Who missed out at Sunday’s PFA awards ceremony?
As another Premier League campaign nears the end, we take a look at who might have felt hard done by their exclusion.
GK – Fraser Forster
The England no. 2 has been imperious for the Saints this campaign conceding just 21 goals in the 30 games he’s played. One of the finest moments during the course of this season has to, in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea, when he pulled off a point-blank double save to deny Oscar and then Eden Hazard. Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris was another contender with the French man showcasing how much of an excellent shot stopper he is time-after-time.
LB – Nacho Monreal
The former Malaga man has been ever present in the Arsenal back line this season, making 24 appearances for the Gunners in the Premier League. Monreal’s inclusion in our team was contested by West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell who is quite the free kick specialist but Monreal was selected, based on the Gunners’ achievement of reaching the F.A. Cup final.
CB – Jose Fonte
Much talk was made of Fonte’s former team mate Lovren and the impact his departure would have, but the Saints defence depends on the Portugese defender. Fonte is a born leader in Ronald Koeman’s side and has a brilliant awareness of the game, able to pre-empt what the opposition will do to perfection.
CB – Lauren Koscielny
The French international has been key to the greatly improved defensive displays from the Gunners in the past couple of months. Wenger cited the former Lorient man as the ideal candidate to lead the back line, and this season Arsenal have looked vulnerable without him.
RB – Nathaniel Clyne
With his spot as England’s first choice right back virtually guaranteed, Ronald Koeman will be hoping that the 24-year old decides to stay with the Saints next season. The defender offers real pace from the full back area and is always prepared to overlap but, crucially he knows how to keep the opposition out. Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin has shown great promise in recent weeks and ran Clyne all the way but the Saint’s defender has been resolute all season long.
LM – Yannick Bolasie
The former Bristol City man scored a hat-trick in just 11 minutes at Sunderland and has been a sensation for Crystal palace. The Frenchman is believed to be attracting interest from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham, with manager Alan Pardew recently admitting he would sell for £60m. Bolasie was chosen over Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla, who despite his vision and trickey lost out, purely because of the Palace winger’s unpredictability in attacking areas.
CM – Cesc Fabregas
Many people would have been shocked not to see the Spanish international in the best XI, with the former Arsenal man pulling the strings at Stamford Bridge. 19 assists in 38 appearances has enabled Chelsea to see off so many games where they haven’t played particularly well and his contributions have been invaluable to the Blues. When you look back to his days at Barcelona it seems bizarre how he was branded surplus to requirements by manager Gerardo Marinto.
CM – Marouane Fellaini
The Manchester United midfielder has been one of the most consistent performers for Louis Van Gaal and has rescued valuable points for the Reds. 12 months ago there were calls to sell the Belgian after failing to justify his £27.5m move but now the former Everton man is a key player for the Reds. Morgan Schneiderlin came close to making our team with the Frenchman’s expert knowledge in marshalling the midfield area and that ability to play a defence-splitting pass.
RM – Ashley Young
When you’re keeping Angel Di Maria out of the side you must be doing something right and the England midfielder has recaptured the form which saw United spend a reported £20m to land the winger’s services. Alongside Fellaini, Young has been one of the most improved players under Louis Van Gaal this season and has been a constant threat down the right hand side.
ST – Sergio Aguero
21 goals in 26 appearances allowed Manchester City to challenge on three fronts up until before Christmas with the Argentine ruthless in and around the opposition’s box. The former Atletico Madrid talisman is regarded as one of the best centre-forwards in the World with Real Madrid reportedly planning a £70m bid to land the South American star. The Blues’ average age stands at 29 and with many believing City need a complete overhaul of their squad Aguero is one of the few exceptions that is considered indispensable.
ST – Olivier Giroud
The 28-year old has scored 14 goals in 17 Premier League appearances and the French man has shown numerous times how capable he is in front of goal. The former Montpellier man is excellent at holding the ball up and bringing others into play and he’s a real threat in the air. Christian Benteke was considered a near miss because of his capability to be a match winner, and every attack Villa make goes through the Belgian striker.