Our Premier League Team of the Season at the Halfway Stage of 2020/21

GK: Emiliano Martínez

At the beginning of the season, there wasn't really much of a reason for Arsenal to sell Emiliano Martínez as he put in impressive performances in the wake of Bernd Leno's injury and he looked like more than a useful backup keeper. However, move to Aston Villa he would and not many could have anticipated this signing to be one of the best this season.

Martinez has helped Villa into ninth with two games in hand, which if they win, will force them into the top four and even above the champions Liverpool. Now, the Villains' keeper has an impressive 11 clean sheets which is only bettered by Ederson's 13.

It's been a truly brilliant campaign and only Ederson can really rival him right now.

RB: Joao Cancelo

Whilst Ederson misses out to Martinez, the rest of the defence is dominated by Manchester City players with Joao Cancelo taking the right-back slot.

Earlier in the campaign, Reece James would have likely took this spot, but given how Cancelo now occupies the City right over Kyle Walker on a regular basis, it's tough to look past the Portuguese. Statistically, both James and Cancelo are the exact same with 17 games, a goal each and two assists, but it's the Sky Blues' man that threatens significantly more at this moment.

Cancelo's ability to help maintain City's defensive shape and keep their extraordinary possession stats high is incredible and he has rapidly become an all-around gem for Pep Guardiola to work with. It also helps when he's been part of a defence that has conceded just 14 goals in 22 league games.

CB: John Stones

Again, this is a player who has only just arrived onto this team sheet at the hands of names like Kurt Zouma, Jan Vestergaard and Wesley Fofana.

However, as mentioned, City have let in 14 games all season and just an unbelievably impressive three of them have come with John Stones in the side. In fact, despite playing just 13 league games, Stones has managed to keep 10 clean sheets, which is 76% of the club's clean sheets in the Premier League this season.

Last month, Stones may not have made an appearance on here. Now, he's without question deserving of this spot as him and Ruben Dias form one of the best Premier League partnerships we've seen in recent years.

PFA Player of the Year Odds

skybet

RUBEN DIAS PLAYER OF THE YEAR ODDS @ 8/1

CB: Ruben Dias

Speaking of Dias, this man is perhaps the first name on this team sheet.

The Portuguese is most likely the best signing across Europe this season considering he has been the difference in City returning to the top of the Premier League where they will now likely take the title back from Liverpool.

Dias has been a revelation and had just as much as an effect as Virgil van Dijk did at Liverpool in his first season. At just 23, the ex-Benfica man is the best centre-back in England right now and he is the main reason City have let in just 14 goals all season.

His commanding nature, superior physicality, exceptional distribution and reading of the game is an example for all and at 8/1, Dias is the joint-third favourite to win the PFA Player of the Year.

LB: Luke Shaw

At the beginning of the season, it would have been silly to say Luke Shaw would take the left-back spot in the Premier League Team of the Season at the halfway stage.

However, with Liverpool's torrid form continuing just as Guardiola switches his left-backs around, Shaw takes this spot quite easily now after his fabulous season so far.

In truth, bar Bruno Fernandes, the Englishman has perhaps been Manchester United's best player this season and with the arrival of Alex Telles, Shaw has rapidly become one of the world's best in this position once again.

His defensive brilliance has kept Telles out of the side, whilst Shaw has also vastly improved on attacking qualities with four assists in the league, which is only bettered by Lucas Digne six and Aaron Creswell and Andrew Robertson's five.

CM: Bruno Fernandes

Perhaps the best player in the league and unquestionably the most influential player we've seen in the Premier League for some time.

Fernandes has transformed United like Eric Cantona did back in the 1990s and how van Dijk has done for Liverpool in the last three years. Since signing in January, the midfielder has 70 goal contributions in 56 games (30 goals, 20 assists) and leads the way as Untied's top scorer this season.

In fact, only Harry Kane has more goal contributions in the league this season and Fernandes is matching the elite England striker with 13 goals in the Premier League in 2020/21.

The United saviour is still challenging for the Golden Boot and at 7/4, Fernandes is favourite for the PFA Player of the Year and perhaps he is the best player in the league right now.

PFA Player of the Year Odds

skybet

BRUNO FERNANDES PLAYER OF THE YEAR ODDS @ 7/4

CM: Jack Grealish

Yes, Jack Grealish has occupied the winger role for much of this season, but we've slotted him back into a central midfield role where he has started five games this season as this is the Team of the Year, and this allowed - remember when Franck Ribery played centre midfield in the FIFPro XI of 2013?

Bar Fernandes and perhaps Kane, Grealish has been the most influential attacking player in the Premier League this season, just after he was the main reason Villa stayed up in 2019/20. The England international is now just behind Fernandes as the second favourite to claim the PFA Player of the Year award at 5/1.

Now, just after the halfway stage, he has 12 assists in the Premier League which is double his amount for last season, along with six goals, which is two short of his eight last campaign.

Grealish is continuing to develop into one of Europe's best and he without question deserves a spot in this team, given how he is the reason Villa have gone from relegation fighters to Champions League hopefuls in a matter of months.

We apologise, Tomáš Souček, we really do.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan

This is a tough one and it seems like it might just be a matter of opinion.

If you say Kevin De Bruyne deserves a spot in the team, you are correct. If you reverse this to say his teammate Ilkay Gundogan deserves it more so, you are also correct. In fact, absolutely nothing is splitting them in terms of importance right now and so much so that Gundogan is now 8/1 to win the PFA Player of the Year, whilst De Bruyne has moved to 9/1.

Of course, large parts of this is due to injury, but in the wake of the Belgian's absence, somebody has needed to step up and that man has been City's number eight.

It's his sixth season now in Manchester and whilst Gundogan has still racked up many appearances, his starting role has been far away from concrete, but with De Bruyne's injury, he's now become the man. Two vital goals at Anfield practically put one hand on the title for City and it means that Gundogan now has nine goals in the league, which is only bettered by Fernandes in midfield and for this reason, we've slotted him in ahead of KDB.

The German's ability has never been doubted and now we're finally seeing him in all his glory now he's been given the chance.

RW: Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah has arguably been the best player in the Premier League since he returned to England with Liverpool, scoring an incredible 89 league goals in 130 appearances. This season, Salah has 16 and leads the way as the top scorer by three goals and he is likely to claim his third Golden Boot. This will put the Egyptian in the realms of Alan Shearer and just one behind Thierry Henry's record of four Golden Boots

However, this season has been arguably his most important, given how his 16 goals have been the difference in making sure Liverpool stay inside the top four and for this reason, he has to take the right wing spot.

At 6/5, Salah is the favourite to win the Golden Boot and he remains the best player in his position in England and Liverpool's most important player in the absence of van Dijk.

ST: Harry Kane

In terms of strikers in the Premier League, Kane is the best and has been for some time now.

The Tottenham Hotspur legend recently moved to joint-second in the list of all-time top scorers at the club with 208 goals and he'll likely surpass Jimmy Greaves' 266 over the next season or two if he stays in north London.

So far this season, Kane has 13 Premier League goals and 11 assists which is by a distance, the most goal contributions in England's top flight and second to only Robert Lewandowski's 30 across Europe's top five leagues.

At the beginning of the season, it looked as if Kane would break all sorts of records, including Thierry Henry and De Bruyne's 20 assists in a league season, and with 10 more to get in 16 games, this is still possible.

Either way, he is just three goals behind Salah and can still surpass the Egyptian as the top scorer this season.

LW: Son Heung-min

Recency bias is a real thing, and for this reason, people have forgotten just how good some players have been this season, with some Spurs players facing this unfortunate cognitive flaw in the football community.

Spurs' first few months in 2020/21 was more than promising and the club genuinely looked like they could win the title as Jose Mourinho got everybody ticking, and not many responded better to this than Son Heung-min.

There was a point in the season where the South Korean looked like he might snatch the Golden Boot and battle for the PFA Player of the Year. However, with just one goal in his last six league outings, both Kane and Fernandes have equalled Son's 13 league goals for the season and took the shine off his incredible season slightly.

However, as far as left wingers go, Son is still one of the best around and considering we've dropped Grealish into midfield, the Spurs number seven takes this spot with ease.

What a player he has become, and if it wasn't for him and Kane, Spurs probably wouldn't even crack the top 10 right now.


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