Chelsea’s victory over West Bromwich Albion secured their 5th Premier League title and their second one in the last three years. Spurs pushed their London rivals till the end, but ultimately felt just short. The Manchester Clubs are facing a rough period of transition, while Liverpool keep falling short because of injury problems. #WengerOut trended once again as Arsenal are fighting a losing battle to secure UCL football next season. Palace and Swansea turned up the style in the last few weeks to confirm safety while Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull City went down. In a season of many twists, certain individuals stood out from the rest due to their stunning performances and decisive contributions for their clubs. The team of the season is as follows:
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Hugo Lloris has been in fine form throughout the season with 14 clean sheets to his name so far, second only to Thibaut Courtois despite having played 400 mins fewer than that Chelsea shot-stopper. His distribution from the back has been top class and he has been at the heart of the defense that has conceded the least goals this season.
Honourable Mentions – Tom Heaton (Burnley), David De Gea (Manchester United), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)
Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
Jose Mourinho’s teams are built on the foundation of a strong defence. While United have flattered to deceive so far, they have only conceded 27 goals this season (second lowest) and Valencia has been one of the main reasons for that. Defensively strong and deadly fast on the counter, he has contributed immensely at both ends of the pitch.
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
The rock in the league’s meanest defense. Jan Vertonghen has been world class at the back and his partnership with Alderweireld has been rock solid. He also boasts the best duel success rate in the league, winning 74% of the battles with opposition players. Vertonghen played a vital role in Tottenham’s best finish in the league in over 50 years.
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
No one has benefitted more from the switch to a back 3 than Gary Cahill. Having forged an excellent partnership with Luiz and Alonso on the left side of the Chelsea defense, Cahill has been able to express himself a lot better. With John Terry out of the starting XI, Cahill has taken up the goal scoring responsibilities too, with 6 goals this campaign (including a late winner against Stoke in the title run-in).
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
I still can’t believe how he failed to feature in the PFA Team of the Year. Azpilicueta has consistently been a top defender in the Premier League over the past few years. Despite being a natural full back, he has adapted to the Centre Back position with great ease and authority. He has played every minute of Chelsea’s campaign and has also completed the most passes in the league this year and has been justly rewarded with a new contract, which he signed in December.
Honourable Mentions – Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), David Luiz (Chelsea), Marcos Alonso (Cheslea), Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton)
Victor Wanyama (Tottenham)
Spurs have a mixed track record when it comes to transfers. But they struck gold with the signing of the Kenyan International. Wanyama is bullishly strong and he’s got the pace and skill that make him a threat on the counter. He has also chipped in with important goals this season. His presence allows creative players like Eriksen to play without the worry of tracking back.
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
2 seasons, two teams, 2 PL medals. N’Golo Kante burst into light last season and Antonio Conte had already marked him as a top target before even taking over at Chelsea. This year, he has improved his technical abilities and widened his passing range, making him a complete midfielder. For a team built for playing on the counter, Kante is crucial when it comes to breaking the opposition’s play. Deservedly won the PFA Player of the Year.
Dele Alli (Tottenham)
The 21 year old England international has taken the league by storm with 17 goals so far this season. He started off a bit slow, but once he got into his stride, there has been no stopping him. He has also improved his offensive and defensive abilities this season, with 48 chances created and 153 recoveries.
Honourable Mentions – Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Ander Herrera (Manchester United), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
He was heavily criticized last year, but Eden Hazard bounced back in style this season. He enjoyed his best ever season in front of goal for Chelsea with 15 goals so far. He has completed more than 100 dribbles this year and has flourished in Conte’s new system. Finished 2nd in the PFA player of the year award shortlist.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Another player who was unlucky to miss out on the PFA team of the year. Alexis Sanchez was involved in 31 goals in this season so far, which is the highest in the league. With 21 goals, this is his best ever season in front of goal. The Chilean’s work rate has been phenomenal and he is now leading a one man charge to secure Champions League football for the Gunners next season.
Diego Costa (Chelsea)
This might be a surprise inclusion here, but I selected Costa because of how decisive he has been this season. No player has won more points for their club than Costa (15 points) this year. 21 goals so far also represents his best league tally for the Blues. His future at club is highly uncertain, but Chelsea will not let go of their prized asset for cheap.
Honourable Mention – Harry Kane (Tottenham), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Joshua King (Bournemouth)
And this is how they line up(4-3-3):
Valencia Cahill Vertonghen Azpilicueta
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