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Most Valuable Premier League XI

  • A look at the most valuable players at various positions comprising a Premier League XI.
  • The said team features five Liverpool and three Manchester City players.
Rupam Nag
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 12 May 2020, 13:06 IST

Liverpool
Liverpool's relentless front three are among the most valuable players in the world.

The Premier League is the richest league in the world that houses some of the most valuable footballers on the planet.

There is no dearth of talent in the Premier League, and there are many players who would warrant a hefty, perhaps record-breaking fee if they were to be prized away from the Premier League. After all, 6 of the top 10 most valuable players in the world ply their trade in England.


Most Valuable Premier League XI:

Let us take a look at probably the best Premier League team, at least on paper, that all the money in the world would manage to assemble. A typical 4-3-3 formation has been selected for the same, and most players have been made to play in their primary positions.


Goalkeeper:


Alisson Becker (Liverpool, €72 million)

Alisson Becker was dearly missed when he missed games for Liverpool this season.
Alisson Becker was dearly missed when he missed games for Liverpool this season.

Among goalkeepers, only Jan Oblak of Atletico de Madrid is considered more valuable than Liverpool's Brazilian star Alisson Becker.

Liverpool paid AS Roma a considerable fee of €62.5 million to secure Becker's services. There were, however, doubts if the massive price tag and the expectations to live up to it would affect the player's performances. But Alisson has managed to repay the faith shown on him by manager Jurgen Klopp.

This Premier League season, Becker has missed several games due to injury, but has looked the part whenever he has donned the gloves.

However, he has more clean sheets (12) than goals conceded (11) in twenty Premier League games this season. However, a part of the credit for Becker's impressive numbers must also go to Liverpool's potent back-four who help protect his goal.


Defence:


Right-Back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool, €99 million)

Alexander-Arnold is almost worth nine figures already!
Alexander-Arnold is almost worth nine figures already!
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Trent Alexander-Arnold's ability to create chances from defence is obscene, especially when you consider the fact that he is just 21. He leads the Premier League in assists from right-back as if a Kevin de Bruyne didn't exist. It is testimony of the fact that Alexander-Arnold is one of the most special talents we have seen play in this position in recent times.

This Premier League season he has twelve assists from 29 games and has also chipped in with two goals. Alexander-Arnold's set-piece ability is remarkable and is one of the critical factors in Liverpool's recent Premier League success. Many times he has delivered sublime crosses to his colleagues further upfield.

The defensive side of Trent Alexander Arnold's game is often suspect, though, fuelling suggestions that he is best deployed in midfield. However, as of now, he more than makes up for his defensive frailties with his offence.


Centre-Back: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool, €80 million)

Van Dijk is a gargantuan presence at the back.
Van Dijk is a gargantuan presence at the back.

Many consider the 28-year-old Dutchman to be the best centre-back in the world, and for a good reason. Virgil van Dijk is often considered the catalyst behind Liverpool's change in fortunes, especially in the Premier League.

The towering 6'3" figure of van Dijk has helped stabilise an otherwise shaky Liverpool defence. His leadership from the back has lent solidity to the Anfield club. It is difficult to imagine Liverpool enjoying the same level of success, or any of it, in his absence.

Van Dijk's reliability and ever-presence is one of his most excellent qualities. It is evident in the fact he hasn't missed a single minute of Premier League action this season. The Dutchman is dominant aerially, both defensively and offensively, as is clear from the number of times he has bagged crucial goals for his club from set-pieces.

His presence itself is a nuisance for any attacker. When you add to that his defensive ability, athleticism and ball-playing ability, you have in your hands a near-flawless defender.


Centre-Back: Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City, €60 million)

Manchester City aren
Manchester City aren't the same without Laporte.

To halt the Liverpool dominance thus far, comes Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte. The Frenchman has had to miss considerable Premier League game-time due to injury this season. But he remains one of the best defenders in the world, and perhaps the best left-footed centre-back on this planet, alongside Giorgio Chiellini.

The difference in quality in City's defence with and without Laporte is clear. It is not just his supreme defensive skills and passing ability that massively aids City. Laporte's leadership at the back is also a calming presence. He has excelled in guiding and marshalling his fellow defenders, much like former captain Vincent Kompany did.

Manchester City must invest in another quality centre-back this summer. The club would also hope that Laporte snaps his injury run and forge a centre-back pairing that they require to continue winning Premier League and other titles.


Left-Back: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool, €64 million)

Robertson also captains his national team.
Robertson also captains his national team.

Andrew Robertson's meteoric rise is one of football's feel-good stories. Barely seven years ago, he was playing in Scotland's fourth division. Now he plays for Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Robertson has since worked his way to the very top level of European football and is widely considered as the best left-back in the world at present. He has formed a lethal full-back partnership with Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool. Robertson is very adept at bombing crosses into the box just like his partner in crime.

Robertson is also excellent going forward as his seven assists in the Premier League this season suggests. He is also a decent one-on-one defender and a reliable marker in set-piece situations. He works tirelessly to run up and down the left flank, and needless to say,

Liverpool wouldn't be the same in his absence. Still only 26, Robertson has time on his side to get even better.


Midfield


Defensive Midfielder: N'golo Kante (Chelsea, €80 million)

Kante has missed considerable minutes this season.
Kante has missed considerable minutes this season.

Although his 2019/20 Premier League season has been underwhelming, mostly due to niggling injuries, N'golo Kante is still by far Chelsea's most valuable player, and not just on paper.

Kante's evolution from a mobile defensive midfielder to a box-to-box player has certainly helped discover the hidden goal threat in him. He has scored seven goals in his last two Premier League seasons, which is in stark contrast to his three goals in the previous three seasons combined.

The Frenchman's skill-set is majorly dominated by his intercepting and ball-winning ability in the middle of the park, and he might be the best in the world at that.

Chelsea fans would hope that Kante is a regular fixture in their Premier League team because it is clear that they are a much stronger side with the Frenchman on the pitch. He is approaching the age of 30, and the Blues would not want to waste another minute of his prime years.


Central Midfielder: Paul Pogba (Manchester United, €80 million)

Pogba is capable of winning matches single-handedly.
Pogba is capable of winning matches single-handedly.

First things first, Paul Pogba is a true showman. An in-form Pogba is a joy to watch and can do pretty much everything you can ask for from a midfielder.

He is a brilliant passer of the ball, a potent goal threat both with his head and amazing right-foot, and when motivated enough, can put in a cracking tackle as well. However, motivation is precisely what he has lacked since joining Manchester United, and of late, he hasn't featured much owing to persistent injuries.

Irrespective of these facts, Pogba is arguably still United's best player. The Red Devils can only hope that Paul Pogba finds his mojo back at the club, and forms a deadly midfield partnership with the new signing Bruno Fernandes.


Central Midfielder: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City, €120 million)

On top of his breathtaking qualities, De Bruyne is a leader on the pitch too.
On top of his breathtaking qualities, De Bruyne is a leader on the pitch too.

Kevin de Bruyne is doing things we have never really seen anyone do before.

His passing and vision are out of this world. He is two-footed and can score a 30-yard screamer with either foot. De Bruyne's set-piece taking ability is up there with the very best. He has an unbelievable work rate and often covers more ground than anyone else on the pitch.

The Belgian is a pretty solid defensive contributor with his pressing and tackling. All in all, De Bruyne can do anything and everything.

He is by far the best midfielder in the world right now, and many believe De Bruyne is only behind Lionel Messi as a footballer. He has a ridiculous 25 direct goal contributions in 26 Premier League matches this season and is anyone's best bet at breaking Thierry Henry's assist record in the Premier League.


ATTACK


Right Winger: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, €120 million)

Salah has become a serious goal threat.
Salah has become a serious goal threat.

The fifth and final Liverpool player in this team, Mohammed Salah, is also the most valuable of them all.

The Egyptian winger's goal-scoring ability from out wide is excellent, and he's one of the best in the world in that, especially in the Premier League. He has won the Premier League's golden boot in both his first two seasons at Liverpool, and has a chance to complete an astonishing hat-trick. Salah has 16 goals and six assists in 26 games so far in the Premier League.

His camaraderie with fellow forwards Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino is lethal, and the three have combined to haunt many clubs in the past. Salah's healthy scoring competition with Mane brings out the best in both of them and is essential for their personal as well as Liverpool's success.

Salah is at the peak of his powers, nearing 28 years of age, and the Kopites will hope to see more of their Egyptian wizard in the coming months.


Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur, €120 million)

Harry Kane leads by example on the pitch.
Harry Kane leads by example on the pitch.

Another player whose 2019/20 Premier League season has been marred by injuries, Harry Kane, is by far the most valuable striker in all of England.

Kane's numbers speak for themselves. Even in an injury-hit season, where he perhaps hasn't managed to play the level of football he is capable of, he has scored 11 goals and provided two assists in twenty Premier League games. Kane has also had a superb tally of six goals in only five Champions League outings this season.

The Englishman is not just one of the best finishers in the world, but is also a very polished forward as well. Despite not being blessed with rapid pace, he has a tremendous physique that allows him to dominate defenders in the air and shove challenges away.

Kane is quite silky on the ball and can trick the opposition defences with a few nifty moves. On top of that, his link-up play and passing remains as underrated as ever.

A standard advice that Kane has heard of late is to move to a bigger club to add silverware and medals to his name. Spurs fans will undoubtedly hope he remains loyal to the North Londoners. But they will be aware of the fact that the club must invest heavily in other top players and build a team around Kane, the lack of which might result in their star man opting to take his talents elsewhere.


Left Winger: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City, €128 million)

Sterling is the second most valuable player in the world.
Sterling is the second most valuable player in the world.

The most valuable player in all of England completes this team. Raheem Sterling is capable of warranting the highest transfer fees among any other player in England right now. He is also the most valuable player on the entire planet if you ignore Kylian Mbappe.

There is a good reason behind the same since he is already one of the world's best forwards despite being only 25 years old.

Sterling has had a tough start to 2020, and is yet to score in the calendar year. As a result, he remains on 11 goals in 24 Premier League games this season. That would be a very respectable tally for most wingers, but such is the reputation of Sterling now that those numbers are considered paltry, and rightfully so.

The Englishman has registered both goals and assists in double figures in each of his last two league campaigns, which speaks volumes about his completeness as a forward. He combines fantastic dribbling with rapid speed, which is undefendable at times.

Sterling has developed into a solid finisher and has also become a brilliant passer of the football. It is understandable why he is the most valuable player in England right now.


That concludes the most valuable Premier League XI that looks quite menacing, albeit on paper. It'll be quite a challenge to beat this team!


A frightening line-up!
A frightening line-up!
Published 12 May 2020, 13:06 IST
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