BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 10°C Monday 28 September 2020
Advertisement

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

Just the seven Liverpool players make our selection.

Mo Salah and Alisson Becker celebrate Liverpool's January win at home to Manchester United.
Mo Salah and Alisson Becker celebrate Liverpool's January win at home to Manchester United.
Image: Martin Rickett

LOOK, WE’RE AMID a winter break without a whole lot to talk about. So here is our team of the Premier League season so far – including some players who don’t play for Liverpool. 

We’re going for a 4-3-3 formation, so there are, admittedly, one or two players slightly out of position.

Note – The phrase ‘without a whole lot to talk about’ was written before Man City got booted out of Europe. 

Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker (Liverpool)

Alisson missed the opening chunk of the season with injury – during which Adrian proved to be a surprisingly able deputy – and went on a curious run of conceding goals upon his return. He has returned to his best in recent months, however, and has conceded just twice in his last 13 games. 

During this run of form, he has found to baptise Roberto Firmino and Fred, showing he can even save souls. 

Other contenders: Dean Henderson (Sheffield United), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester)

Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold 

Nobody can accuse Trent Alexander-Arnold of meagre ambition: after his remarkable performance away to Leicester City on Stephen’s Day, the youngster said that he and Andy Robertson merely wanted to redefine their positions. 

“There was the famous saying – “Nobody wants to grow up to be a Gary Neville” – but we want to change that”, said Alexander-Arnold. 

He is, to be fair, on the way to that, and no player has created as many goals since the beginning of last season. There is an assumption that he will eventually move to midfield, but he’s doing pretty well where he is at the moment. 

Other contenders: Ricardo Pereira (Leicester), Matt Doherty (Wolves), George Baldock (Sheffield United) 

Centre-backs: Virgil van Dijk and Johnny Evans 

Leicester’s Johnny Evans is first to break the Liverpool monopoly of this team, after a fine season for Leicester which makes a further mockery of Manchester United’s decision to sell him for next to nothing. (But hey, good thing they got Phil Jones tied down to that new deal.) 

Van Dijk has, once again, been exceptional, and the only thing that may work against his winning Player of the Year this year is the fact he currently holds the trophy. 

There is an argument to say Van Dijk has been the single most transformative signing for any English club since Eric Cantona. (Come at me, commenters.) 

Aymeric Laporte doesn’t make it given he has hardly played through injury – although his reputation has hardly ever been higher. 

Other contenders: Joe Gomez (Liverpool), John Egan (Sheffield United), Çağlar Söyüncü (Leicester)

Left-back: Andrew Robertson 

Normal service is resumed, as Liverpool earn another representative in this team. Robertson does not have as much potential as Alexander-Arnold, but he is more defensively sound and is a reliable attacking outlet on the left. 

Robertson has had six assists this season along with one goal – an important late equaliser away to Aston Villa amid a run of late winners, the spell which now looks like it won Liverpool the title. 

Other contenders: Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Ben Chilwell (Leicester)

aston-villa-v-watford-premier-league-villa-park Jack Grealish celebrates against Watford. Source: David Davies

Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish

Given there are so many Liverpool contenders for the Player of the Year award, it may end up in the lap of their captain. Not without merit – Henderson has excelled for Liverpool since pushing further forward and leaving the holding role, but he has arguably been at his best when covering for the injured Fabinho in front of his own defence. 

He seems to have been accepted by a fanbase initially slow to warm to him, and is set to do what Steven Gerrard never did: captain Liverpool to a league title. 

City have underwhelmed this season for De Bruyne has been majestic at times, and remains probably the most talented player in the league. This is borne out by the numbers: seven goals and 15 assists in 23 games. 

Grealish deserves a spot so we’ve shunted him slightly out of position, but -based at least on international football – he’s proved pretty adaptable in the past. 

He has been terrific in a pretty poor Villa side that would be hopelessly adrift without him, either scoring or creating more than a third of their goals. It’s unclear whether Villa will be in the Premier League next year, but you can be pretty certain that Grealish is sticking around.

Other contenders: Wilfred Ndidi, James Maddison (Leicester), Jorginho (Chelsea), Reuben Neves (Wolves), John Fleck (Sheffield United), Todd Cantwell (Norwich)

Wide forwards: Mo Salah and Sadio Mane 

When Leo Messi puts you atop his Ballon D’Or voting card, you’re doing something right: and Sadio Mane has arguably improved on last season’s form.

He is key to Liverpool, and has a useful habit of scoring vital goals – of his 11, five have come in one-goal wins, and he also won match-winning penalties in home games against Leicester and Spurs. 

While Salah hasn’t hit the absurd heights of his debut season, he has still hit 14 goals and is just two behind top scorer Vardy, so remains in the hunt for a third-straight Golden Boot. 

Other contenders: Riyad Mahrez (Man City), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Lucas Moura (Spurs), Richarlison (Everton), Adama Traore (Wolves), Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle)

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

manchester-city-v-manchester-united-carabao-cup-semi-final-second-leg-etihad-stadium Sergio Aguero. Source: Tim Goode

 Striker: Sergio Aguero 

An extremely difficult call, with compelling cases to be made for Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings, and Raul Jimenez…but we’re going to go for Aguero. His scoring rate is so consistent as to have become routine and thus under-appreciated.

Aguero, however, has now scored more goals than anyone in the league bar Andy Cole, Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer….and he’ll likely have eclipsed Cole by the end of the season. 

Other contenders: Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raul Jimenez (Wolves), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Teemu Pukki (Norwich)

Premier League Fixtures 

Friday 

Wolves v Leicester (8pm) 

Saturday 

Southampton v Burnley (12.30pm) 

Norwich v Liverpool (5.30pm) 

Sunday 

Aston Villa v Spurs (2pm) 

Arsenal v Newcastle (4.30pm) 

Monday 

Chelsea v Man United (8pm) 

Wednesday 

Man City v West Ham (7.30pm)

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

Read next:

COMMENTS (29)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel