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The Premier League Rookie XI Features 1 Star From Each Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool & Man City

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This season we saw quite a few players playing their first season in England’s top division and there were plenty of rookies who were very impressive. There were a few unfortunate players who could not get going this season as well. Here is a team that consists of players playing their first season in the Premier League and have shone for their clubs. The key criterion here is that the debut players will be judged on the relative importance to their teams.

Goalkeeper: Adrian (West Ham United)

Adrian was a real snatch by West Ham as they continued their quest to strengthen their team. Sam Allardyce successfully managed to steer West Ham to a very good mid-table position especially when they looked done and dusted for relegation in the winter months. Adrian has played a key part in his first season making 20 appearances in the league and mustering 6 clean sheets with an impressive record of 2.56 saves per goal. His performance against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was one of his bests as West Ham held the Blues 0-0 to invigorate their campaign, following which they formulated a winning streak.

Defender: John Stones (Everton)

Young England defender John Stones has been a revelation for Everton. He stepped up at a time when Phil Jagielka, their captain got injured. Stones has been very solid and mentally strong for a 19 year old lad. He has made an impressive 21 appearances in the league. His main characteristic which was easily noted was his brave defending. He has made 19 blocks in his 15 starts and 6 substitute appearances which matches the figures for most other established stars like John Terry(20) and Gary Cahill(21). He is a disciplined defender and relies on his ability to contain opponents rather than tackle hard. He has an impressive tally of committing only 3 fouls in the league. He is a very good passer.

Defender: Martin Demichelis (Manchester City)

The Argentine has had a roller coaster first season in the Premier League. He made his debut against rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge where he was severely tested by a revived Fernando Torres and Andre Schurrle. Since then he was heavily criticised as being the weak link in the squad. Most people saw Demichelis as someone being beyond his prime as he was slow against dribblers and speedsters and made a few defensive errors during the campaign. But the experienced centre back lifted his game when it mattered the most, when City lost their captain early to a red card against Hull City.

Demichelis single handedly marshalled the defence and managed to keep a clean sheet. Ever since that match, his performances have been strong and by the time the league was won, he had played his part fairly well.  During the course of the season, Demichelis’ aerial ability was very important as he did lay-offs using his head during set pieces. He has also had 69 interceptions to his credit.

Defender: Dejan Lovren (Southampton)

The Croatian centre back has had a very fruitful first season as he was the vital cog of Southampton’s early season surge. The Saints punched above their weight as they managed some very key results in the first half of the season. In the matches Dejan Lovren has featured, the Saints have managed to keep an impressive 10 clean sheets. Lovren has impressed with his aggression and tactical reading of the game as he has managed 84 interceptions this season. He has had an impressive tally of 239 clearances as well.

Overall he manages an average of 11 defensive actions per game which  is incredible. He plays in a team that doesn’t consist of world class players, hence the need for passion for the game is more important to succeed and Lovren has really stepped up. His best performances have been against Merseyside teams Liverpool away and Everton at home. He scored a memorable winner against the Reds in the early part of the season when Brendan Rodgers’ team was looking menacing and were on a win streak.

Defender: Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool)

Sakho has been the no nonsense defender for Liverpool. He has probably been the only Liverpool defender who has looked to defend cautiously without committing many errors. Injuries limited his first season to only 17 appearances but the French centre back was responsible for displacing one of the Reds’ fan favourites Daniel Agger from the starting line-up. He has managed a great tally of 136 clearances in his limited appearances. He managed an average of 10 defensive actions per game.

Sakho has always helped the back-line with his aerial ability as he stops almost any aerial pass. His marking has also been commendable as only 5 times have players dribbled past him, one being when he injured his hamstring when Fernando Torres dribbled past him when Liverpool visited Chelsea. His best moment was when he scored his first goal for Liverpool against West Ham in a 4-1 win, where star man Luis Suarez stole the show.

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