GMS Academy member Andy Preston picks the best current Premier League XI with a maximum of one player from each club. Do you agree with his choices?
Goalkeeper- Asmir Begovic- Stoke City
Since arriving at Stoke City in February 2010 for £3.25million, Asmir Begovic has established himself as the Potters number one goalkeeper making some notable performances throughout his Stoke career making up one of the toughest defences in the league.
Begovic has attracted the attention of many clubs including the likes of Manchester United, however it looks as if the Stoke City player of the year 2012/2013 will stay put at Stoke for now.
Left Back- Leighton Baines- Everton
Leighton Baines has caught the eye of many as one of the best full backs in Europe with his form over the last few years, being named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year two years running. Baines will be looking to impress England boss Roy Hodgson in hope to establish himself in the England first team; however will face difficult competition from Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole.
Centre Back- Ashley Williams- Swansea
Ashley Williams- captain of Swansea City & Wales national team has performed consistently during Swansea’s two year stay in the Premier League. Swansea have inspired newly promoted clubs showing that it is possible to survive the drop and establish as a solid force.
Centre Back- Sebastien Bassong- Norwich City
Despite Norwich only scoring 41 goals in the 2012/2013 campaign, they still managed to finished 11th due to a brick wall defence lead by Sebastian Bassong. Known for being dominant in the air, and throwing his intimidating physical presence around in the box and adapt to manning an effective offside trap, making Chris Hughton’s side challenging to break in to the top half of the Premier League table.
Right Back- Glen Johnson- Liverpool
Glen Johnson has gained much experience collecting over 100 league appearances for Liverpool to date. He has been praised as one of the Premier League’s best right backs making him England’s first choice in his position; meaning that he is likely to feature in the World Cup 2014 if England qualifies.
Centre Midfield- Juan Mata- Chelsea
The Spanish midfielder gained admiration from Premier League fans for his phenomenal performances for Chelsea last season. His goals & assists inspired Chelsea to their Europa League triumph.
Under new boss Jose Mourinho; Chelsea will be seeking to win the Premier League title which they achieved twice under the Portuguese. However, it has been rumoured that Mata will not be in Mourinho’s plans, but only time will tell to whether he will feature a lead role for Chelsea.
Centre Midfield- Yaya Toure- Manchester City
Manchester City celebrated their first league title in 44 years in the 2011/2012 season, inspired by a powerful midfield lead by Yaya Toure. The Ivorian justified his heavy price tag helping City triumph with his raw strength mixed with pace and technical ability.
He inspired the Manchester to club to vital wins during their triumphant title campaign and has continually performed consistently throughout his City career, and shown he is a proven match-winner.
Centre Midfield- Santiago Cazorla- Arsenal
It looks that Arsenal grabbed a bargain in Santi Cazorla snatching him from Malaga for £16million, which is a steal compared to the prices of players in modern football. The Arsenal playmaker has provoked Premier League defences with his skilful, majestic style of football for the Gunners; making the Spaniard the most thrilling prospect at Arsenal since the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie.
Arsenal could mount a serious title challenge if big-name singings are made with Santi Cazorla pulling the strings at the heart of the Arsenal midfield.
Left Forward- Gareth Bale- Tottenham Hotspur
Hailed as the new ‘Welsh Wizard’ Gareth Bale has dazzled spectators around the world attracting the attention of Spanish giants Real Madrid due to the numerous goals and assists he provided.
Bale guided Spurs to a top four place challenge in the Premier League- finishing just one point off north London rivals Arsenal. However, Spurs will struggle to keep their star man as he has attracted attention for Real Madrid, and recent reports have suggested that he is in favour of the move to Spain. Meanwhile, if Spurs are able to keep Bale he may lead them to Champions League football.
Centre Forward- Robin van Persie- Manchester United
The Dutchman has proved that he is the most clinical finisher in the Premier League winning the golden boot two years running. Despite his move from Arsenal to Manchester United, he has adapted immediately to life in Manchester- showing his ability to score incredible goals: ranging from 25-yard volleys to skilful runs being able to beat players with ease.
United have found redemption as the Dutchman fired the club to their 20th Premier League title and they hope he can push them on to even more success.
Right Forward- Christian Benteke- Aston Villa
The Belgian striker has blown away Premier League defences bulldozing past with his brute strength and power as well as the ability to find the back of the net
Despite earlier handing in a transfer request, Benteke has signed a new contract with Villa as the club look to regain their form found under former manager Martin O’Neill in times where it looked as if they could break in to the top four.
Benteke is essential to Villa’s Premier League survival and they will be hoping to progress their way up the league table in the future.
Alternative players that just missed out on the team: Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United), Rafael (Manchester United), Marouane Fellaini (Everton), Mohammed Diame (West Ham United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chico (Swansea), Michu (Swansea), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)
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