We all know how hard is it to pick the best XI of players in the Premier League and it’s made even harder when you add those tricky caveats. Jamie Carragher has been challenging us on Twitter almost weekly, with a range of testing XI’s to get our teeth into.
Here at 90min we thought we’d up the anti and try and assemble a 20 man squad to challenge for the best competitions, but we are only allowed to pick one current player per each Premier League club.
Every current club must feature just once and the squad must have balance and versatility. A challenge you say? Well, feast your eyes on what we’ve come up with and create your own if you think you can beat it…
Ben Foster (Watford) – One of the most consistent keepers in the Premier League, Foster is out of contract this summer and will surely be snapped up by another top flight team – if he’s not offered fresh terms that is. Yes, he’s 37- but age is irrelevant with stoppers and he’s just been getting better and better.
Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham) – Another reliable goalkeeper who has slowly but surely risen up the ranks to establish himself as one of the best. The Pole has saved the Hammers on numerous occasions, much like he did during his time at Swansea.
Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) – Arguably one of the best attacking right-backs in the league, alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James, Portuguese international Pereira – who was let go by Sporting CP aged 17 – has played a key role in Leicester’s excellent season and is a regular on the international stage.
George Baldock (Sheffield United) – A player who was playing in League Two just four seasons ago, Baldock has been a revelation on the right flank for Sheffield United. Four assists in his debut Premier League season for a very solid outfit shows he is more than up to the challenge.
Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) – Another underrated defender who never gets mentioned in Premier League XI’s but is definitely in the running. The former Chelsea full back has been a model of consistency for the Eagles under Roy Hodgson and has improved with age.
Lucas Digne (Everton) – A modern day set piece wizard, Digne has a fantastic delivery and is one of the best offensive left backs in Europe. Has already notched 10 league assists in his first two seasons in England and at 26, can only get better under Carlo Ancelotti’s guidance.
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) – Pretty much the first name in this squad, Van Dijk is the best defender in England and quite possibly the best in the world. In his first two seasons at Anfield, Liverpool have reached new heights and only the coronavirus pandemic stands in the way of the Dutchman collecting a maiden Premier League winners medal.
James Tarkowski (Burnley) – Sean Dyche will tell you this guy is the real deal and should be an England regular. When you look at the stats, it’s hard to argue with him. The former Blackburn graduate has been a rock at the back at Turf Moof and a move to a bigger club isn’t out of the question in the near future.
Nathan Aké (Bournemouth) – If Bournemouth avoid relegation this season (if we resume), then they will owe a lot to Aké. The Dutchman is still improving his game at 25, and has tremendous passing ability for a defender. Former club Chelsea may very well buy him back in the near future.
Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – Dunk has risen through the ranks at Brighton and is now club captain. Heavily linked with Chelsea last season, he has established himself as one of the most reliable centre halves in the country. A great header of the ball, he is deadly from corners.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) – The Portuguese playmaker has taken the Premier League by storm since his arrival in January and looks to have reinvigorated Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United. Five games, two goals and three assists says it all. It’s early days but he looks like a dream signing already.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – The best midfielder in the Premier League by a country mile and definitely one that slipped through Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea fingertips all those years ago. An outstanding 16 assists this campaign puts him among the very best in Europe once again.
N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea) – The French roadrunner has actually had one of the more average seasons of his career thus far but only due to a string of injuries. The diminutive midfielder is still the best around at what he does and will surely play a key role as Chelsea look to secure European football for next season.
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – A real breakthrough season for the local boy – at the highest level anyway – has seen Aston Villa’s captain show maturity beyond his years. Consistent, he’s appoaching the peak years of his midfield career at 24 – and may get to celebrate his rise to prominence with an England call up and a move to Manchester United.
Todd Cantwell (Norwich) – Along with Max Aarons, Norwich have a pair of highly talented youngsters whose futures will most likely lie elsewhere. Cheeky chappy Cantwell, in particular, has caught the eye this season with his late runs, precise passing and calm finishing.
Sean Longstaff (Newcastle) – Tipped for a move to Manchester United last summer, things have quietened down a little for Longstaff during 2019/20, but he remains one of Newcastle’s key players. Patrols midfield with an elegance, demonstrating good defensive awareness and talent on the ball. A star of the future if he keeps his head down.
Harry Kane (Tottenham) – England captain Kane has been missed by Spurs this season as they chase a top four spot. His importance to the side is probably more vital than any other club in the league and Jose Mourinho will hope that his return to fitness can fire the Lilywhites up the table.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)- Gabon’s leading light has been in excellent form this campaign and particularly since the arrival of Mikel Arteta as manager. Rumours of a move elsewhere don’t seem to be going away, however, and it would be to Arsenal’s detriment if the 30-year-old striker does depart.
Danny Ings (Southampton) – Ings has finally found the form – and fitness – that has deserted him for so many seasons and looks to be at the right club at the right time. The England hopeful scored in five consecutive matches over the Christmas period, firing Southampton away from trouble.
Raúl Jiménez (Wolves)- The gangly Mexican striker is great distributor of the ball and has been the main man during Wolves’ resurgence as a genuine top six contender. The former Benfica man is a rumoured target for Manchester United and has also been linked with Juventus.