No one’s entirely satisfied with that PFA Team of the Year announced today, with a selection of only Liverpool and Manchester City players plus the bizarre inclusion of Manchester United’s Paul Pogba not really much to write home about.
So we’ve done an alternative XI with some slightly more unsung stars of this Premier League season – as well as some who were somewhat bizarrely left out of the real thing.
Here’s who we went for…
GK – Alisson (Liverpool)
Players voted for City goalkeeper Ederson, but we think Alisson’s arrival at Liverpool has been crucial for their improvement. Yes, Virgil van Dijk has been immense at the back too, but Alisson has added real quality and calm to the Liverpool defence, helping them become the meanest back line in the division. He’s also great on the ball and has provided some moments of real quality like this one below:
Still can’t get over this 50 yard pass to Firmino. Alisson has definitely gave us the extra edge on starting counterattacks in several occasions. pic.twitter.com/kvptBBwXOg
— Samuel (@VintageSalah) December 31, 2018
And then there’s these stats…
Alisson vs Ederson 2018/19:
Save Rate – 77%/72.2%
Clean Sheets – 19/18
xGA vs GA – (-6.80)/(-2.51)
xGA vs GA % – (-25.37%)/(-10.24%)
Long Ball Accuracy – 47.3%/45.2%
Short Pass Accuracy – 98.9%/98.7%
Ball Given Away In Own Half – 7/8
— LFC_Nick (@Fischer_17) April 25, 2019
CB – Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham)
Out of the picture at Tottenham last season, linked time and time again with a transfer to Manchester United which didn’t materialise, but since then Toby Alderweireld has quietly gone about having a brilliant season.
The Belgium international truly is a class act on his day and has once again helped Spurs to be genuine top four contenders, whilst also playing a big part in their exciting run to the Champions League semi-finals.
CB – Kurt Zouma (Everton)
After a difficult time with injuries, Kurt Zouma’s top-level career looked to be going nowhere this time last year, but he’s bounced back superbly at Everton.
Still technically a Chelsea player on loan at Goodison Park, you’d almost wonder if the Frenchman has been good enough this season to get himself back into the first-team picture at Stamford Bridge, which is no mean feat at a club where players shipped out on loan are usually only being put in the shop window.
RB – Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace)
A terrific young player, Aaron Wan-Bissaka may not be at the level of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold just yet, but he’s shown real promise with Crystal Palace this season to attract links with bigger clubs.
Bleacher Report have linked him with Manchester United and Manchester City, while the Sun say he’s wanted at Arsenal. If he joins any of those, one imagines he could well be a contender to get into the real PFA Team of the Year next season.
LB – Lucas Digne (Everton)
Little more than a squad player at Barcelona, Lucas Digne has been superb since joining Everton and getting the chance to play more.
With four goals and four assists in the Premier League, the 25-year-old is contributing a huge amount from left-back, and if he carries on like this he could find his way back to a bigger club before too long.
CM – Fabinho (Liverpool)
He may not be Fernandinho-level yet, but Fabinho has had a superb debut season in the Premier League with Liverpool.
After a wobbly start since his summer arrival from Monaco, the 25-year-old Brazil international has really come into his own and now looks one of the club’s most important players, and of course he could still end this campaign with both Premier League and Champions League winners’ medals.