ThePremier Leagueseason will end on Sunday, withManchester Cityalready confirmed as title winners for the third time in four years.
Manchester City claimed the Premier League title ahead of Manchester United, while Liverpool and Chelsea ended up in the Champions League places at the expense of Leicester City. But which players stood out enough to guarantee a spot in Alex Keble’s Premier League team of the season?
GK: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
A huge part of why Aston Villa has not been involved in a relegation battle this season. The hero in his first game with a crucial penalty save against Sheffield United, the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper, has been an ever-present and kept an impressive 15 clean sheets.
RB: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)
While Cancelo has not played the whole season at right-back, he has been a critical cog in the wheel for Pep Guardiola’s title winners. Given a license to roam, the Portugal international has often helped City outnumber their rivals in midfield and be a valuable asset at both ends of the pitch.
CB: Wesley Fofana (Leicester City)
The young defender has thrived with the Foxes and not let a hefty price tag weigh him down. In October, an injury to Caglar Soyuncu opened the door for the France Under-21 international to grab a starting berth, and his composure and reading of the game has caught the eye.
CB: Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
BREAKING – Ruben Dias is the Footballer of the Year 2021. The @ManCity and Portugal defender beat Harry Kane and Kevin De Bruyne in our poll of almost 700 FWA members. More here: https://t.co/sQBPdbsAqM #FOTY21 #Dias @rubendias pic.twitter.com/Puv9UCoW4U
— The FWA (@theofficialfwa) May 20, 2021
Dias started the most Premier League games (32) of any City outfield player, his power and athleticism keeping Aymeric Laporte out of the side and drastically improving John Stones.
After the fallow year without Vincent Kompany, City has found its defensive leader for the next decade.
LB: Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
One of the Red Devils’ most consistent performers this season contributed in an attacking sense with five assists and one memorable goal in the league. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s trusted lieutenant, who has helped the left-back force his way back into the England fold.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)
The German started a two-month purple patch in December, which turned the season around for City and gave them unstoppable momentum. Gundogan hit 11 goals in 12 Premier League appearances and flourished with Kevin De Bruyne out injured. While his scoring rate has dropped, his influence has remained.
CM: Tomas Soucek (West Ham)
He was arguably signing the season following an excellent loan spell in the second half of the last campaign. The Czech midfielder has not only hit double figures in goals but been a warrior in the middle of the park for West Ham, who have gone from relegation candidates to European qualification in 12 months.
CM: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
While a large share of his goals has been from the penalty spot, more often than not, the playmaker has drawn the foul inside the area and been one of the leaders for United this term. A significant presence whenever he is on the pitch. There have been plenty of wonder strikes and critical contributions in his first entire season at Old Trafford.
RW: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)
Grealish glides effortlessly with the ball, drawing multiple defenders towards him to create vast amounts of space for his teammates.
His creative output was remarkable considering how many games he missed and had he stayed fit for the season, and then Villa might even have pushed Chelsea for that fourth Champions League spot.
LW: Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
Son is another player suffering from recency bias. Still, we should not overlook just how impressive it was to amass 17 goals, and ten assists in a campaign generally deemed a failure by Spurs supporters.
ST: Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Spurs’ main man had carried the side this season, leading them to the top of the table in November before it all came crashing down soon after. Nevertheless, the England captain has been typically ultra-consistent and also added more assists to his game with over 30 goal involvements in the top flight during the campaign.