The PFA Premier League Team of the Year was announced on Thursday.
The team was released before Sunday’s awards ceremony after it was leaked, according to the PFA, by a member of the public.
The team itself, set up in a traditional 4-4-2 is, rather unsurprisingly, dominated by Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, who have provided four players apiece in the line-up.
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David de Gea (Manchester United), Hector Bellerin (Arsenal) and Dimitri Payet (West Ham United) complete an 11 that also contains nine first-time Premier League nominees (with De Gea (2013 and 2015) and Harry Kane (2015) the only two who have been in a Team of the Year more than once).
As is often the case, there will be players who have only just missed out on their inclusion in the starting 11.
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Here is an alternative Premier League team of the year which includes players considered unfortunate to have missed out on the official team having also had excellent seasons:
GK: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)
An immense presence for The Foxes this season.
Not only has Schmeichel been consistently excellent, he has also kept the most clean sheets this season (14) alongside Joe Hart and David de Gea.
The name Schmeichel brings its own pressures between the sticks, for obvious reasons, but Kasper has stepped out of his father’s shadow superbly where most would shrink away.
His superman style fingertip save against West Ham on Sunday was sensational and he would have deserved his place in the official team of the year.
Hugo Lloris and Joe Hart also deserve honourable mentions.
RB: Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
The 25-year-old right-back has had a true break-through season. Having only appeared in 15 games for Spurs last season, Walker has gone on to cement his place as Spurs’ (and maybe England’s) undisputed right-back.
He has been a consistent performer in a Spurs side that holds the best defensive record in the Premier League this season.
His pace and attitude has allowed him to be a threat in attack for his club while also balancing this with a solid defensive awareness and team ethic.
CB: Robert Huth (Leicester City)
The giant German defender has enjoyed a renaissance in his career having signed for Leicester from Stoke City at the start of this season.
Strong in the tackle and imperious in the air, Huth has, alongside Wes Morgan (who made the official Team of the Year), been a surprise performer this season.
The 31-year-old may even be in Germany boss Joachim Low’s thoughts as he prepares to announce his squad for the Euros next month.
Huth’s international inclusion would be a surprise, but it would also be thoroughly deserved.
CB: Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
Since his ridiculous red card at the Etihad Stadium in 2014, in a game that United lost 1-0, Smalling has gone on to become a superbly consistent performer for his club as well as establishing himself at international level.
The 26-year-old has enjoyed his best season in a red shirt and has been a true leader at the back for Louis van Gaal.
United’s defence is the third best in the league (behind Leicester and Spurs) and Smalling, along with de Gea, has been a major factor behind this statistic.
LB: Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United)
2015-16 has been a remarkable season for English left-backs. There currently seems to be an abundance of players in that position available to Roy Hodgson, who have all pressed a claim for their inclusion in his Euro 2016 squad.
Cresswell has enjoyed a fantastic season and his goal against Leicester continues to promote his claim to a place on the plane in the summer.
(An honourable mention must also go here to Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels who has been another English left-back to have had a wonderful season.)
DM: Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)
The former Manchester United player has been magnificent this season and has seen his hard work rewarded with his first England cap.
The 26-year-old protects his back-four superbly while also helping to launch attacks with those pinpoint long balls.
Strong in the tackle and willing to rack up the kilometres on the pitch, Drinkwater is fully deserving of his place in this team and could have easily made the official XI.
RM: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
In a season that has ended with Arsenal fans frustrated with their team once more, the little Chilean has dazzled again in his second season in the Premier League.
Alexis was included in last season’s Team of the Year, having scored 16 goals, but has missed out this year.
This season, Sanchez has scored 12 goals with four assists to his name and has also offered consistent energy and enthusiasm to an Arsenal side that has seen their hopes of a title gradually fizzle out.
LM: Anthony Martial (Manchester United)
A tricky position to fill but Anthony Martial, arriving in the summer of 2015 as a 19-year-old with a price tag of between £30 million-£50 million, has enjoyed a magnificent debut season.
Scoring eight league goals with three assists, Martial has given United fans a glimpse of his potential and a hope for the future after a season that has contained some very dull moments.
AM: Mesut Özil (Arsenal)
With 18 assists and six goals, Mesut Özil, having missed out on the official Team of the Year, easily slots into the playmaker role in this alternative team. Enough said.
ST: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
An easy choice.
The Argentinian is, by far and away, the best all-round striker in the Premier League.
He has scored 22 goals so far this season and his exclusion in the PFA Player of the Year Award this season is baffling.
Where would City be this season without him?
ST: Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Another simple decision.
Lukaku has been in prolific form this season in a below-average Everton side, scoring 18 goals as it stands and also becoming the fifth player under the age of 23 to have scored 50 Premier League goals.
His goal-scoring has slowed considerably since the start of 2016, but he has, without a doubt, been the fourth best striker in the Premier League this season and is deserving of his place in this team.
Who would make your alternate Team of the Year? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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