After enjoying exceptional campaigns, it’s no surprise that BBC Sport’s Premier League team of the season is dominated by Man City and Liverpool players.
As has been the case throughout the campaign, BBC pundit Garth Crooks has sparked plenty of debate and scrutiny over his picks, but on this occasion, it’s understandable as to why City and Liverpool both have strong contingents.
Ederson edges out compatriot Alisson between the posts, despite the latter securing the Golden Glove award for the most clean sheets this past season, while Virgil van Dijk gets the nod in defence after being immense for the Merseyside giants.
Along with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, they helped Liverpool secure the best defensive record in the league this season, conceding just 22 goals in 38 games.
Further, the England international chipped in with one goal and 12 assists in 29 outings, with Robertson notching 11 assists in 36 games.
In turn, they both provided Jurgen Klopp with key width and attacking quality, and so both deservedly take their place in the XI.
Meanwhile Antonio Rudiger gets in to join them in the backline, and despite the tweets below questioning the pick, the German international was certainly an influential figure for Chelsea in defence with his importance particularly noticeable when absent.
In turn, there is a case for him to be included, with Chelsea finishing third despite a difficult debut campaign for Maurizio Sarri.
In midfield, Bernardo Silva and Eden Hazard sit either side of Fernandinho, with the Brazilian stalwart continuing to play a fundamental role for City with his experience, composure and quality keeping Pep Guardiola’s side ticking.
As for Silva, he bagged seven goals and eight assists in 36 league games, while Hazard did even better with 16 goals and 15 assists in 37 outings, as both were hugely influential for their respective sides with key goals scored too.
The absences of Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Crooks’ front three is an immediate question mark after they enjoyed prolific campaigns, but there are surely few who could argue with his attacking trident that he has chosen.
Between them, Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero managed 60 goals and 21 assists, as they were all fundamental to the success of their teams.
In turn, while opinions will perhaps differ on who deserved it more, the trio chosen are surely worthy of their place in the XI, as Crooks has picked well to wrap up what has been a thrilling campaign full of world-class displays and incredible drama.
BBC Premier League team of the season: Ederson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Rudiger, Robertson; Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Hazard; Sterling, Aguero, Mane. (via BBC Sport).
This is basically taking the top stats and stacking them up. I mean Rudiger? Seriously
— Vaishach (@Vaishach) May 13, 2019
Can’t be serious with Rudiger ?
— D King?? (@darrenking1990) May 13, 2019
Rudiger over Laporte ??
— Mihir_Chhablani (@Mihir_Chhablani) May 13, 2019
3 strikers shared the golden boot but only 1 gets in Garth’s team.
The man’s an idiot.
— Nathan Antony Brown (@NathanAntonyBr1) May 13, 2019