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PFA TOTY: Best XI that missed out

Sport360's Brendon Netto looks an alternate Premier League Team of the Year.

Brendon Netto
by Brendon Netto
20th April 2017

article:20th April 2017

Chelsea and Tottenham both have four representatives in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.

N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard, both nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award, make the cut while team-mates Gary Cahill and David Luiz are also in the line-up.


Dele Alli and striker Harry Kane, as well as full-backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are included in the XI from Spurs.

Manchester United’s David De Gea gets the nod for a fourth consecutive season in goal.

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku who leads the race for the Golden Boot with 24 goals, complete the line-up.

Here’s a look at 10 of the best performers this season who were excluded.

ALEXIS SANCHEZ – ARSENAL

Why he could’ve been in the XI: His exclusion is probably the most baffling. He’s consistently performed in an Arsenal side that hasn’t. Not only has he managed 19 goals and nine assists in the league this season, he’s always shown great commitment and work ethic.

What went against him: He’s in a team that simply isn’t competing at a level that they need to. It’s hard to make a case for Eden Hazard over Sanchez apart from the fact that the Belgian will most likely have a Premier League medal around his neck at the end of the campaign.

CESAR AZPILICUETA – CHELSEA

Why he could’ve been in the XI: When Antonio Conte shifted three at the back, the system that’s been the foundation of what could end up being a title-winning season, he made the shift to centre-back effortlessly. The Spaniard has been extremely reliable, playing every single minute of Chelsea’s campaign and adapting to playing more centrally with ease.

What went against him: Competition. The Team of the Year includes Chelsea’s other two centre-backs Gary Cahill and David Luiz.

DIEGO COSTA – CHELSEA

Why he could’ve been in the XI: He was Chelsea’s go-to man for the first half of the season. He consistently made the difference, scoring crucial goals that earned his sides narrow wins.

What went against him: He’s on a bit of a drought at the moment, failing to score in his last five outings. However, he hasn’t been the same player ever since the rumours of a move to China cropped up.

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC – MANCHESTER UNITED

Why he could’ve been in the XI: He’s carried Manchester United for most of the season and is the only reason why they even have a chance of finishing in the top four. Not only has he scored 17 goals in the league,  but much of his side’s attacking play revolves around him.

What went against him: It must me said that the Swede has been wasteful in front of goal, missing 18 big chances so far, more than any other player.


MARCOS ALONSO – CHELSEA

Why he could’ve been in the XI: He’s been fantastic in defence and attack. The Spaniard has five goals in the league, Gareth McAuley is the only defender to score more (6). He also has four assists to his name.

What went against him: It was always going to be a close call between him and Danny Rose and you can’t say the Englishman doesn’t deserve his place given Tottenham’s season as well.

KEVIN DE BRUYNE – MANCHESTER CITY

Why he could’ve been in the XI: The Beligian has registered the most assists so far this season (13). He’s been City’s most consistent player, even earning high praise from Pep Guardiola who ranks him just a notch below Lionel Messi.

What went against him: After a solid start to the season, he did go off the boil a bit before starting to deliver again. Hasn’t done enough to force himself into the best XI.

ANTONIO VALENCIA – MANCHESTER UNITED

Why he could’ve been in the XI: He’s been the most consistent in United’s back-line that’s kept 12 clean sheets, just one less than Spurs and Chelsea. He’s been quality going forward as well, making more crosses per game (1.5) than any other defender.

What went against him: Despite his forays forward, his return of three assists and a goal isn’t overly impressive while Kyle Walker has blown the competition out of the water with his form at right-back.

 


ROBERTO FIRMINO – LIVERPOOL

Why he could’ve been in the XI: He’s scored 11 goals and made six assists while only missing two games all season. He’s had to step up when the likes of Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane or Philippe Coutinho has been unavailable.

What went against him: Despite being more of a permanent fixture in the side, Mane has been the more explosive threat at Liverpool.

TOM HEATON – BURNLEY

Why he could’ve been in the XI: The English keeper has had an outstanding season, making some of the best saves of the campaign. In fact he’s made the most saves in the league with 126 and has also saved a penalty.

What went against him: Unfortunately, and as you’d expect at Burnley, Heaton hasn’t had enough clean sheets but nine isn’t too shabby at all either.

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN – TOTTENHAM

Why he could’ve been in the XI: He’s quite simply been the midfield lynchpin for Spurs, influencing their play more than any other player. In fact, he’s made the most key passes per game (3) in the league apart from Dimitri Payet (4.1) who left for Marseille in January. He also has 12 assists this season, just one less than lead Kevin De Bruyne.

What went against him: His team-mate Dele Alli has overshadowed him to a certain extent with his penchant for goal-scoring. The Englishman is the highest-scoring midfielder in the league with 16 strikes.

TOBY ALDERWEIRELD – TOTTENHAM

Why he could’ve been in the XI: He’s been an absolute rock at the back for Spurs. Apart from being a supreme reader of the game, he’s also been key to the team’s build-up play with his excellent distribution.

What went against him: It must’ve been touch-and-go. He’s been far more integral to his side than either Luiz or Cahill. The fact that Spurs are second and not first is his only shortcoming compared to the Chelsea duo.


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PFA Premier League Team of the Year: The best XI that missed out

Sport360's Brendon Netto looks an alternate Premier League Team of the Year.

ALEXIS SANCHEZ - ARSENAL

ALEXIS SANCHEZ - ARSENAL

CESAR AZPILICUETA - CHELSEA

CESAR AZPILICUETA - CHELSEA

DIEGO COSTA - CHELSEA

DIEGO COSTA - CHELSEA

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC - MANCHESTER UNITED

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC - MANCHESTER UNITED

MARCOS ALONSO - CHELSEA

MARCOS ALONSO - CHELSEA

KEVIN DE BRUYNE - MANCHESTER CITY

KEVIN DE BRUYNE - MANCHESTER CITY

ANTONIO VALENCIA - MANCHESTER UNITED

ANTONIO VALENCIA - MANCHESTER UNITED

ROBERTO FIRMINO - LIVERPOOL

ROBERTO FIRMINO - LIVERPOOL

TOM HEATON - BURNLEY

TOM HEATON - BURNLEY

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN - TOTTENHAM

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN - TOTTENHAM