Our Team of the Season so Far Ahead of Christmas

Grant McQuillan

GK: David De Gea

After debate over who would start the season as Manchester United’s number one this year following Dean Henderson being bedded into the team at the end of last season, David De Gea has reminded everyone of why he has been United’s go-to for the last decade.

Despite only keeping four clean sheets, the Spaniard has stopped 53 shots, regularly making seemingly impossible saves between the sticks whilst playing behind what can only be described as a catastrophic defensive at times.

He's been back to his very best and he's easily the best keeper in the league once again, despite Edouard Mendy's great form continuing.

RB: Reece James

England are filled with world-beating right-backs right now and while we could easily put in Trent Alexander-Arnold, we're heading for Reece James.

After a strong campaign last season breaking into the first team, James has been immaculate for Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea again this season. Defensively, James has looked solid, being part of a Chelsea back line who have conceded just 11 times this season, however it’s going forward where the wingback has excelled. James has scored and assisted four times each in the league alone, seeming to grow in confidence as the season progresses.

CB: Antonio Rudiger

Amid the speculation of whether Antonio Rudiger will renew his contract, the German has been proving why he demands such high wages being a standout performer in the Chelsea backline. The defender has featured in all but one of Chelsea’s league matches, being instrumental in progressing the ball up the park with his now trademark forward runs.

Conceding just 11 times this season, Rudiger has helped Chelsea become near impossible to break down, also being a presence going forward having found the net twice and winning two penalties.

An easy inclusion.

WORLD CUP ANYTIME TREBLE

Belgium
Belgium
13:00
Morocco
Morocco
Sun 27th Nov

Anytime Goalscorer - Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne was Belgium's biggest threat against Canada and nearly scored but rattled the post.

Croatia
Croatia
16:00
Canada
Canada
Sun 27th Nov

Anytime Goalscorer - Jonathan David

Jonathan David has scored 9 goals for Lille this season & should've found the net in the match against Belgium.

Spain
Spain
19:00
Germany
Germany
Sun 27th Nov

Anytime Goalscorer - Alvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata netted against Costa Rica.

Stake

CB: Ruben Dias

In the eyes of many, Ruben Dias was the PFA Player of the Year last season and he was robbed by Kevin De Bruyne in our eyes too. Moreover, should City have got past Chelsea and won the Champions League, the Portugal international could well have been a shoo-in for the Ballon d'Or, as that's how good he was.

This season, he's not exactly got worse, given how he's started 15/17 games for City in the league and saw his side concede a league record of nine goals in 17 outings. Furthermore, Dias has made 1.3 tackles per game, 2.1 clearances and even netted a goal and got an assist too.

A shoutout can go to players like Virgil van Dijk, who is proving just how badly he was missed last season, while Romain Saiss has been excellent too. However, a league record of nine goals conceded gets you in here.

LB: Joao Cancelo

Playing a part in 16/17 games so far, whether it be from the bench, the start, or on either flank, Joao Cancelo has been one of the standout names once again this season. At times, the versatile Portuguese has redefined the role of a full-back, and played down either flank and inside the central midfield zones and managed to create a boatload of chances every game he has played.

Given the lack of form from players like Gabriel Jesus at times, Cancelo only has three league assists so far, and compared to the likes of James and Alexandar-Arnold, he lacks in this department. Nevertheless, it matches his record for last season already and he's been all-but faultless in each game.

CM: Declan Rice

Perhaps the easiest name on the team sheet from midfield, Declan Rice has been a standout performer for the high-flying West Ham United.

Having played the most Premier League minutes of any Hammers player so far, Rice has been indispensable, completing the most tackles and passes of any West Ham player and having the most touches of any in claret and blue.

With four goal contributions, this is the midfielder's best output of any Premier League season, showing can do more than play the lights out defensive midfield role we have become accustomed to seeing. He's also been sensational in Europe and he really is becoming one of the world's best in his role.

CM: Bernardo Silva

Surprisingly still a Manchester City player following a summer of speculation around his future, Bernardo Silva has reminded Pep Guardiola just what he has to offer and he's been their best player in this exceptional run that sees them top.

With seven league goals, the midfielder has already equalled his best tally in a City shirt and as we’re only in December, is sure to add a few more. In recent weeks, the Portuguese has become a permanent fixture in Guardiola’s side which is a rarity given the Spaniards tendency to rotate, showing just how vital the midfielder is to the Citizens.

Besides Mohamed Salah, he's been the league's best this season, in our opinion

CM: Conor Gallagher

After a successful loan spell with West Brom last season, Conor Gallagher has gone from strength to strength this year at Crystal Palace. Undoubtedly the gem in Chelsea’s army on loanees, the Englishman has scored six and assisted three times for an Eagles side in transition following the departure of long-term boss Roy Hodgson.

Gallagher’s stellar performances have not gone unnoticed, as the midfielder made his England debut in November and with N’Golo Kante looking more injury-prone than ever, if Gallagher continues his fine form into 2022, he may well find himself among Chelsea’s first team next season.

His goal against Everton recently was also one of the season's best so far.

RW: Mohamed Salah

The outstanding player of the season so far, Mohamed Salah has been truly electric by scoring 14 times and assisting a further nine in just 16 matches.

The Egyptian has contributed to goals in all but one game this season, including a superb hat-trick against bitter rivals Manchester United in their unforgettable 5-0 win at Old Trafford. It’s not just been the volume of goals from Salah grabbing the headlines this season, but the quality, as the forward scored mesmerising solo goals in consecutive games against Manchester City and Watford which are no doubt going to be up for the Puskas Award next year.

If he continues, a Ballon d'Or is likely to come his way too.

ST: Cristiano Ronaldo

Although it's not been his best season, Cristiano Ronaldo still has seven goals and has been the only reason Manchester United sit inside the top five ahead of Christmas, because without his goals, they could well be winless in recent games.

Ronaldo instantly delivered when he rejoined the club, scoring a brace on his debut in a 4-1 win over Newcastle winning Player of the Month after a strong return to English football. The forward has taken the third most shots of anyone this season, and has scored a further five times after his brace over the Magpies and his xG suggests Ronaldo should have at least another goal to his name.

More so than anything else, it is the Portuguese's impact on his team to thank for his inclusion, as Ronaldo’s goals alone have won the Red Devils eight points, more than anyone else in the squad.

LW: Emmanuel Dennis

Having joined Watford from Belgian champions Club Brugge for just under £4m last summer, forward Emmanuel Dennis was somewhat of an unknown quantity, however, the Nigerian has looked at home in the Premier League scoring seven times already.

The forward offers more than just goals, demonstrating strong hold-up play and creativity, providing five assists to his teammates. Despite being in a struggling Watford side, Dennis has been a shining star and is surely destined for a summer move even if Claudio Ranieri’s side escapes the drop.

A few weeks back, Jamie Vardy or Michail Antonio could have got into the forward line, but they've since seen their form drop.


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