It’s certainly been a memorable week for all of the wrong reasons – you could make a really dystopian version of Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ out of all that’s happened.
The spread of coronavirus has brought football to a grinding halt, and frankly, we don’t really know when it’ll get started again. It’s not even a priority at the moment.
There’s been talk that the season could be ended prematurely and even voided, though it seems unlikely at this stage. Nevertheless, it got us thinking – what would a team of the season from an incomplete 2019/20 Premier League campaign look like? A proper pub quiz answer for years to come.
Look no further – we at 90min have made our selections.
GK – Dean Henderson
On the rare occasions that Chrissy Wilder’s Sheffield United defence has been breached, on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Henderson has stood tall.
If Euro 2020 somehow goes ahead this summer (ha), then he should be the starting goalkeeper and it’s not even up for debate. Shove your ‘experience’ argument where the sun doesn’t shine.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold
Alexander-Arnold’s performance away at Leicester on Boxing Day was one of the single greatest a full-back has ever produced, definitively killing the Foxes’ title hopes with a goal and two assists.
He’s registered a total of 12 assists in the Premier League this season, equalling his tally from the last already. He’s still only 21.
CB – Joe Gomez
Joel Matip’s loss has proved to be Joe Gomez’s gain this season, putting aside his own injury troubles to finally start fulfilling his potential.
Joemez has matured into one of the division’s finest centre-backs, but he has had the greatest mentor to help him along the way…
CB – Virgil van Dijk
The best centre-back in the world and it’s not close. Need we say more?
LB – Ben Chilwell
Smooth and slick Chil Benwell has had a good season, and yet you still feel like he could easily take his game up a level.
Sorry to 90min writer Matt O’Connor-Simpson, who is admittedly the left-back’s biggest critic, but there hasn’t been anyone better this season, bud.
DM – Wilfred Ndidi
Since Ndidi picked up an injury at the turn of the year, Leicester just haven’t been the same. As many top sides are showing, the value of an all-conquering defensive midfielder is invaluable, and the Foxes have recognised that too.
Godspeed to you, Wilf.
CM – Jordan Henderson
Another case of ‘look how much worse that team is without x player’, is it a coincidence that Liverpool lost their unbeaten run in the absence of their captain?
Maybe. But we can’t be sure.
At the very least, Henderson’s been the inspirational captain of the champions-elect. Doesn’t make him the frontrunner for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, mind. He just hasn’t been the best player in the league this season…
CM – Kevin De Bruyne
Now this is what the best player in the league this season looks like.
With 16 assists so far, De Bruyne was well on course to smash Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of assists (20), and was leading Manchester City’s charge for the Champions League.
Even if the season is nulled, people will remember De Bruyne’s incredible year.
RW – Mohamed Salah
Salah’s transition from tricky winger to potent goalscorer has made him a lot less easy on the eye, adding a bit of a mean and arrogant streak along the way.
Those are the true makings of a superstar, of a player a super-club can rely on. You may not like him and his numbers will probably never reach his 2017/18 heights, but Salah remains one of the world’s top forwards.
ST – Jamie Vardy
If Jamie Vardy is denied his first golden boot then we can guarantee that he will not be having a party.
At the point of the league’s suspension, Vardy led the scoring charts with 19 goals, five shy of his top flight record from when Leicester won the title.
Ageing like a fine wine/one of his 127 daily energy drinks.
LW – Sadio Mane
The yin to Salah’s yang, the loveable part of Liverpool’s attacking triumvirate, the happiest fella in the Premier League (after Son Heung-min lost his crown following a few red cards).
Mane continues coming up with the goods for the Reds and is now recognisable as one of the most versatile threats in the game – left foot, right foot, header, he’s still going to score against you.
Alisson (GK) – 12 clean sheets in 20 Premier League games is quite the return. A goalkeeper who truly manages to make the goal seem smaller.
Ricardo Pereira (RB) – Riccy P has been unfortunate to have a talent like Alexander-Arnold overshadowing his efforts from right-back this season.
Caglar Soyuncu (CB) – Pencilled in for most team of the season calls prior to Christmas, but hasn’t looked the same after it.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – What a handsome bloke. Decent footballer, too.
Jack Grealish (AM) – Taking the accolade of ‘one man team’ off of Wilfried Zaha and showing the world just how mesmerising he is.
Riyad Mahrez (RW) – His best season since winning the title with Leicester and finally showing he has what it takes to make it at a big club.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) – 17 goals (42.5% of Arsenal’s total) with such little help around him and yet people still get onto him for not doing anything else besides scoring. Leave him alone.