17 May Premier League team of the season 2018/19: 5 alternate awards – best XI outside top six, best U23 players & more
Premier League Team of the Season – The best XI of the season features six players from Liverpool, four from Manchester City and Paul Pogba. 17 Premier League sides couldn’t get a look into the season’s end of season gongs, as Virgil Van Dijk and Raheem Sterling won PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year respectively.
So we felt it was best to put together a range of different starting XI’s to rank some of the lesser-heralded players of the 2018/19 season, including best XI outside the top six, best English XI, best U21 XI, most yellow cards XI and the best starting eleven players when only picking one player from each team.
Best XI Outside Top 6
Despite relegation, Cardiff shot-stopper Neil Etheridge made 141 saves in 2018/19, a total only bettered by David De Gea (149), so he is unlucky to lose out Lukasz Fabianski here.
The back four is comprised of Leicester duo Ben Chilwell and Harry Maguire alongside Issa Diop and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, the latter of whom established himself as one of England’s best upcoming talents. His averages of 3.7 tackles, 2.4 interceptions and 3.7 clearances per game rank him among Europe’s very best in those categories and Crystal Palace will do well to keep hold of him this summer.
Idrissa Gueye provides a shield in the centre of park alongside free-kick maestro James Ward-Prowse, supported by the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Felipe Anderson out wide. Jamie Vardy Callum Wilson spearhead the attack with 32 league goals between them this past season.
Best Premier League XI outside top six – Neil Etheridge, Issa Diop, Harry Maguire, Lucas Digne, Aaron Wan Bissaka, Idrissa Gana Gueye, James Ward-Prowse, Wilfried Zaha, Richarlison, Jamie Vardy, Marko Arnautovic
Best English XI
This eleven features the best English players this season at their respective positions. Jordan Pickford ranked joint-third in the race to win the inaugural Golden Glove award, with 14, alongside Kepa Arrizabalaga. In-front of him are two title-winning defenders in Kyle Walker and John Stones, who each played varying roles in leading City’s side the league’s second-best defence.
Further forward is James Maddison, who enjoyed a return of seven goals and seven assists in 37 games, while Raheem Sterling serves as something of the focal point of this team’s attack, which is lead by Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane. The two English strikers scored 35 Premier League goals in 2018/19, even though the latter striker saw his season end in early April. Goal of the season winner Andros Townsend also makes the cut after a solid season in which he started all 38 games and chipped in 11 goal contributions.
Best English XI – Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Trent Alexander Arnold, Ben Chillwell, James Ward Prowse, Declan Rice, Raheem Sterling, Andros Townsend, Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane
Best U23 XI
Across the board most of these players started at least 15 games for their respective clubs, with James Maddison leading the way at 37, following his £20m arrival from Norwich last summer. Leroy Sane and Dele Alli are among the most reputable inclusions, alongside
Everton duo Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin lead the line, with the former enjoying a decent first season on Merseyside and the latter contributing in ways that don’t always show up on the stat sheet. The likes of Phil Foden (13) and Joe Gomez (16) didn’t see as much game time as perhaps they would’ve liked, but both look like mainstays at Manchester City and Liverpool for many years to come.
Angus Gunn, Joe Gomez, Issa Diop, Ben Chilwell, Aaron Wan Bissaka, Declan Rice, James Maddison, Leroy Sane, Trent Alexander Arnold, Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewim
Most Yellow Cards XI
This starting eleven is comprised of the players who accumulated the most yellow cards at their position. Only two players. Pierre-Emerick Hojbjerg and Wes Morgan, received two dismissals, while the other nine players are made up of those who racked up the most yellows at their position.
Between the sticks is three-time card-receiver Tom Heaton, who tied with Kasper Schmeichel for most bookings for a goalkeeper (3), but gets the nod because he played in fewer games. No goalkeeper received a red card in the 2018/19 season. Aside from Morgan, the other three defenders, Ryan Bennett, Jose Holebas and Phil Bardsley managed to get booked 33 times between them.
Two of the league’s three most-booked players in 2018/19 play for Watford, as Etienne Capoue leads the league with 14 yellow’s, while Ashley Barnes and Diogo Jota proved to be the most aggressive up-top, racking up 19 bookings between them.
Tom Heaton, Wes Morgan, Ryan Bennett, Jose Holebas, Phil Bardsley, Pierre-Emeile Hojbjerg, Etienne Capoue, Robert Snodgrass, Matt Ritchie, Ashley Barnes, Diogo Jota
Best XI (Only One Player From Each Team)
Siding with PFA Player of the Year, Virgil Van Dijk, over joint-Golden Boot winner, Mohamed Salah, and other Liverpool stars proved tough, but ultimately, he arguably the best at what he does in the entire league, so he couldn’t be left out. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Lucas Digne are the wing backs, while ‘slab head’ Harry Maguire joins Van Dijk at the heart of the defence, with Lucasz Fabianski between the sticks.
The midfield sees Raheem Sterling joined by the first-ever recipient of the Premier League’s debut Playmaker of the Season award, Eden Hazard with 15 assists, trailed closely by Ryan Fraser, who put up an impressive stat line of 14 assists and 7 goals in 2018/19. The forwards come from Arsenal and Tottenham in the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Harry Kane respectively, rounding off a starting eleven that could make challenge for Champions League honours.
Hugo Lloris, Virgil Van Dijk, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Lucas Digne, Paul Pogba, Ryan Fraser, Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eden Hazard, Harry Kane