Football

Vardy and Mahrez have enjoyed phenomenal campaigns.

Starting XI of the Premier League's most improved players this season

Published 1 Comments

Football News
24/7

As another Premier League season approaches its end, Leicester City look on course to make English football history by winning the title just one season on from narrowly escaping relegation.

Unpredictability arguably best describes what has taken place in the English top-flight, with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United struggling to perform and a number of players rising from anonymity to stardom.

And so, here's a starting XI of such individuals, who have improved dramatically throughout the course of the campaign.

SIGN UP NOW

Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4

Article continues below

GOALKEEPER - JACK BUTLAND, STOKE CITY

Used sparingly as Asmir Begovic's understudy last season, Butland has been sensational since the Bosnian's departure and proved Stoke are perhaps better off with him between the sticks.

Article continues below

The Potters' decision to sell Begovic and instate Butland as their number one has been vindicated, the Englishman developing into one of the Premier League's finest 'keepers and playing well beyond his years.

Ten clean sheets this season is a fine return for a shot-stopper of his age (23) - it's just a shame he won't be available to England for this summer's European Championships.

RIGHT-BACK - HECTOR BELLERIN, ARSENAL

The young Spaniard showed huge promise during his first Premier League campaign at the Emirates Stadium and has carried over such form to become one of Europe's most dependable right-backs.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-SWANSEA

Confident defensively and assured on the ball, Arsenal have a future star on their hands if they can keep him from the lure of Barcelona.

CENTRE-BACK - WES MORGAN, LEICESTER CITY

Leicester's miraculous march towards the title has undoubtedly been the fairytale story of this season and Morgan's rock-solid - if old-fashioned - approach to defending has proved crucial to his side's meteoric rise.

The Jamaican's height, strength and leadership have seen him marshal the Foxes' defence to perfection alongside Robert Huth, conceding zero goals in their last five Premier League fixtures, all of which victories.

CENTRE-BACK - CHRIS SMALLING, MANCHESTER UNITED

It would have been all too easy to choose Leicester's Huth here, but it's important to remember that Smalling’s name was a punchline just a few years ago, synonymous with poor defending and decision making.

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

The 26-year-old has defied such criticism and established himself as one of the Premier League's best centre-backs, also becoming a mainstay in Roy Hodgson's England squad.

LEFT-BACK - DANNY ROSE, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

A player many Tottenham fans would have happily seen leave before Mauricio Pochettino was appointed in 2014, Rose has come on leaps and bounds under the Argentine.

The fiery left-back has held off the challenge of presumed replacement Ben Davies to cement his place at White Hart Lane and, perhaps, the England squad, playing an important role in Spurs' title bid this season.

CENTRE MIDFIELD - MOUSA DEMBELE, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Blessed with a wonderful blend of grace and power that few others can match in European football, Dembele has frustrated fans in recent years by failing to realise his undoubted potential.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League

After falling out of favour last season at White Hart Lane, few expected Dembele to remain in north London past last summer's transfer window, yet he's become a standout performer in Tottenham's unprecedented title challenge and a poster boy for the many improvements made under Pochettino.

CENTRE MIDFIELD - DANNY DRINKWATER, LEICESTER CITY

Up until this campaign, Drinkwater was another in a long line of Manchester United academy products once destined for greatness but ultimately failing to make the mark.

However, the 26-year-old has developed into a midfield maestro at the King Power Stadium, dominating the centre of the park alongside partner in crime, N'Golo Kante, and seamlessly turning defence into attack on a regular basis to feed the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD - RIYAD MAHREZ, LEICESTER CITY

No one saw this coming. Mahrez recorded just four goals and three assists in 30 appearances last season yet has managed a staggering 16 goals and 11 assists in 32 league games this time around.

Sunderland v Leicester City - Premier League

Quite simply, the Algerian is Leicester's talisman and were it not for him, Leicester may well have been relegation candidates this season.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD - ERIK LAMELA, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Is he the best player in his position in the Premier League? No. Has he done enough to justify the some £30 million spent on him three years ago? Not yet. But, are Tottenham a better side with him involved? You bet they are.

For the first time since arriving at White Hart Lane, Spurs fans can confidently say that Lamela has consistently delivered and become a player they miss when absent.

There's still a lot to improve for the Argentine, but it's worth remembering that he's still only 24-years-old.

STRIKER - ROMELU LUKAKU, EVERTON

'Flashes of brilliance' was a phrase that summed up Lukaku perfectly last season. A powerful and clinical forward on his day, the Belgian's inconsistency often blighted his £28 million arrival in 2014.

Everton v Chelsea - The Emirates FA Cup Sixth Round

However, with 18 league goals to his name this season, Lukaku has developed into an outstanding striker and silenced his critics in emphatic fashion. Everton fans will only hope they can hold on to him this summer.

STRIKER - JAMIE VARDY, LEICESTER CITY

A pattern is emerging here - and it's no wonder. Leicester's Vardy is another to emerge from obscurity this season, the pacey assassin improving on his meagre tally of five league goals last campaign with a sensational 21 this term.

The 29-year-old's rise has seen him yield two Player of the Month awards, a guaranteed place in England's Euro 2016 squad, a number of calls from Hollywood script writers and quite possibly - and most importantly - a Premier League winners medal.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
Leicester City
Manchester United
Everton
UEFA Champions League
Tottenham Hotspur
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again