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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 17 February, 2020

Do you agree with our alternative Premier League team of the season?

The official PFA team was named earlier this week.

Updated at 11.12

EARLIER THIS WEEK, the Premier League PFA Team of the Year was released.

There were few surprises, with Leicester and Tottenham dominating the side.

Yet there were some similarly deserving absentees from the team, so we’ve decided to pick an alternative side to the official one, in order to give these overlooked players credit where it’s due.

Check out our choices below…

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Premier League - Britannia Stadium

The France international has long been rated as one of the best in the world, and this season, he has enhanced his reputation, making 46 appearances in all competitions. Lloris has also been a regular part of a team that has conceded just 25 goals — a superior record to any other side in the Premier League.

Right-back: Kyle Walker

Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City - Barclays Premier League - White Hart Lane

The 25-year-old has epitomised Tottenham’s dynamic style, featuring 34 times in all competitions, but looked fitter than ever on Monday night, as he produced several marauding runs down the touchline. With Tottenham’s midfield usually quite narrow, it is vital that Walker and left-back Danny Rose (who made the PFA team) get forward regularly to provide the side with some much-needed width. Both have performed their highly demanding and exhausting roles with aplomb, while also managing to be part of the Premier League’s best defence statistically.

Right centre-back: Chris Smalling

Manchester City v Manchester United - Barclays Premier League - Etihad Stadium

It has not been the best of seasons for Louis van Gaal’s Man United, but Chris Smalling is one of the few Red Devils players who’s been consistently excellent in the Premier League. Unlike like most of the club’s other more experienced star names, he has come out of this campaign with his reputation enhanced rather than diminished. Smalling has marshalled a United defence that’s second only to Tottenham in the goals-conceded stakes,  as well as playing an important role in their FA Cup run amid an incredible 54 appearances in all competitions this season. Moreover, at 26, Smalling looks set to be a prominent part of the club’s backline for years to come.

Left centre-back: Robert Huth

Britain Soccer Premier League

Harshly overlooked for the official PFA team, Huth has been just as integral to Leicester’s success story as any other first-team regular. Starting 33 of their 34 Premier League matches, the 31-year-old German centre-back has been a reassuring presence in defence, particularly during the recent run that saw the side earn five clean sheets on the bounce. Should the Foxes ultimately triumph, it would be fitting that the player Ranieri signed for Chelsea as a youngster and gave a Premier League debut to as a 17-year-old would be at the centre of his greatest triumph.

Left-back: Nacho Monreal

Britain Soccer Premier League

One of Arsenal’s more reliable performers, Nacho Monreal has been a model of consistency in a team that sometimes flatters to deceive. He is clearly a player that Arsene Wenger trusts, appearing in all but one of the Londoners’ Premier League games and the full-back has helped shore up the defence while others around him have looked shaky at times.

Right wing: James Milner

Liverpool v Manchester City - Capital One Cup - Final - Wembley Stadium

Like Liverpool in general, Milner didn’t have the best of starts to this season, which is probably what cost him a place in the official PFA team. Since Christmas, however, the summer signing has grown along with his teammates. With 11 assists, he is a big reason for Liverpool’s rejuvenation under Klopp, with the club currently on a run that has seen them lose just one of their last 15 matches.

Defensive midfielder: Eric Dier

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Premier League - Britannia Stadium

Dier obviously has not been as eye-catching as some of his Spurs teammates this season, but the importance of his role in protecting the back four cannot be underestimated. The Portugal-born defender consequently deserves just as much credit as the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen for making Tottenham so hard to break down defensively. Dier is also the perfect symbol of how Mauricio Pochettino has transformed this Tottenham team. Last season, he was mainly used at full-back or centre-half, and at times looked nervy and out of his depth, committing needless challenges and leaving himself exposed too often. This season, due to injuries at first, Dier was deployed as a holding midfielder. Yet with his footballing intelligence and ability to read the game impeccably, the 22-year-old has ultimately made the position his own and allowed those in front of him to produce their heroics with minimal fuss.

Attacking midfielder: Christian Eriksen

Britain Soccer Premier League

Another who has really shone in the latter half of the campaign, Eriksen’s creativity has propelled Tottenham to the brink of Premier League glory. The Danish international has set up 12 of Spurs’ goals this season — only Mesut Ozil has a superior record — along with scoring six Premier League goals himself. A mainstay of Pochettino’s increasingly impressive team, alongside Dele Alli and Harry Kane, he has formed a formidable attacking triumvirate for a side that has managed 64 goals in total — more than anyone else in the Premier League.

Left wing: Mesut Ozil

Britain Soccer Premier League

Controversially overlooked for the PFA team, at least for a period, Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil was looking like the best player in the league. Perhaps, like many of his teammates, Ozil failed to maintain this exceptional standard for the crucial end-of-season run-in, but even still, 18 Premier League assists is nothing to be sniffed at.

Striker: Sergio Aguero

Britain Soccer Premier League

Incredibly, despite two Premier League titles, two League Cups, and three seasons out of five with 20-plus goals, Sergio Aguero has never been selected in the team of the season. This season, the Man City star has arguably been better than ever. In 27 Premier League appearances, he has managed 22 goals — as many as Jamie Vardy and two less than Harry Kane, both of whom have played considerably more games than him domestically.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku

Aston Villa v Everton - Barclays Premier League - Villa Park Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

While goals can come easily to strikers playing in top teams, when forwards feature in a side that’s underperforming, it tends to be a much greater challenge to be so prolific, which is what makes Romelu Lukaku’s 18 goals and six assists for an average Everton side all the more impressive. With recent rumours linking him to Man United this summer, the Toffees will be doing well to hang on to their prized asset over the coming months.

Subs: Kasper Schmeichel, Jan Vertonghen, Aaron Cresswell, Danny Drinkwater, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Odion Ighalo.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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