Finally, the 2019-20 Premier League season has concluded, and while it may have taken longer than any of us could have expected, the curtains have well and truly been drawn on one of the most unusual chapters in recent football history.
It has to be said that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about strange times, wherein there are no pre-match handshakes, the stands are empty, recorded fan noise is being pumped into the stadiums, and it could be a long time before things return to their old ways.
Five substitutions and mid-game cooling breaks are now a common sight in major European leagues and such measures could be retained next season as well.
Thankfully, football could resume in the harshest of circumstances, and now that the Premier League 2019-20 season has come to an end, it’s that time of the year again, when individual gongs are handed out.
But there are places for several other standout performers as well who lit up the English top-flight in a season that will surely have its special place in the footballing folklore.
So, without further ado, let’s find out who makes the cut for our Premier League team of the season.
Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson (Sheffield United)
While the Brazilian pair of Ederson and Alisson continue to set the standards for modern goalkeepers in the Premier League, two Englishmen have emerged as the new big dogs this season, namely Dean Henderson and Nick Pope.
Although Ederson may have won the Golden Glove this season, the performances of Henderson and Pope have been equally as impressive between the sticks, and the former is already being touted to return to his parent club Manchester United and assume duties as the new number 1 at Old Trafford.
While David de Gea’s campaign has been marred by various uncharacteristic errors this season, Dean Henderson has been a stellar presence for Sheffield United in his debut season in the Premier League, showing true nerves of steel.
Such has been his meteoric rise that some are already calling for the 23-year-old to displace Jordan Pickford at international level as well. Having kept 13 clean sheets this season, Henderson will hope to build on his performances, and we’re sure that he can soon develop into one of the best custodians in the English top-flight.
Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
One of the four Liverpool players to feature on this list, Trent Alexander-Arnold has been truly phenomenal this season. The Liverpool academy graduate has developed into a remarkable talent in recent years, a world-class wing-back, capable of contributing on both ends of the pitch.
His tally of four goals and 13 assists is among the best in the Premier League for a right-back and aged just 21, Alexander-Arnold has his best years ahead of him.
The youngster is blessed with immense pace and excellent dribbling skills, which when combined with his tidy footwork and passing abilities make him a lethal presence on the wing.
Often Trent Alexander-Arnold is questioned for his defensive side of the game but having made 221 recoveries and 45 interceptions throughout this season, the Englishman stood out and completely deserves a place in the Team of the Season ahead of all others right-backs.
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Arguably the easiest pick of the lot, Liverpool’s transformation ever since the signing of Virgil van Dijk speaks volumes about the talent that the Dutchman possesses.
At times, onlookers may get the illusion that the 29-year-old has got ice in his veins because rarely do you see him putting a foot wrong. He’s a model of consistency, a towering presence in Jurgen Klopp’s backline.
Van Dijk hasn’t missed a single minute of action for the Reds this season, proving to be worth every single penny of his £75 million transfer fee.
Having won an astonishing 239 duels all season, combined with his tally of five goals, he’s another player who has been quietly contributing on both ends of the pitch.
Since moving to Merseyside, Van Dijk has developed into arguably the best centre-back in the world, and he will be very crucial in the upcoming seasons as well for Liverpool.
Centre-back: James Tarkowski (Burnley)
Minnows, Burnley finished in the top half of the table on the back of their impressive displays, and one player who had caught our eye this season is James Tarkowski.
The Englishman leads the charts for most duels won as a defender in the Premier League, while his tackle success rate of 65% and 63 interceptions also make for impressive reading.
The 27-year-old has been on the rise for the past few seasons and judging by his exploits in 2019-20, we won’t be too surprised to see one of the top six teams to battle it out for Tarkowski’s signature.
He’s a player who has an excellent understanding of the game, he’s always on hand to mop up the danger, and also has an eye for a pass, as evident from his tally of 105 through balls played.
The Manchester-born player is undoubtedly one of the most underrated players in the division, and if he can continue to deliver the goods like this season, it won’t be long before one of the big sides come calling for his services.
Left-back: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
Andrew Robertson joined Liverpool for a fee of £8 million in 2017, and since then he’s made the left-back berth his own at Anfield.
Signed for the price of peanuts from Hull City, the Scotland skipper experienced yet another successful season this term, playing a key role in the Reds’ Premier League triumph.
He’s the third Liverpool defender on our list which highlights their collective brilliance, but individually as well, each one of them has been spectacular.
Robertson, for example, has two goals and 12 assists to his name, and he’s recorded 210 recoveries, alongside 38 interceptions and 58 clearances, which prove that he’s a solid defender as well, apart from being a potent attacker.
The former Queens Park Rangers player has been a revelation once again, although we’re not surprised at the rate with which Robertson is developing into one of the best in his position.
Defensive midfielder: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
Out of all the Leicester City players who shone brightly this season, Wilfred Ndidi in our opinion is the most worthy of a mention in the Premier League Team of the Season.
The Nigerian midfielder made 129 tackles this term, with a 52% success rate, and also made 80 interceptions as well as 271 recoveries.
Ndidi lives and breathes to unsettle opposition midfielders, win the ball and then keep rotating the possession. He often covers up the space left by those around him, and his intelligent position on the pitch means Ndidi is always at hand to shut down counter-attacks.
The Foxes will be kicking themselves on having missed out on the Champions League places, but they can take some respite from their displays this season, and with players like James Maddison, Youri Tielemans, and Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester City have a bright future ahead.
Central midfielder: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
For a player to join a league in mid-season and still be considered for a nomination in the Team of the Season, he may have to deliver some truly exceptional moments and Bruno Fernandes has done exactly that since signing for Manchester United from Sporting CP in January.
Over the years, not many players signed in the winter transfer window made a bigger impact than the Portuguese playmaker, taking into account his 15 goal contributions in 14 matches.
Before his arrival, Manchester United were often ponderous in possession, but now, everything goes through Fernandes. He’s the creator in-chief, the architect who has given them a glimmer of hope that the old glory days could return to Old Trafford sooner rather than later.
The 25-year-old’s silky footwork, his feints, penetrative passes and smooth dribbling skills have been a treat to watch, and we truly cannot wait to see more of him in the Premier League next season.
Central midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Even though Jordan Henderson pipped Kevin De Bruyne to the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year accolade, it is the latter who had a more substantially difficult year this season, but the Belgian was still able to shine.
The 2019-20 Premier League season gave Manchester City a lot of reality checks, but their talismanic midfielder rose to the occasion time and again, even when those around him faltered.
The Belgian star scored 13 goals in the Premier League this season and also delivered an incredible 20 assists, but that’s not why Kevin De Bruyne deserves a place on this list, it’s because he was the only player from the Etihad who delivered consistently in a tumultuous season, which saw the Citizens struggle to get out of fourth gear.
The 29-year-old is easily one of the best players in the world right now, almost operating on a demigod sort of level. Unfortunately for De Bruyne, his Manchester City teammates are only humans.
Right-winger: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
While Mohamed Salah may have missed out on a third successive Golden Boot, his impact in Liverpool’s romp to end their long wait for the elusive Premier League title cannot be downplayed.
Even though the Egyptian may not be able to match his stellar performances of the 2017-18 season, but he’s set the benchmark so high that people often fail to appreciate his genius.
Salah racked up a tally of 19 goals and 10 assists in 34 Premier League appearances, which is in hindsight, no easy feat to achieve. Such have been his lofty standards that people will always compare his outputs to his debut season, however, the 28-year-old is easily among the top three players in the division.
No matter where your loyalties lie, it’s difficult to look past the contribution of Liverpool’s number 11, who continues to deliver year after year since joining from AS Roma in the summer of 2017.
Left-winger: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Edging out the likes of Sadio Mane and Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford warrants a place in our Premier League Team of the Season, solely because he was the only player shouldering the major burden of scoring goals for Manchester United in the first half of the season.
In the absence of Paul Pogba, the Red Devils lacked a creative spark and, therefore, they had to rely on moments of individual brilliance, and Rashford provided plenty of such moments.
Capable of playing on the left-wing, where he wreaks havoc on opposition defences through his pace and trickery, the Englishman was also deployed as a striker on many occasions, and no matter where he played, the youngster’s output never went down.
Rahsford’s tally of 17 assists and eight goals in the Premier League is a lot considering he still only 22. He’s definitely brimming with potential.
Striker: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
One of the rare sparks in an otherwise forgettable campaign for Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the best player for the Gunners, who would not want their star striker to leave, despite the Gabon international being linked with an exit so often.
While he may have missed out on a Premier League Golden Boot by a margin of just one goal, Aubameyang’s 22 strikes and three assists were incredibly crucial for the north Londoners, who would have struggled immensely if not for their captain fantastic.
The 31-year-old now has a chance to fire Arsenal into next season’s Europa League by helping them win the FA Cup, with Chelsea awaiting them in the final. It would be the perfect parting gift if he indeed ends up leaving the Emirates.
That being said, Aubameyang completely deserves a place in the Premier League Team of the Season as he carried Arsenal on his back for the majority of the campaign.