The 2020/21 Premier League season is now being put under the microscope.
As is the case with any campaign in England’s top-flight, fans and pundits alike love to look back on the last eight months and assess who the best players, managers, goals and so forth really were.
Here at GIVEMESPORT, we’re absolutely no different and can’t resist giving our two cents on the last year of Premier League action, especially when it’s proven to be such a crazy campaign.
2020/21 Premier League
But given that the ‘Team of the Season’ approach has already been battered over the head, we’ve decided to take a unique look at who the Premier League’s best players have been in 2020/21.
In fact, we’ve set ourselves the challenge of naming the top five players in every major position based on their performances in the Premier League over the course of the most recent season.
Now, it’s worth disclaiming that this is simply our opinion, which is no more or less legitimate than yours, while we’ve tried to pick the players in the positions they’ve featured in the most this year.
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Top five players in every position
But disclaimers aside, let’s dive right into the action by running through all our selections below:
5. Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion)
4. Nick Pope (Burnley)
3. Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
2. Ederson (Manchester City)
1. Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
It’s difficult to look past the brilliant Martinez at the top of the podium, while Ederson and Mendy as well as Pope and Johnstone deserve nods for being clean sheet and save machines respectively.
5. Matthew Cash (Aston Villa)
4. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United)
3. Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
2. Vladimír Coufal (West Ham United)
1. Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)
We might be blessed for right-backs in this country, but it was actually Portuguese and Czech internationals that took the top prizes in our eyes, ousting the Three Lions’ best-performing trio.
Should Trent Alexander-Arnold have sneaked in near the bottom? Perhaps, but when we’re focusing on this season alone, it’s tough to look past some of those poor performances around the winter.
5. James Tarkowski (Burnley)
4. Harry Maguire (Manchester United)
3. Wesley Fofana (Leicester City)
2. John Stones (Manchester City)
1. Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Yup, the fact of the matter is that City’s centre-back pairing has stood head and shoulders above the rest, while our wildcard shoutout of Tarkowski actually started in the statistical Team of the Season.
5. Ben Chilwell (Chelsea)
4. Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City)
3. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
2. James Justin (Leicester City)
1. Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
I don’t think there’s any debating the number one pick and for all of Robertson, Zinchenko and Chilwell’s brilliance, we can’t allow Justin’s injury to erase our memories of just how superb he was.
5. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
4. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
3. Declan Rice (West Ham United)
2. Rodri (Manchester City)
1. Tomáš Souček (West Ham United)
Pretty straightforward, this, because both West Ham and City were blessed with glorious defensive midfielders this season and Ndidi shining for Leicester has become a fact of life at this point.
Kante bringing up the rear might seem harsh, but his best performances have actually come in the Champions League and it wasn’t until Thomas Tuchel’s arrival that he really started to thrive again.
5. Joe Willock (Newcastle United)
4. Yves Bissouma (Brighton & Hove Albion)
3. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)
2. Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)
1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Again, City really were unstoppable this season, so shoutout to Gundogan and De Bruyne, while Bissouma is destined for a big move and Willock has been a force of nature at St. James’ Park.
5. Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)
4. James Maddison (Leicester City)
3. Jesse Lingard (West Ham United)
2. Mason Mount (Chelsea)
1. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
Yes, Lingard really has been so incredible on loan at West Ham that he deserves a podium place but let’s get one thing straight, Fernandes and Mount are in a league of their own for this position.
5. Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa)
4. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
3. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
2. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
1. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Similarly, the top two are miles clear when it comes to the right wing and we’d dread to think where Liverpool would have finished without Salah competing for a third Premier League Golden Boot.
As for Bale in third, let’s bear in mind for a second that he managed an absurd 11 Premier League goals from just 10 starts and boasts the best goal-per-game ratio of any player in the division.
5. Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa)
4. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
3. Phil Foden (Manchester City)
2. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)
1. Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur)
It was going to take something special to beat Grealish to the gold medal, but Son’s spectacular return of 17 goals and 10 assists through all of Tottenham’s struggles more than ticks that box.
5. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City)
4. Patrick Bamford (Leeds United)
3. Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
2. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
1. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Is Iheanacho in fifth a little generous? Maybe, but the free-scoring English quartet above him are more than deserving of their place, even if Kane is streets ahead with more Golden Boot glory.
Bring on next season
It’s a surprisingly difficult task, isn’t it? We’ll be the first people to admit that selecting some of the fourth and fifth-placed players in really specific positions was easier said than done.
But it only feels right that in a Premier League season that was more jumbled and shuffled than ever that we’ve allowed ourselves to shoutout some of the unsung heroes of the last eight months.
It’s been a fantastic ride and we can’t wait to see what the 2021/22 campaign will hold.