We are halfway through the season & most sides have played 19 games. Some of the league’s biggest players are proving once again why they are the best & as always, new stars are emerging. I’m going for a classic 4-4-2 formation in my 2020-21 Premier League Team of the Season so far.
GK – EMILIANO MARTÍNEZ (ASTON VILLA)
Emiliano Martínez has played every minute this season & been in terrific form averaging 3.5 saves a game. He has the 2nd most clean sheets with 9 & kicked off his Aston Villa career with a spectacular penalty save to deny John Lundstram.
The Argentinian starred for Arsenal towards the end of last season & helped them win the FA Cup. Mikel Arteta couldn’t guarantee him first-team football & he joined Villa for $19.2 million. Some Arsenal fans disagreed with the decision & will be gutted to see him doing so well.
WHAT A SAVE!— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) September 21, 2020
Emiliano Martinez saves the penalty kick 💪 pic.twitter.com/tC341yGiyj
LB – JAMES JUSTIN (LEICESTER CITY)
It’s easy to see why Leicester City let Ben Chilwell join Chelsea in the summer. James Justin has filled the void brilliantly & played every minute of this season so far, picking up 7 clean sheets, 1 goal & 1 assist. The Foxes signed him from Luton Town for $7.4 million back in the summer of 2019 & the recruitment team has unearthed another gem.
Naturally, calls are being made for Gareth Southgate to select the 22-year-old for the upcoming 2022 Qatar World Cup Qualifiers. Capable of playing LB or RB, he brings versatility that the Three Lions boss loves.
CB – WESLEY FOFANA (LEICESTER CITY)
Wesley Fofana is another example of the excellent work done by Leicester’s recruitment team. They signed him from Saint-Étienne for $38.5 million & he has only missed 1 game since his debut on October 18th. The 20-year-old has contributed to 5 clean sheets in those matches averaging 2.6 interceptions, 3.3 aerial battles won & 4.6 clearances per game.
His form has been so good that he’s keeping last seasons PFA Team of the Year player Çaglar Söyüncü on the bench.
🗣"He has been immense"— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 20, 2021
Brendan Rodgers was full of praise of Wesley Fofana after his performance against Chelsea for Leicester City pic.twitter.com/ewFsOi7bfK
CB – RÚBEN DIAS (MANCHESTER CITY)
Rúben Dias’ presence has transformed Manchester City’s leaky defense into the best in the league. Pep Guardiola’s side has conceded 13 goals in total; 6 in the opening two games without him & 7 in the following sixteen with him.
The 23-year-old Portuguese international has also brought the best out of John Stones & probably saved his City career. Dias is absolute class & worth every last cent of the $74.8 million transfer fee.
RB – JOÃO CANCELO (MANCHESTER CITY)
Joáo Cancelo has emerged as one of City’s most important players contributing to defense & attack. Guardiola sang his praises recently “He’s a player in the final third with special quality. He has courage to play, he wants the ball, he’s not scared.”
Equally adept at playing RB or LB, he has made 14 appearances, contributing 1 assist & earning 8 clean sheets.
Joao Cancelo has come good for Manchester City 🙌 pic.twitter.com/fU0b2nlU3x— Goal (@goal) December 27, 2020
LM – HEUNG-MIN SON (TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR)
Heung-Min Son has been this season’s most clinical player scoring 12 goals (joint 2nd) from 34 shots (25th), which works out to a 35.29% conversion rate. To put that in perspective, Mohamad Salah’s is 22.03%, Harry Kane’s is 17.39% & Jamie Vardy’s is 23.9%.
The South Korean international has also provided 6 assists & his partnership with Kane has developed into one of the best in the league. These two have combined 13 times to equal the league’s goal combination record & have half a season left to beat it.
CM – JACK GREALISH (ASTON VILLA)
Jack Grealish has been a joy to watch all season. Every time he’s on the ball, you feel something special’s going to happen as he glides across the pitch effortlessly. The Villa Captain has played almost every minute & is this season’s most fouled player. That hasn’t stopped him from scoring 5 goals & providing 8 assists. That brings his goals+assists involvement to 13 & will easily surpass last season’s total of 14.
The club holds Grealish in extremely high regard & views him as essential to any future success. The talisman recently signed a £140,000 a week deal that ties him down to the summer of 2025. Every elite club is interested, but they will need to cough up a significant transfer fee.
Jack Grealish is just something else 😍pic.twitter.com/wAfbmA91OB— Goal (@goal) January 18, 2021
CM – KEVIN DE BRUYNE (MANCHESTER CITY)
Kevin De Bruyne is another absolute joy to watch & the league’s best creator. The Belgian international is 2nd in the assist charts with 10 & 1st in the big chances created rankings with 14. It’s devastating to learn he has been ruled out for the next 4 to 6 weeks with a muscular injury as City enters a critical part of their season.
RM – MOHAMED SALAH (LIVERPOOL)
Even on a 5 game scoring drought, Salah is still top of the goalscoring charts with 13 & remains the best right-sided attacking player in the league. Remember, form is temporary & class is forever. I fully expect him to break this run & surpass the 25 goal mark come May.
CF – JAMIE VARDY (LEICESTER CITY)
Even at 34-years-old Vardy is still terrorizing Premier League defenders with his pace & finishing. The veteran striker has scored 11 goals & contributed 5 assists in 18 appearances this season. Sadly, the veteran striker has just undergone surgery for a persistent hip problem & will be out for the next 4 weeks.
CF – HARRY KANE (TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR)
Kane has elevated his game to the next level. The England Captain has been involved in 23 goals this season, scoring 12 & providing 11 assists. As mentioned above, his partnership with Son is one of the best in the league & it’s a joy to watch these two combine so well.
GK: Ederson – Most clean sheets with 9, conceded the least amount of goals & his distribution is unrivaled.
CB: Fabinho – It’s thanks to this man that Liverpool’s Top 4 & Premier League title hopes are still alive. Fabinho has started 12 games at CB, picking up 5 clean sheets.
RB: Matty Cash – One of Aston Villa’s most consistent performers is looking a bargain at $17.3 million.
CM: Tanguy Ndombélé – José Mourinho’s tough love has brought the best out of Ndombélé. The Frenchmen has developed into an important first-team player & contributed 3 goals & an assist in 14 starts.
CF: Dominic Calvert-Lewin – Carlo Ancelotti is molding DCL into one of the best penalty box operators in the league. He’s scored 11 goals in 16 starts & I think he will reach the 20 goal mark by the end of the season.
MANAGER – BRENDAN ROGERS (LEICESTER CITY)
Brendan Rogers is proving again he’s the real deal. They agonizingly missed out on Champions League qualification last season & lesser sides would have carried that disappointment over into this one. Not Leicester, who is mixing it with the big boys & flying high in 3rd place.
Rogers deserves another chance at one of the Premier League’s elite clubs. Chelsea could come calling soon if Frank Lampard fails to turn things around.
Leicester against the Top 6 clubs— Footy Ignited (@FootballIgnited) January 20, 2021
✅ Vs Man City
✅ Vs Arsenal
✅ Vs Tottenham
✅ Vs Chelsea
👏Great Credit to Brendan Rogers and his players. Also amazing recruitment in he club 🙌
At the top of the table for a reason
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