The PFA Team of the Year if the Premier League season doesn't resume

  • Kobe Tong

For all we know, the 2019/20 Premier League season might already have finished.

It was announced last week that England’s top tier will be suspended until April 4, but officials are reportedly doubtful that fixtures will resume that early.

Numerous solutions are being considered from averaging out points, accepting the current table as final or even robbing Liverpool of the title by rendering the campaign null and void.

In truth, there’s no ideal way to solve the problem other than resuming the season behind closed doors or when the coronavirus pandemic has largely subsided in the UK.

But if we’re pessimistic for a second and presume the Premier League season has already run its course, then we might already have the necessary evidence to judge on the 2019/20 awards.

PFA Team of the Year?

The PFA awards ceremony itself has been postponed in the wake of crisis, but we like to think they’ll still distribute the accolades accordingly when the time comes.

So, bearing that in mind, we’ve decided to draw up our PFA Team of the Year based on the season thus far and you can check out, as well as debate, our final selections down below:

GK – Dean Henderson

What a stunning season it’s been for Sheffield United and so much credit lies at the feet of Henderson, who is currently second in the Golden Glove standings with 10 shutouts.

The Blades number one has completely outperformed David de Gea of his parent club and made one of the saves of the season during his last appearance against Norwich City.

It seems harsh not to give this place to Alisson Becker, who is undoubtedly the league’s best ‘keeper objectively, but we think Henderson has delivered the best season pound-for-pound.

RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold

Duh. The best right-back in the world has been far and away the finest in that position on English shores, even if Ricardo Pereira has also been fantastic on the defensive flank.

Alexander-Arnold dropped one of the best individual performances of the season against Leicester City and has matched his own Premier League record for the most assists from defence in a single campaign.

CB – Virgil van Dijk

Another obvious one. Van Dijk has actually declined compared to last season, it just happens that stepping down from Ballon d’Or contention still makes you an absolute world-beater at the back.

The Liverpool juggernaut is the highest-rated defender in the league, has marshalled the Reds to 12 clean sheets this season and remains a leading contender for the PFA Player of the Year award.

CB – Çağlar Söyüncü

Picking the man to partner Van Dijk is harder than you might think, but even though Leicester have stagnated in recent months, Söyüncü is still worthy of high praise for replacing Harry Maguire.

The Turkish international has stepped into the boots of the world’s most expensive defender with ease and his average match rating of 7.02 ranks him as one of the league’s finest.

LB – Andrew Robertson

You knew this team would be dominated by Liverpool players, right? Robertson’s displays might pale in comparison to that of his opposite full-back, but the Scot remains the league’s best left-back by miles and miles.

The Reds star is statistically the best player in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, too, and nine assists is nothing to be sniffed at when you’re playing in the back four.

CM – Jordan Henderson

The fact Premier League fans are finally starting to adore Henderson without needing to be a footballing hipster to do so tells you how much he’s kicked on as Liverpool skipper in 2019/20.

The midfielder’s importance was never clearer than when the Reds suffered in his absence after the winter break, having chipped in with five assists and three goals as one of the players of the season.

CM – Kevin De Bruyne

For our money, De Bruyne has been the Premier League’s best player this season, which is pretty remarkable when you consider Liverpool are on course for the highest points tally in history.

But while the Reds have been by far and away the top team overall, De Bruyne has reached insane individual heights in the weakest City side this side of Pep Guardiola’s first season in England.

The Belgian has produced a stunning 16 assists this term, closing him in on Thierry Henry’s long-standing Premier League record, and he’s chipped in with eight goals for good measure.

CAM – Jack Grealish

The final midfield position was incredibly hard to choose, we’re not going to lie. James Maddison can count himself unlucky to miss out, while Wilfred Ndidi and Adama Traore were also in contention.

But what Grealish has managed to achieve at a newly-promoted club sitting in the relegation zone is absolutely astonishing, racking up eight goals and seven assists from midfield.

It seems inevitable that the 24-year-old will make his England debut, secure a move to a club like Manchester United and play at Euro 2020 if the tournament actually goes ahead.

RW – Mohamed Salah

Only Alan Shearer scored more goals in his first 100 Premier League games and if the season does resume, you wouldn’t bet against Salah to collect a THIRD Golden Boot on the bounce.

With a goal every 140 minutes this season, Salah is just two strikes behind a certain forward we’ll mention in a second and has done so from a wide position where he seldom gets the credit.

ST – Jamie Vardy

If we’re making the assumption that the Premier League is already concluded then we’d remiss not to include the Golden Boot winner and we think Vardy is worthy of a spot even if the action does resume.

The Leicester striker has hitherto outscored players with far more striking pedigree, including in seven consecutive games, and all within a team which has only reached the top four once.

The obvious alternative is, of course, Roberto Firmino and while he would work better with our other picks than Vardy, we’re putting our foot down by selecting each position on individual merit alone.

LW – Sadio Mane

Arguably Liverpool’s best player this season, Mane isn’t just in contention for the PFA Player of the Year award; you can guarantee he’ll also be one of the leading nominees for the Ballon d’Or.

The 27-year-old has chipped in with 14 goals and seven assists, bursting down the wing as the Reds’ most dynamic forward and scorer of crucial goals against Manchester City and Everton. 

IF the season has finished

At the point we’ve ‘only’ named six Liverpool players in our team, we actually feel pretty harsh.

But the stunning displays of players like Grealish and Vardy go to show that while Liverpool’s quality as a team has seen them make history, they aren’t the only attraction in England’s top division.

Of course, our picks for the PFA XI could change if the season does in fact resume, but these stars are more than deserving of a round of applause even if the worst comes to worst.

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