from Benfica to Manchester City, he has shored up their defence single-handedly. Dias was signed as a long-term replacement for club legend Vincent Kompany, but his talent has seen him become their savior from day one.
Premier league Champions! Let’s celebrate! 🏆🥇🦈⚪️🔵 pic.twitter.com/jd1Hs4Nrxe
— Rúben Dias (@rubendias) May 11, 2021
Dias’s performances has been colossal this season. His ability to read the game, track the striker runs, last-ditch tackles and blocks have raised the entire City team as well. City were mid-table after a chaotic start before his arrival. His emergence has put them back on track and they have gone on to reclaim the Premier League trophy. It’s scary to think that Dias is only 24 years old. We might have the best centre-back on the planet if he maintains these levels consistently.
WESLEY FOFANA- LEICESTER CITY
Leicester City has a knock of pulling some of the best centre backs from across the world. They have done it with Harry Maguire and Caglar Soyuncu in the past. Wesley Fofana is their newest find.
One of the best players on the pitch on Sunday 🦊🇫🇷@Wesley_Fofanaa keeps getting better and better.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) April 20, 2021
The 20-year-old French defender was signed from Saint Etienne for 36.5 million Euros. Leicester knew they were getting a gem and paid a huge fee for him. The tall defender has an imposing game and has an understanding of the game beyond his age. The ability to read the threats is a key aspect coupled with aerial prowesses and excellent passing from the back. He can be singled out as a main reason for the brilliant campaign the Foxes are having.
Honorable Mention: John Stones came back from the cold to become an indispensable part of the Manchester City machine. A resurgent Angelo Ogbonna at West Ham is leading their European Charge.
LUKE SHAW – MANCHESTER UNITED
For a man brutally condemned by Jose Mourinho, Luke Shaw has been exceptional this season. The 25-year-old’s position was in doubt when United signed Alex Telles from Porto. Shaw however has kept his head down and worked hard to emerge as the best. His effort is duly recognised with a spot in the Premier League team of the season.
— adidas UK (@adidasUK) March 7, 2021
Pretty much an old-school left-back, he also added an attacking threat to his game. His defensive game which was already strong only got better. He has one goal, 5 assists to go with 10 clean sheets. A goal against Manchester City in the Manchester derby where they won 2-0 was his best moment this season.
Honorable Mention: Kieran Tierney has been the standout player from Arsenal as a left-back. Joao Cancelo as a left-back has also been admirable.
DECLAN RICE – WESTHAM UNITED
The young Englishman is turning into a midfield lynchpin for club and country at only 22 years of age. Rice has been immense for West Ham in their pursuit of European Football and holds the key in the final few game weeks. This season has also seen him become a regular with the England national team.
An honour to win this award again! 3 wins out of 3 from the boys! Let’s keep pushing❤️🏴 pic.twitter.com/fsZGfhAwxk
— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) March 31, 2021
Sat in the middle of the park as a number 6, Rice specializes in winning the ball and shuffling it forward immediately to initiate attacks. He has great defensive awareness and tidy passing which makes him a desirable player for any side. Rice has one goal and assist to his name and a huge summer awaits for him in the form of Euros and a move to a big club.Rice’s performance have been so good this season that even Bruno has started admiring his skill.
Honorable Mention: Rodri had another fantastic season with Manchester City as they won the league.
KEVIN DE BRUYNE – MANCHESTER CITY
The Belgian midfield ace is arguably one of the best players in the world currently. The 29-year-old playmaker possesses a vision and a pass only Lionel Messi can match. He has been in top form this season as they’re in for the Premier League and Champions League double.
Let’s gooooooo!!! 💙 pic.twitter.com/MNUFLcIXqV
— Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) April 14, 2021
In the prime of his career, after a disappointing season last time out, City and de Bruyne had to bounce back. Kevin de Bruyne did in style with 5 goals and 11 assists as he carried them to the Premier League title. He can also deliver them the most elusive Champions League title this season. His sumptuous passing this season has left the world stunned.
BRUNO FERNANDES – MANCHESTER UNITED
Bruno is the prime example of how one man can lift the entire team and push them to glory. A team in midtable mediocrity before his arrival, United have now turned into title contenders in various competitions. Bruno’s impact has been tremendous on the team. After joining in January 2020, he has broken one record after another.
Bruno Fernandes breaks Frank Lampard’s record for most goals scored by a Premier League midfielder in a single season, all comps (28) 💥 pic.twitter.com/jSDB4nDhOz
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 13, 2021
The Portuguese international is a pure number 10. He operates in the area just behind the striker and makes use of his wonderful passing along with clever touches to provide strikers with chances. He also has a keen eye for goal as he makes dangerous runs into the box and has a dangerous finish on both his feet. Bruno is a dead ball expert and can score penalties and free-kicks with ease. He has 28 goals and 17 assists in all competitions and is leading United to a Europa League trophy. A natural leader, his elite mentality has truly helped his side.
Honorable Mention: Mason Mount is growing from strength to strength at Chelsea and is the next world-class star from England. Tomas Soucek at West Ham United also had a great season as a box-to-box midfielder. Ilkay Gundogan has been exceptional for Manchester City.
MOHAMED SALAH – LIVERPOOL
The Egyptian king is the only shining spot in a turbulent season for Liverpool. Various injuries and lack of form have dented their title defence horribly. However, Salah has been scoring left right and centre as he keeps them in the hunt for European football.
A special way to net your 3⃣0⃣th goal of the season 🤩
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 14, 2021
Having started the season with a hat-trick against Leeds, Salah was once again the favorite for the Golden Boot. He has scored goals often since then and is tied with Harry Kane on 21 for the Golden Boot. With Liverpool having easy fixtures in the final run-in Salah is expected to bag more goals and win it for the third time in his career.
Honorable Mention: Marcus Rashford is having the best season of his career as he’s carrying them to a second-place finish.
HARRY KANE – TOTTENHAM HOTSPURS
Kane is one of the best strikers in the world currently along with Robert Lewandowski. The England international has been in scintillating form throughout the season. He formed a dynamic partnership with Son Heung Min and has exploded under Jose Mourinho before his dismissal.
4 to go. Big finish needed. pic.twitter.com/VZg3ukS2uj
— Harry Kane (@HKane) May 5, 2021
Kane’s passing game has taken him to another level. Playing as a target man, he holds the ball to bring wingers into the game and picks his passes carefully. It really showed on the pitch as he has 21 goals and 13 assists as he leads both the charts. He’d be disappointed as Spurs failed to win a trophy leaving Kane’s future in the air.
Honorable Mention: Dominic Calvert Lewin of Everton had a breakout season with Everton with 16 goals and 2 assists. Patrick Bamford stepped up from the championship along with Ollie Watkins as they scored 15 and 13 goals respectively.
The Korean winger is having another productive season in London. His partnership with Kane has helped them both as they set the Premier League on fire.
Son Heung Min's #THFC career:
✅ 277 appearances
⚽️ 107 goals
🅰️ 64 assists
He's also got 39 G+A in just 48 games and counting this season. What a player he really is. pic.twitter.com/We7lIRSPtA
— The Spurs Web ⚪️ (@thespursweb) May 13, 2021
Pace, Dribbling and Finishing are Son’s key attributes that make him undefendable at times. His contributions of 17 goals and 10 assists are keeping Spurs in the hunt for European places. A campaign that started so brightly fizzled out due to injuries and lack of form suddenly. He has quickly got to back to his best at the end of the season.
Honorable mention: Jack Grealish had a wonderful season with Aston Villa as they became unlikely contenders for Europe initially. Phil Foden the 20-year-old sensation from Manchester City had a memorable campaign this time. Though he’s an attacking midfielder, he plays on the left-wing as well.
THE PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE SEASON
As Manchester City won the league we can expect quite a few of their players in the PL team of the season. Players from Manchester United, Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea, West Ham also contribute to the Premier League team of the season.
Joao Cancelo, Wesley Fofana , Ruben Dias, Luke Shaw;
Kevin de Bruyne, Declan Rice, Bruno Fernandes;
Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Heung Min Son;
Bench: Emiliano Martinez, Vladimir Coufal, John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri, Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford, Dominic Calvert Lewin