The 2022/23 season is finally coming to a close. It’s been slightly longer than usual, and you’d be forgiven for forgetting we had an enthralling World Cup in the middle of it!
Nevertheless, the journey has somewhat stayed consistent with previous years gone by. It’s been fun, controversial, and (somewhat predictably) extremely unpredictable.
To cap it all off, we thought we’d jump on the bandwagon and give you our Premier League team of the season. But, with a twist…
Rather than picking the best 11 players in the league, we thought it’d be more interesting (and more difficult) if we limit the conditions and allow just one player per club to be chosen.
Before we start, it’s worth apologising to the nine teams that won’t have a player involved in this squad. Whilst also explaining that the aim of this task will be to try and pick the best all-round team, therefore we have to consider what options are available in each position and at each club, rather than just choosing the best player at each respective club.
You may agree, or you may disagree, but we will try to be as fair as possible.
Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno (Fulham)
After winning the Championship last year, Fulham have thoroughly impressed this season, securing 10th, their highest since 2012! That success is in no small part due to Bernd Leno.
Having signed from Arsenal this summer for just £3.1m, the German has had an oustanding debut campaign at Craven Cottage, having the second best save percentage amongst his competitors, and saving his side a remarkable 9.2 more goals than Fbref’s post-shot xG model would have expected him too, which further ranks him as second best in the League. Those numbers make him a worthy inclusion in our team, and a guaranteed safe pair of hands between the sticks.
Right-back: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United)
Right-back was a relatively simple pick, although many Newcastle players deserve to be in our squad, nobody can argue that Kieran Trippier has been their star-man this season. As per SofaScore, the 32-year-old has racked up one goal and seven assists for the Magpies, but has also created more big chances than any player other than Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, and has been a vital cog in Eddie Howe’s side, helping them earn Champions League football next season.
Centre-backs: Ben Mee (Brentford) and Lewis Dunk (Brighton)
Mee just edges it over club teammate Ethan Pinnock, and although the Brighton slot in this team could have gone to pretty much any player in their side, we’ve gone with Lewis Dunk, who recently earned a call up to the England squad. Both men’s performances have gone under the radar this season, as they’ve been key to their respective clubs rise up the league table. Albeit, they’ve done so in extremely different ways, with Dunk remaining calm and concise in possession around his own box to help De-Zerbi’s men draw in the opposition press, whilst Mee has been throwing himself at every ball that comes his way, regardless of which box he’s in, blocking more shots than any other Brentford player, but also bagging three goals for himself!
Left Back: Alex Moreno (Aston Villa)
Despite only making 19 PL appearances, having joined from Villarreal for just over £11m in the winter window, Moreno has been truly outstanding in a resurgent Villa side. The Spaniard was brought in by Unai Emery despite the West Midlands club only signing Lucas Digne last year, but he has instantly repaid his new managers’ trust, securing his place in the starting lineup by putting in several stellar performances, particularly in Villa’s astonishing 3-0 victory over Newcastle United.
Defensive midfield: Rodri (Manchester City)
Okay, this might be a slightly controversial pick, but remember, we are only allowed to pick one player per club, and need to create the best all-round squad, so, please, bare that in mind especially when we come to the striker position!
Whether you agree with his inclusion in this squad or not, there is no doubt that Rodri has yet again had an exceptional season in City’s potential treble winning side. The Spanish international has made the most passes, ball recoveries, tackles and interceptions for the Citizens this season. The 26-year-old has a calmness in his games and his ability to read, break-up, and re-circulate play, is one of many reasons why he flourishes in Pep Guardiola’s system.
Central/Attacking Midfielders: Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) and James Maddison (Leicester City)
As for the two joining Rodri in the middle of the park, we have looked at two players currently residing at opposite ends of the table. Both men have contributed massively to their respective teams, with Martin Ødegaard not only accumulating a fantastic 22 goal involvements for the Gunners, but also being vital in helping Arteta’s side consistently maintain their attacking, free-flowing football that has mesmerised so many this season.
Meanwhile James Maddison has put up 10 goals and nine assists in a meagre Leicester City side fighting to keep their Premier League status. A move away from the East Midlands this summer looks more than likely for the 26-year old, but the Foxes will still hope he can put in one last stand-out performance against West Ham United this weekend, where they need a win and other results to go their way in order to secure survival from the Championship.
Right-Wing: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Although an honorable mention should go to Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, who misses out both due to Odegaard’s and Salah’s brilliance, there is no doubt that the Egyptian has been fantastic for Liverpool once again.
The Reds will be disappointed with their fifth place finish this year, and despite Salah not reaching the levels he once has, his 19 goals and 11 assists amongst a Jurgen Klopp side currently in it’s transitional phase is still very impressive, and earns him a place in our squad.
Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Yes, Erling Haaland, the man who has broken numerous records and scored a frankly ridiculous 36 Premier League goals with one game to go, is NOT in our squad. However, as mentioned previously this is simply because it is best for the all-round makeup of our squad.
Regardless, you’d struggle to find a more capable back-up than the league’s second top scorer Harry Kane. The England captain has scored 28 goals for the Lilywhites which makes up an incredible 42% of their league goals. It comes in a season that could be his last at the club, with United boss Erik ten Hag said to be obsessed with signing the 29-year-old.
Left-wing: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
We come to our final pick, where after a disappointing 2021/22 season, in which he scored just four goals in 26 appearances, United’s academy graduate Rashford has bounced back sensationally. The 51-cap England international has scored 17 goals whilst providing five assists in the league, and has been pivotal in helping his boyhood club reach an FA cup final, win the EFL cup, and ensure Champions League football ahead of next season.
So there you have it, that is our Premier league team of the season, with the caveat of only one player being per club being allowed.
There may have been some controversial picks, and we may have missed out on some players, but, with the help of statistics and data from Sofascore, Fbref, and Transfermarkt, we hope we’ve given credit to some of the best performers in what has yet again been a truly fascinating year of Premier League football.
Travis Levison | Get Football