Premier League team of the year
Frank Monkhouse | 26 May 2017
Chelsea players dominate final XI
The 2016/17 season is now in the books, and if that instalment of the Premier League didn’t thrill you, it’s best to take up another sport. There was passion, drama and excitement from start to finish, as we saw one of Europe’s major divisions sparkle.
Chelsea finished as champions, taking Leicester’s crown with plenty to spare. The Foxes flirted with relegation while fighting in the Champions League, before a strong final push secured their safety. There wasn’t half as much luck for Hull City, Middlesbrough and Sunderland, who will all be playing Championship football in the summer.
Chelsea have a chance to cap what has been a stunning season for the London blues, when meeting city rivals Arsenal in the final of the FA Cup. There’s plenty for fans to look forward to there, but before we do, Coral take a glance back at who impressed us most over the footballing year.
Below is our final team of the season. No mean feat, with so many players – experienced heads and wonderkids – vying for position, but we’ve made the necessary cuts, and set up in a 4-3-3 formation. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments section at the foot of this page.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Man Utd)
Filling the number one spot was no easy job, mainly because we didn’t have an abundance of solid goalkeepers this year. Artur Boruc had his moments, but de Gea was one of the few consistent shot-stoppers. It’s a pity the men at the other end of the pitch for United couldn’t be relied upon.
Defender: Kyle Walker (Tottenham)
The Spurs right back caught the eye at both ends for much of the campaign, doing the leg work to turn defence into attack. The Sheffield born 26-year-old was reliable at the back, but got forward as often as possible, having a hand in some important goals for the Lilywhites.
Defender: Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace)
By far the best player in the Palace team. The on-loan Liverpool defender was a real rock for The Eagles, and big Sam built everything off a solid backline in the second part of the season. Sakho inspired confidence throughout, and deserves a spot in the Liverpool team next season.
Defender: David Luiz (Chelsea)
The fans favourite showed just why he was brought back to Stamford Bridge this season. Luiz was as consistent as you’d like to see from a defender, and alongside his team mates, was almost impossible to break down at times. A real no nonsense sort, with the ability to get fans out of their seats.
Defender: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
Another in blue and, to be fair, we really could’ve stacked the back with Chelsea players. Conte could plan his attack with confidence, knowing they were watertight in front of goal. Another who didn’t need an invite to get himself forward and cause panic in the opposition ranks.
Midfielder: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
This man will go in just about everyone’s team of the year, and will be awarded Premier League player of the year by the vast majority too. Kante was a real source of inspiration, always wanting the ball, and working hard when his team were without it. Makes life easy for those around him.
Midfielder: David Silva (Man City)
Silva is getting better with age. Watching a match live, or going to a game, he may not leap off the pitch at you as an important player, but he dominates the passing stats time and again, using the ball intelligently, and can be relied upon to pick the right play at the right time. Could pick a team mate out in a crowed box, and has done often enough.
Midfielder: Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)
Not always flavour of the month with Conte, but it’s difficult to see why. Granted, there’s better players than Fabregas when looking to defend from the middle of the park but, like Silva, give him the ball and he’ll make things happen. Takes the pressure off those behind by holding things up at will.
Forward: Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Well, what can be said about Harry Kane? He missed a big chunk of the season through injury, but still finished as winner of the golden boot. Followers of the stats will tell you he’s destined to beat Alan Shearer’s record, if he remains consistent. Dubbed one of the best players in the world at the minute, I wouldn’t stand and argue against that – although Ronaldo and Messi might.
Forward: Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Has pace, power and can score a goal. Lukaku was unlucky not to finish as the best striker in the division, and would’ve done if it wasn’t for Kane’s strong finish. It remains to be seen where his future lies, it probably won’t be at Everton, but he could do a job back at Chelsea, or even at Man Utd, two sides in need of a proven assassin.
Forward: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
A source of frustration for Liverpool fans at times, because they know just how good Countinho can be. Scored some devastating goals throughout the season, important ones for his club too, but if Liverpool are to progress, he really needs to do it more often. On ability alone, he walks into the team.