Football

Premier League: Most improved XI

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Walcott has been in superb form this season (©GettyImages)
Walcott has been in superb form this season (©GettyImages).

Many Premier League players have come on leaps and bounds over the past nine months.

Here is the league's most improved XI

Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet | Sunderland

Very, very close with Manchester United's David De Gea for this spot, but the scale of Mignolet's improvement has been huge.

When he first arrived in England, and Sunderland were forced into using him to replace the injury prone Craig Gordon, Mignolet was a complete wreck. However, he has certainly turned a corner this year. Mignolet has improved his all-round goalkeeping but, more noticeably, also his cross collection and shot-stopping. He is now one of the most wanted goalkeepers in England.

Left-back: Danny Rose | Sunderland (on loan from Tottenham)

Rose first made his mark on the Premier League against Arsenal with a wonder-strike and then seemed to disappear; however, a loan spell at Sunderland and a guaranteed place in the starting line-up has turned his career around.

Rose is as comfortable attacking as he is defending and his blistering pace should lead him to a bright future.

Centre-back: Ashley Williams | Swansea City

Williams' and Steven Caulker's partnership at Swansea last year brought the solidarity that the Swans' play needed. But in the past season, as Williams has played more and more at a high level, he has improved even more and is now a strong leader in the Swans' defence.

Centre-back: Winston Reid | West Ham United

At the start of the season, Reid would have been behind both James Tomkins and James Collins in the Hammers' defence, but this season Reid has been immense.

He is now the key player at West Ham and is a target for many Premier League clubs.

Right-back: Rafael | Manchester United

This has been a dream season for the Manchester United full-back as he's managed to transform himself form an erratic, injury prone, weak link into a strong, fast, consistent right-back.

Rafael's performances have won many plaudits and have made him a United regular.

Left-wing: Gareth Bale | Tottenham

There is nothing else to say about him. Before, he was good. Now, he's quality.

Bale has added so much to his game, and is certainly one to rely on in the big games as he has scored many crucial, spectacular winners for Tottenham and has bagged just about every award going.

Centre-midfielder: Mohammed Diame | West Ham

Diame has been a sensational free agent signing from Sam Allardyce this season and has caught the eye of many scouts across Europe.

A release clause in his contract will mean that West Ham will find it hard to hang on to him.

Centre-midfielder: Shaun Maloney | Wigan Athletic

Maloney seems to have been round for ages and has really graced Scottish football, but he was yet to really establish himself in the English game. That was until this season as he became a key player for Wigan and is their main hope of a revival for the Latics this season.

Right-wing: Stewart Downing | Liverpool

Many people say that Downing is overrated due to the extortionate price that the erratic Kenny Dalglish paid for him. However, Downing is showing real signs of improvement under Brendan Rodgers.

The winger looked to be on the way out in January, but now he is one of the first names on the team-sheet.

Striker: Theo Walcott | Arsenal

Like Downing, many people claim that he is overrated but you can't argue with the overwhelming statistics. Walcott has come on leaps and bounds as he has added a real goal-threat to his game, and is finally learning to utilise his pace to the maximum.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku | West Brom

The loan spell at West Brom has gave him the opportunity to spread his wings and he has seriously benefited from chance.

He is a pure animal. Lukaku has absolutely everything going for him with strength, power and pace and has even been compared to Didier Drogba. Lukaku has a very bright future, just how good can he be?

Anyone not on the list who should be? Disagree with anything? Leave a comment.

 

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Theo Walcott
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