The Premier League’s 26th season is over. The awards have been handed out and the teams of the season have also been announced. While the likes of Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Buryne and David De Gea stole the show in those, some of the other players from the lesser sides had great seasons too. So, here is the Premier League’s best players who are not from the top-6 sides.
The once backup goalkeeper at Burnley is now going to the World Cup. The Englishman kept 11 clean sheets in 35 league appearances this season and has now dethroned Tom Heaton from the No.1 spot. Pope also made a whopping 114 saves in the league.
At right-back, we have another Burnley player. Matthew Lowton has been an integral part of an impressive Burnley defence. The Englishman is an excellent tackler and can whip the crosses in. He makes 2.1 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 4.3 clearances per game.
At the heart of the defence is Shane Duffy. The Brighton and Hove Albion talisman is one of the major reasons why the Seagulls stayed up in the Premier League. The Irishman is a beast and imposes himself on opposition attackers. He tops the list of clearances, blocks and headed clearances in the Premier League.
Duffy’s partner in central defence is James Tarkowski. He has taken over the mantle from Michael Keane and has exceeded all expectations. He was at the heart of a very solid Burnley defence this season and his solidity and has now led the Clarets to European football. He makes 7.1 clearances and 1.4 blocks per game along with playing the ball out from the back.
At left-back is Ryan Bertrand. The Southampton star is among the most consistent performers at his club. He has been one of the best left-backs in the country for a while now. He has 4 assists this season, makes a key pass per game, covers the entire left flank every game and is composed on the ball.
Wilfried Ndidi is at the base of the midfield. Ndidi has won the most tackles in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season with 138. He also has 3 assists to his name and can score the odd banger or two from distance. Standing at 183cm, Ndidi is a pure athlete, winning 3.5 aerial duels per game along with making 1.5 interceptions and 2.9 clearances.
Abdoulaye Doucoure’s performance was the major reason for Watford’s impressive season. The Mali international is a perfect box-to-box midfielder. Doucoure is never out of energy, is focused and is aware of what is going around him. He has the vision for the passes and also the ability to win the ball back. Doucoure has 7 goals and 3 assists this season along with 2.1 tackles per game.
Riyad Mahrez is back to his brilliant best. He is replicating the form he showed in that incredible title winning 15/16 season. Cutting in from the right, dancing around defenders, creating chances and scoring them, the Algerian winger has been a delight to watch. Mahrez has 12 goals and 10 assists in 36 league appearances this season along with the completion of over 2 dribbles and one key pass per game.
Marko Arnautovic (CAM)
Marko Arnautovic was among the best signings of the season. After a poor start to the season, Arnautovic worked hard and started firing consistently. The Austrian forward looks like a bargain buy. He scored 11 times and provided 6 assists in 31 appearances, leading West Ham to survival. Stoke City made a big mistake by selling him.
Former Manchester United flop Wilfried Zaha has become his own self at Crystal Palace this season. The Eagles haven’t even picked up a point without their talisman Zaha. He has been utilised on the wings and up front too. The Ivorian scored 9 goals and assisted a further three.
The success story of Jamie Vardy is just inspiring. From non-league to consistently banging in double figures in the Premier League, Vardy scored 20 league goals this season. His tally is more than the likes of Lukaku, Morata, and Firmino. Vardy’s runs behind the opposition have caused havoc and his performances have earned him a World Cup call-up.
Subs: Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire, Sheamus Coleman, Jonjo Shelvey, Pascal Gross, Richarlison, Glenn Murray.
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