Premier League Team of the Season: Who makes our bottom-half XI?

Grealish

The Premier League is finished for another season and what a campaign it was.

The title may have been wrapped up early by Liverpool, but the relegation battle and the top four race was all decided on the final day.

It was a frantic end to a term that will be remembered for Liverpool's triumphs as much as it will for the ongoing pandemic. 

The 2019/20 season was marred by fans unable to attend for the final months but it had to be done. It was a sensible and pragmatic approach from the government.

For the most part, it worked. Although, it's safe to say football really wasn't the same without stadiums full to the brim. 

Whether fans are able to attend before the end of the year remains to be seen but it feels unlikely given that Liverpool's match against Atletico Madrid before lockdown led to a spike. 

Though, for once, the attention wasn't on the Reds on the final day.

Grealish

Instead, Aston Villa were stealing the headlines. It wasn't quite West Bromwich Albion's miraculous escape, but they certainly did what many thought was impossible by staying in the top-flight.

However, who from Villa and indeed the Premier League's bottom half fits into our alternative Team of the Season?

Check out our XI below...

GOALKEEPER: 

Nick Pope: A few goalkeepers could easily be in this side. Martin Dubravka and Lukasz Fabianski both deserve shouts but the Burnley stopper was one of the most impressive in the division this term.

He kept 15 clean sheets, just one behind Ederson who won the Golden Glove. Pope also saved one penalty and was the ninth-best 'keeper in terms of save percentage. Pope's form is timely and he stands a real chance of being England's number one next summer at the European Championships. 

DEFENDERS: 

James Ward-Prowse: Now, the midfielder may have only played at right-back three times in 2019/20, but he simply has to fit into this bottom-half XI somehow.

The Saints man was fantastic going forward but he also came on leaps and bounds defensively. He scored five times and registered three assists but also won 2.4 tackles per game. As a make-shift defender, he rarely put a put wrong and is fully deserving of further recognition now the campaign is over.

James Tarkowski: Burnley very quietly went under the radar this season securing a tenth-placed finish. Sean Dyche's men narrowly avoided relegation last term but they were back to their sturdy selves in 2019/20. Tarkowski was a big reason behind that, failing to miss a single match and winning six WhoScored man of the match awards.

He won a colossal 5.2 aerial duels per match while popping up with two goals at the same time. Like Pope, he would have been warranting of a place on the plane to the Euros.

Tarkowski

Dan Burn: If you told Brighton fans at the beginning of the season that the ever-reliable partnership of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy would be split up, they wouldn't have believed you. However, Burn managed to do just that this term. He was Brighton's best defender as he ensured the second-best defensive record in the bottom half of the table. 

Burn won 4.1 aerial duels per game but also managed to come out on top of two tackles per outing.

Lucas Digne: Everton had a disappointing season but one of the plus points was easily Digne. The former Barcelona left-back is one of the most eye-catching defenders in the league and has become the Toffees' perfect Leighton Baines successor.

Digne racked up seven assists this season and despite his small size, was still dominant in the air, winning 3.3 aerial battles a match.

MIDFIELD/WINGERS:

Declan Rice: The holding midfielder in our XI, Rice walks into this team - without him, it's easy to suggest that West Ham would have been relegated. He has become a regular in Gareth Southgate's England set-up and it's hardly surprising when he produces moments of magic like his long-range strike versus Watford.

The 21-year-old came alive in the back end of the season and is one of the most promising defensive midfielders in the Premier League. He made 3.1 tackles per game this term while completing 86% of his passes. He is a pillar of consistency.

Jack Grealish: There was a lot of talk about whether Grealish could make the step up this season. Only last summer the attacking midfielder was linked with a move to Tottenham and it quickly became evident this term exactly why.

He was the most fouled player in the division this term, being brought down a colossal 4.6 times per game. The Englishman was a leader of men, scoring eight goals and producing six assists - the most vital of strikes coming against West Ham on the final day.

Rice

Allan Saint-Maximin: From the most fouled player to one of the best dribblers in the league. The Frenchman may have struggled to settle in at the start of the campaign but he was one of the most electrifying in the division once he did.

ASM bagged just three goals but his trickery and unpredictable nature made him incredibly difficult to deal with. He is someone Newcastle's proposed new owners have to build the squad around.

Dwight McNeil: Quite possibly one of the most underrated in the top-flight, it's easy to forget that the Burnley winger is still only 20-years-old.

Possessing a wand of a left foot, the youngster conjured up six assists for a side who doesn't exactly rely upon free-flowing football. With 1.8 successful crosses and two dribbles per outing to his name, he is a classic old school winger beginning to flourish.

McNeil

STRIKERS:

Richarlison: Reportedly the subject of a bid from Barcelona in January, the Brazilian was outshone by Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the latter stages of the campaign but he remains one of the most difficult to deal with, especially in the bottom half.

The forward scored 13 times and supplied three assists on his way to dribbling past an opponent 1.7 times per match. Richarlison has a high ceiling and it wouldn't be a surprise if he got a big move further down the line - he is only 23 after all.  

Ings

Danny Ings: The former Liverpool man had a quite brilliant season in front of goal for Southampton. Ings finished on 22 Premier League strikes which was level with Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and just one off Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy.

Whenever he was presented with an opportunity, he seemed to find the back of the net. Southampton will be hoping he replicates that next season and doesn't become a one-season wonder.

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