Football

Premier League 2012/13 XI

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Bale & Vertonghen have both starred this season (©GettyImages)
Bale & Vertonghen have both starred this season (©GettyImages).

As clubs bolster their squads with players from across the globe, it's time to looks at the players who have lit up the Premier League this season.

Here is the Premier League 2012/13 XI

Goalkeeper: David De Gea | Manchester United

The champions have had a stellar goalkeeper this season. He is, by no means, the kind of player that Edwin van der Sar was in his prime, nor anywhere close to Peter Schmeichel, but this season he’s been a cut above the rest.

Left-back: Leighton Baines | Everton

The Everton star kept his side in the race for the top four until about three games before the end of the season. He is the kind of left-back that any team would be lucky to have: his work rate is phenomenal and his ability follows suit.

Centre-back: Jan Vertonghen | Tottenham

Narrowly beaten to the Champions League place by arch-rivals Arsenal, Tottenham fought their hardest this season and you could see the fear on the Arsenal players when they went out against Newcastle on the final day of the season. Vertonghen has been outstanding, supplying goals as well as defensively being a rock.

Centre-back: Ashley Williams | Swansea

Arsenal and Liverpool both want him, he’s been valued at £10m, which is amazing considering in 2008 he was playing in League Two. His blocks, clearances and interceptions top the charts.

Right-back: Pablo Zabaleta | Manchester City

Zabaleta has been City’s star player this season, with their forwards not really standing out.

Left-wing: Gareth Bale | Tottenham

What to say? PFA Player of the Year, PFA Young Player of the Year, he’s won games single-handedly this season and carried Tottenham - on his own at times - to fifth place. Without him they probably would have finished below Everton and Liverpool.

Centre-midfielder: Marouane Fellaini | Everton

An outstanding player this season, pivotal in almost every game he’s played – and most notable when missing. Fellani has been touted to follow David Moyes to United – perhaps he will, perhaps he won’t – and he wouldn’t look out of place in the Red Devils' side.

Centre-midfielder: Santi Cazorla | Arsenal

Arsenal’s stand out player this season. Santi Cazorla has been a breath of fresh air, bringing back some of the pass-move play to an Arsenal that looks stale and mediocre without him.

Right-wing: Theo Walcott | Arsenal

It might come a surprise with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard pipping him in assists this season, but he does have 14 goals in the Premier League (21 in all competitions) and 10 assists. His hat-trick against Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium was outstanding.

Striker: Luis Suarez | Liverpool

For me, for many, the player of the season. Suarez always brings controversy with him, wherever he goes, but his playing ability makes up for that. Carried Liverpool (with the help of Gerrard) to seventh - and without him they’re a mid-table team right now.

Striker: Robin van Persie | Manchester United

He left Arsenal to win a trophy - and did just that. Immediately. When he shoots he scores. Top scorer this season (and last season).  Who wouldn’t want him?

Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson | Manchester United

Nothing to do with him retiring, he’s just been outstanding. Didn’t win a thing last season and so ramped to up to win the Premier League with four games to spare.

Substitutes' bench:

Michu | Swansea

Couldn’t not have him in this squad. For £2m he’s been a steal and has lit up the Premier League this season with 18 goals and two assists.

Juan Mata | Chelsea

If he wasn’t in the first team he was always going to be on the bench. I picked Walcott ahead of him because of the stats, but Mata’s been outstanding in his own right.

Morgan Schneiderlin | Southampton

Tops the charts for interceptions, was a key player in their safety in the Premier League, and has 148 tackles to his name this season. The stats speak for themselves.

Gary Cahill | Chelsea

Another Chelsea player who easily could have made the first team, but just pipped because of the stats.

Asmir Begovic | Stoke City

It’s no wonder everybody is interested in buying this guy, he’s been amazing between the sticks for a team who haven’t really defended well at all. Stoke owe this man a lot.

 

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