While every player’s ultimate aim when the season gets underway is to win the Premier League title, only one team can lift the prestigious trophy. But that doesn’t stop us from rewarding individual players from the other 19 clubs who have caught they eye of fans throughout the season.
The PFA Team of the Year is an honour reserved for the few players who have managed to impress their colleagues. It is a team picked by professional players after all – those who have either competed with or against them over more than 30 games a season.
But a select few somehow slip through the cracks – a trend that occurs every now and then when there are far too many candidates. Someone always misses out and we’ve picked five such players who deserved at least one “call-up”.
5) Xabi Alonso (Liverpool)
The Spanish midfielder is considered a legend at the club during his five-year stint at Anfield and rightly so. The former international, who is set to retire at the end of the 2016/17 season was a dynamic presence in midfield and elevated the club’s potential to fight for trophies – especially on the European front.
Most of the time it’s the league winners that dominate the PFA awards while the best of the rest are more often than not the stars of the other teams. And in all the years Alonso was at the club, it was his teammate and Reds skipper Steven Gerrard who was picked in every team between 2005 and 2009.
But Alonso’s impact at the club was at times underrated. It was his presence that actually liberated Gerrard who teamed up with Fernando Torres to create and score goals. The Spaniard was effective both in attack and defence, even managing to score some spectacular goals.
Of course, Real Madrid realised his true potential as Liverpool went into decline and he soon made the switch. Liverpool were never the same following his departure while Real Madrid won the league and Champions League before his move to Bayern Munich.