Football

Paul Merson.

Paul Merson leaves out a huge name in his Premier League team of the season so far

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December is always a good time to assess the season and Sky Sports’ pundits have done just that by selecting their team of the season so far.

You’ll be hard pushed to find a supporter who goes to the Sky Sports crew - consisting of Matt Le Tissier, Phil Thompson, Paul Merson and Charlie Nicholas - for expert analysis of footballing events, which is why some won’t pay much attention to their XIs.

But there are so many debates around, such as David de Gea or Ederson, or Sergio Aguero or Harry Kane, that it’s hard to ignore the selections of the four pundits.

No prizes for guessing who came up with the oddest XI, though. Merson has a reputation for his ridiculous thoughts - back in August, he named Jonathan Walters as his signing of the summer - and he hasn’t disappointed this time.

The fact that Merson is currently trending on Twitter says a lot about his team.

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Merson's team of the season

Merson went for De Gea in goal and a back four of Kyle Walker, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Marcos Alonso.

So no room for Toby Alderweireld or Nicolas Otamendi. But Burnley have been magnificent this season so we can excuse the inclusion of their two centre-backs.

Merson opted for an entire Man City midfield, with Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho at the base and Leroy Sane, David Silva and Raheem Sterling further forward.

Kane, meanwhile, was preferred up front.

And that’s Merson’s XI. Somehow he’s managed to leave out Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

It must have escaped Merson’s notice that the Egyptian has been one of the standout players this season. He’s scored 20 goals in all competitions and has been simply instrumental for Jurgen Klopp.

The players Merson included have all been superb but to exclude Salah from any team of the season is, frankly, absurd.

Gillette Soccer Saturday Live with Jeff Stelling

Perhaps the worst thing about it all is that the former Arsenal player described his attacking choices as “obvious” selections.

“The midfield picks itself with De Bruyne and Silva,” Merson said. “What can you say about those two that hasn't been said?

“My wide players are obvious choices again in Sane and Sterling.

“When you look at how much Sterling has improved under Guardiola it is incredible.”

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

Unsurprisingly, Merson’s team hasn’t gone down well on social media, with Liverpool fans venting their fury.

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Topics:
David Silva
Sergio Aguero
Football
Mohamed Salah
Paul Merson
Manchester City
Liverpool
David De Gea
Premier League
Kevin De Bruyne

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