PFA Team of the Year: Analyzing the top 11 players in England this season
The Professional Footballer's Association's (PFA) Team of the season for 2018-19 is finally out, and the team looks exactly what any Premier League fan would have imagined, with one surprise inclusion in the dream squad.
Before we go ahead and break down each player's contribution to the team of the year, let's take a look at the entire squad released by the PFA:
Goalkeeper: Ederson (Manchester City)
It would have been a tough call between Manchester City's Ederson and Liverpool's Alisson Becker, but apparently the former has come out victorious. One might argue that Alisson might have deserved the award more as he has 18 clean sheets compared to Ederson's 16, but there is no doubt the City keeper has saved his side some points which may have just accumulated enough for them to win the league this year.
Defenders: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson is the right and worthy candidate of his spot in the team of the year with no other left-back in the league coming even closer to Robertson's exploits this season. The captain of the Scottish national team, Robertson has an astonishing pass success rate of 82.82% this season and has completed over 2000 passes in all the games he has played. Robertson also has 9 assists to his name.
It is an alleged rumor that Virgil van Dijk has won the PFA Player of the Year award and this suggests his place in the Team of the season squad. The signing of the Dutch defender from Southampton has revolutionized Liverpool from a title challenger to a worthy title winner in just one season, and that depicts the importance of the player in the squad. The Liverpool man has not been dribbled past this season in any competition and has made 39 key interceptions which has helped Liverpool to concede only 20 goals when he has been on the pitch.
What van Dijk has been for Liverpool, Aymeric Laporte has been for Manchester City. Exactly similar to van Dijk in his playing style, the statistics also suggest Laporte's defensive proficiency as City has also conceded just 20 goals in the Premier League whenever Laporte has played. One very important statistic of Laporte has been the fact that he has made zero errors that led to a goal in the entire season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been equally good, like Robertson, on the right flank for Liverpool this season. The 20-year-old is turning into a huge sensation in Merseyside due to his amazing performances at such a young age, earning him this spot in the Team of the Year. He has 8 assists for Liverpool this season in the Premier League and has 17 clean sheets whenever he has been in the first team squad.
Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Fernandinho (Manchester City) and Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
It is an all-Manchester midfield in the team of the year this season.
With a surprise inclusion, Paul Pogba takes up the spot in the midfield alongside his City counterparts. One might argue his pick and can suggest that Eden Hazard should have made the list ahead of Pogba, but the Frenchman sure has some really amazing performances to back his inclusion this season. Though his fallout with Mourinho and a mid-season crisis affected his season, Pogba started the season brilliantly and has been a revelation since the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Fernandinho is probably the most perfect pick for his position in this year's team of the season, thanks to his key role in Manchester City's style of play. The Brazilian supports both the attack and the defense while sitting deeper in his central defensive midfield position, and Guardiola has made him another version of what Busquets is at Barcelona. Pure class in midfield.
Bernardo Silva could justify his pick just on the sole basis of his exceptional passing success rate of 86.87% this season. The Portuguese who is the long term replacement of an aging David Silva definitely looks like an upgrade over the Spaniard. With 7 goals and 7 assists this season, there are a countless number of goals that Silva has created using his creativity in front of the goal.
Forwards: Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) and Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Sadio Mane has been showing what he is capable of, since his numerous hat-tricks for Southampton before his move to Liverpool. Since arriving at the Kop, Mane has just upgraded every match, turning into a major threat for the opposition on the left flank. His speed and eye for the goal are amazing, and his tally of 18 goals suggests the same. Eden Hazard would have been another pick in this position, but what Mane has contributed to Liverpool's season this year has been far more than the Belgian.
There is no doubt Sergio Aguero is one of the best strikers the Premier League has ever seen. He is still 7th on the list of players with the most number of Premier League goals, but only 2 short of Robbie Fowler, a record he might break by the end of this season. The Argentine is leading the golden boot race this season with a tally of 19 goals. If he stays on top of his current form and with a 20 plus goals tally next season, he might just break into the top 3 goal scorers in the Premier League behind Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney.
Last but not least, Raheem Sterling is probably the second best player this season in the whole of England if van Dijk wins the award. Prolific would be an understatement for Sterling this season. His tally of 17 goals, 10 assists and 12 chances created, he might have just won Manchester City the Premier League, and that would be enough to compensate if he misses the Player of the Year award.
(All Statistics: Premier League Official Website)
What are your thoughts on this season's team of the year, do drop your comments below!