Premier League team of the season – Excluding top six clubs
The 2019-20 Premier League campaign remains suspended till next month as the world continues to battle the Coronavirus pandemic.
With no footballing action going on at present, it’s a good time to look back at the season so far.
While Liverpool have run away with the title, the battle for the European qualification spots has been extremely interesting with the likes of Sheffield United and Wolves mixing it up with the traditional powerhouses like Manchester United and Chelsea. The bottom half of the table is also tight, with a number of clubs battling it out to survive relegation.
There have been a number of outstanding performers over the course of the season and here we take a look at the Premier League team of the season so far, excluding the top six sides;
Dean Henderson (Sheffield United) – GK
The young Englishman has been one of the biggest success stories of the season. On loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United, Henderson has emerged as one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the division.
Having not missed a single league game for the Blades, Henderson has secured 10 clean sheets in total – second-highest in the competition, helping them to the second-best defensive record. Knocking on the doors of the England national team, the Manchester United academy man gets the nod in our lineup.
Max Aarons (Norwich City) - RB
Another promising young English talent that has taken to the Premier League football like a duck to water, Max Aarons has been one of the few positives in a campaign headed for relegation for Norwich City.
The 20-year-old right-back has featured in 27 league matches for Daniel Farke’s side, contributing with two assists in the process. Full of bristling potential, Aarons has impressed with his all-round game and has, in turn, emerged as a transfer target for some of the biggest clubs in England.
Chris Basham (Sheffield United) - CB
A rock at the back for Sheffield United, Basham has played an integral role in the Blades’ surprise push for a top-six finish in their first season back from the Championship.
The 31-year-old Englishman hasn’t missed a single league game for Chris Wilder’s side this season and alongside John Egan and Jack O’Connell, he has been a part of one of the best defensive units in the English top-flight that has conceded just 25 goals so far.
Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace) - CB
Having been allowed to leave Chelsea on a free transfer last summer, Gary Cahill has continued to prove his worth and value at his new club, Crystal Palace. The 34-year-old did miss a few games with injury during the festive period but has been solid and reliable almost every time he has played.
Only five teams have conceded fewer goals than Palace have this season (32), with four of those teams in the top five. And Cahill has played a key role in the Eagles’ defensive resolve this term, with Roy Hodgson’s side keeping six clean sheets in the 20 matches he has started, including the last three in a row.
Lucas Digne (Everton) - LB
Everton have had a mixed bag of a season this time out, but one Toffees’ star who can be proud of his performances is Lucas Digne. The Frenchman has overtaken seasoned veteran Leighton Baines as the first-choice left-back at Goodison Park and has been one of Everton’s top performers this season.
So far in 2019-20, Digne has featured in 26 Premier League matches, coming up with a return of five assists. The 26-year-old’s pace coupled with his precise delivery into the box make him a huge asset. Digne has created 58 goalscoring chances this term – seventh-best tally in the division.
Richarlison (Everton) - RW
Another Everton player that has hugely impressed this season, albeit playing as a centre-forward in most matches, Richarlison has continued to impress on English shores.
The 22-year-old, in his second season with the Toffees, has found the back of the net on 10 occasions and has also set up three more in 27 league outings, playing a crucial role in their revival under new boss Carlo Ancelotti in the second half of the season.
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) - CM
From facing the prospect of relegation, Southampton now find themselves seven points above the drop zone and James Ward-Prowse has had a big hand in the Saints’ revival. A mainstay in the middle of the park for Southampton, the 25-year-old hasn’t missed a single league game for Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side, contributing with four goals and three assists.
But his value goes far beyond the goal-involvement. His versatility has helped Hassenhuttl use him at right-back on various occasions when the squad had been hit with injuries. In addition, the 25-year-old has displayed the requisite bite in midfield, chipping in with 72 tackles – fourth-best among midfielders in the league.
John Fleck (Sheffield United) - CM
Another Sheffield United player in the team, 28-year-old John Fleck has been another top performer for Chris Wilder’s high-fliers this season. The Scotsman, in his first-ever Premier League campaign, has come up with a return of five goals and two assists in 25 matches – which is rather impressive for a midfielder.
On the back of these performances, Fleck broke into the Scotland national team while he has also been linked with a summer switch to Arsenal as well, highlighting the kind of impact he has made this season for Sheffield United.
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) - LW
Aston Villa might be headed for relegation, but captain Jack Grealish’s reputation has continued to soar after a season on his return to the Premier League. The 24-year-old has, hands down, been Villa’s best player this season, scoring seven goals and setting up six more in 26 league outings.
Grealish has created 69 goal-scoring chances this term – the fifth-best tally in the league. A big move to Manchester United has been mooted this summer and based on his performances so far, it would be completely deserved.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) - ST
A no-brainer this one. The last season’s joint Golden Boot winner has continued on his merry ways this time out too, bailing Arsenal out of trouble on a number of occasions. Aubameyang, appointed the Gunners’ captain this season, has scored 17 goals in 26 league matches and is behind only Jamie Vardy in the goalscoring charts.
The 30-year-old has been linked with a transfer away from Arsenal this summer and he will be hoping to end his stint with the club on a high.
Danny Ings (ST)
After a torrid spell at Liverpool, the Englishman has enjoyed a resurgence in the past couple of seasons with Southampton. Having moved to the St. Mary’s on a permanent transfer last summer, Ings has justified why the Saints’ took a punt on him with a bagful of goals.
Ings, so far this term, has found the back of the net on 15 occasions in 29 matches and has one assist to his name as well. The 27-year-old has been the chief source of goals for Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side, helping them pull away from the relegation battle.