Time of the year is here for us to reflect on the season that has passed. We at FF Titans have picked our 2017/18 Premier League team of the season – there are controversies and surprises here!
All statistics are correct as at time of print.
GK – David de Gea (Manchester United)
Fully deserves this accolade as he has been so consistent, not just this season but for many seasons already. Has a calming presence in the box and has often saved his team. De Gea is without a doubt among the top 3 goalkeepers in the world right now.
LB – Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
Robertson’s ascendancy this season has taken many pundits by surprise. He came to Liverpool at a bargain price of £12m and had a slow start to the season but eventually replaced Alberto Moreno as the club’s first choice left back by early December. His performances since have propelled him to be one of the top left backs in the Premier League right now. There are left-backs who are more experienced and have scored more goals but Robertson gets our nod because of his potency in supporting the Liverpool attack from the left. He has had four assists already and had contributed glowingly to his club’s journey in Europe as well.
CB – James Tarkowski (Burnley)
Very few people gave Burnley any chance to do well this season after the club sold key assets over the summer. Instead, Tarkowski capitalised on that and moved in to become the Clarets’ key player this term. Burnley’s defensive record is only behind the Manchester duo and Tarkowski’s partnership with Ben Mee is imperative to that. He has also since earned an England call-up and is in contention to be on that plane to Russia.
CB – Cesar Azipiliceuta (Chelsea)
A mainstay in Chelsea defence having completed 90 mins in each of the 33 league games he started this season. He was dropped by Conte for 1 match which came as a shock to him and everyone else. Chelsea’s season was forgettable but he still managed to keep 14 clean sheets thus far. He chipped in with 2 goals and 6 assists, which for a centre back is remarkable. It is safe to say Azipilicueta will walk straight in to the first eleven of any Top six teams this season. He is definitely Mr Consistency.
RB – Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Walker comes with £50m price tag but his performances have justified that so far. The right-back slot was particularly bothersome for Manchester City last term and Walker has essentially solved it. Tactically astute and ever so potent going forward, Walker is tailor-made for Pep’s City side. Every few other right backs in the league is as consistent and dynamic as Walker.
MC – Ngolo Kante (Chelsea)
There are some who would say that Kante’s numbers have been on a downward spiral since his move from Leicester. Conte’s side definitely controls more matches Leicester, hence his defensive duties have become less taxing. Kante has made significantly more passes compared to his time at Leicester, with a 89% completion rate, second only to Fernandinho. Indeed with the runaway leaders that Manchester City have been this season and the dip in form that Chelsea has seen, things could have been a lot worse for Conte without this lynchpin in the middle.
MC – David Silva (Manchester City)
You would have thought that he is way past his prime after two indifferent seasons with Man City, but Silva has had a revival year alongside KDB in the heart of Man City’s midfield. 8 goals represent his second best scoring record so far in the Premier League and he has also contributed 11 assists thus far. Beyond that, it’s actually in his off-the-ball running and his smart distribution of the ball that has impressed the pundits the most. Silva has a league high pass completion rate of 89%.
MC – Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
It’s difficult to ignore players from the Premier League champions from the team of the year, especially when one runs away with the title in such a fashion like Man City. KDB has been at the central of it all with more assists than any other player in the Premier League this season and he’s also the first to provide more than 15 assists for consecutive seasons. He is by far the standout performer in the central of the park this season and at his young tender age, could potentially be the most expensive player in the world in the future should any clubs come calling.
FW – Mo Salah (Liverpool) <<FF TITAN PLAYER OF THE SEASON>>
Where do we start? When the Egyptian joined Liverpool from AS Roma for £38m, there were eyebrows raised given that Salah has already failed to impress in the Premier League with Chelsea a few terms ago. Today, his market value is at least triple his purchase price and is the player Liverpool is building their team around. He has broken all sorts of scoring statistics at club and league level and will no doubt break more before the season ends. His emergence into the limelight had help Liverpool fans forget Philippe Coutinho’s exit in a heartbeat. He is also our player of the season, whom we have picked over the several City players.
FW – Harry Kane (Spurs)
The Spurs man should still retain his golden boot…. if not for a certain Mo Salah. Despite the fact that he’s second in the goalscoring charts, the man has still been sensational since he secured his spot in the Spurs starting XI in the 2014/2015 season. He has managed over 20 goals in his last 4 seasons and over 25 in the last 3, including this season. Last season, he missed out on the 30 goals mark and it could happen again this season but he still has 4 more games to try to right that wrong. Even though Salah has scored more goals, stats have shown that Kane’s goals have helped Spurs earn more points than Salah’s have for Liverpool. If Spurs are to challenge for the title next season, they need to make sure that they can shield their star player from the claws of the likes of Real Madrid, who has had a history of poaching their best players like Modric & Bale.
FW – Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Some argue that Lukaku has been a flop since his move from Everton. Many have called him a flat-track bully, being unable to score against the big boys. Last season, he had 25 goals & 6 assists in 36 starts. As of now, the man is on 16 goals & 7 assists in 32 starts. It’s true that he has scored 9 less goals compared to last season. But if we look at the stats, we can see that his goals have been very valuable for United this season. Based on points earned via goals scored, his 16 goals have earned United 13 points this season, behind only Kane & Salah. Many neutrals would agree that United have become very unadventurous under Jose Mourinho, with the least number of goals scored among the Top 4. Their 2nd position in the table has been earned from a mean defence conceding only 26 goals. In many of the games played, United have been dominated or created less goal scoring chances compared to their opponents. Amongst the top 6, they have created the least number of chances and had the least number of shots on goal. With this in mind, it’s not hard to see how important Lukaku’s goals have been for United this season.