With the Premier League getting underway, the world’s finest are in action in what is arguably the greatest domestic football league in the world.
When you have some of the best in the world, there’s bound to be great matches and action. Today we look at a unique eleven. I have put together the finest Premier League squad, based on their current form. My team will have one of the more popular formations used in football today – 4-3-3.
Goalkeeper – Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa)
Martínez’s story has been nothing less than extraordinary. After going through six loans, the Argentine finally got a shot as Arsenal‘s number one when Bernd Leno got injured during the 2019/20 season. After a stunning breakthrough season, he saw himself get multiple offers and went on to become Aston Villa‘s number one once Leno returned from injury.
Some of Martínez’s strengths have been his terrific shot-stopping ability, efficient sweeping and brilliant distribution. Martínez’s latest heroics at Copa América saw Argentina end their trophy drought, and as one of the Premier League’s finest shot-stoppers at the moment, I could see no one but Martínez to take the number one spot.
Left back – Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
When Liverpool won their first title in 30 years after an eventful 2019/20 campaign, the title win came down largely to their stellar defence. And Andy Robertson was a key figure in this triumphant campaign.
Robertson is a multi-dimensional player and one that has been one of Liverpool’s finest buys in the recent past. As a fullback, not only is Robertson excellent with his defensive duties but he has also become one of the side’s key creators, having fantastic vision in finding the front three.
Along with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Robertson has formed a formidable pair, and what makes him stand out from his fullback partner is his defensive skills. The Scot excels in taking on opposition wingers, and with his incredible pace and tenacity, has slowly become a crucial and un-droppable member of the Liverpool squad.
Robertson also has a tremendous partnership with Sadio Mané down the left flank, and the two have become quite a threatening duo for opponents. Delivering 2.4 long balls per game, the Scot stands head and heels above any of his nearest competitors.
Also Read – TOP 10 CLOSEST PREMIER LEAGUE TITLE BATTLES
Centre-back – Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
There wasn’t any doubt as to who was going to take this position. They say consistency is the key to success, and van Dijk probably is the most consistent defenders around.
A no-nonsense defender, the Dutchman is one of the most reliable centre-backs any team can ask for. VVD uses his height in both ends of the pitch and is a threat from set pieces in the opponent box too. A commanding leader, van Dijk is also one of the most tactically astute and clever centre-backs in modern football. The Dutchman makes sure he stays on his feet and rarely gets into an ugly position.
This can be easily seen from his stats in the Premier League over the last three seasons, where he has picked up just three yellow cards in three seasons and hasn’t been sent off yet for Liverpool in the Premier League yet.
The tall Dutchman, along with his skilful defensive abilities, also has a stunning vision and is known for his long balls. He has provided six assists and scored nine times in the last three seasons.
After spending the majority of the 2020-21 season on the bench due to an ACL injury, van Dijk will return this summer for Liverpool to give them a much needed boost for their title challenge.
Centre-back – Rúben Dias (Manchester City)
Dias has been one of Manchester City‘s most impressive signings in the recent past. His presence in the defence filled in a gap that was prevalent and saw City slip up to Liverpool two seasons ago.
The Portuguese is one of the most aware centre-backs in the game right now and this is showcased by the fact that he is rarely out of position. A very clever and reactive defender, Dias does the simple things properly. He does the most basic of defensive traits as well as anyone else, he rarely commits, and his actions are always dependant on his opponents.
Another massive plus point about the Portuguese is his passing. Having great vision means Dias can dictate the play from the back and control the game. And this leads us to another important aspect to his game and to passing – anticipation. It is critical for defenders to anticipate and intercept well and Dias does both extremely well.
Dias had a record 17 clean sheets in his debut Premier League season and also ended up with a goal and assist. Recipient of the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award and Premier League Player of the Season, Dias is one of the finest one can have in their squad.
Right back – João Cancelo (Manchester City)
The Portuguese international was the most expensive right-back when Manchester City bought him for £60 million. One and half seasons in, one understands why City paid such a sum for Cancelo.
Cancelo had a stellar 2020/21 season which saw City crowned as champions. The Portuguese fullback has flourished under Pep Guardiola. Known for his speed, energy, creativity, crossing abilities and counter attacking runs, Cancelo is one of the most promising players in the Premier League right now.
The defender not only helped City keep 14 clean sheets last season but also managed to provide four assists and ended the season with two goals in his bag. Along with Rúben Dias, Kyle Walker and John Stones, Cancelo is part of a formidable back-line that is one of the catalysts of City’s success.
Central Midfield – Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
The Belgian is quite simply the finest Premier League player and has been for some time now. There aren’t too many players not only in the Premier League but world football who can turn the game around like Kevin De Bruyne.
Manchester City’s rise over the last few seasons has also been due to De Bruyne’s inhuman performances season after season. In City’s title-winning 2019/20 season, De Bruyne scored 13 goals and provided 20 assists. By 2020, the Belgian was also responsible for 111 of City’s 454 goals scored since 2015/16. He averages 3.5 key passes per 90 and has 1.1 shots on target per game.
After leaving Chelsea, De Bruyne went on to Wolfsburg and shone in the Bundesliga before getting signed up by City for a then club record fee of £55m. Since his arrival, the Belgian has been a mainstay in the City XI. With superior vision, sublime passes and growing leadership qualities, it was a no-brainer to have Kevin De Bruyne in my team.
Also Read – TOP 10 CENTRE-BACKS IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW
Defensive Midfield – Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
Wilfred Ndidi is a midfield maestro, and there aren’t many like him.
Let’s see a small example of how important Ndidi is to his team and the impact he has: last season he missed five games due to injury and do you know how many of those matches Leicester City won? Zero. He is so important that when Leicester were up against Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has a separate game-plan for him.
Ndidi is known to cover a ridiculous amount of ground, which helps the rest of the team by ensuring none of the others tire out. He is also known for his astute positional sense, which is one of the best in the world, if not the best. Ndidi has excellent reaction time and adapts to any situation extremely quickly which is one of his biggest positives, especially as a defensive midfielder. And if you are 1v1 with him, there is very little chance you’re getting by. No one gets by.
A commanding figure on the field, Ndidi is constantly lifting up his teammates and has made sure that Leicester don’t miss N’Golo Kanté. He has repeatedly proved his class, efficiency, and productivity, and all these qualities make him an elite world-class defensive midfielder.
Midfielder – Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
“I was surprised by the season of Bruno. It was easy to predict quality. He is a very good player, but scored a very high number of goals for a midfield player. It shows that you need to have instinct and qualities to score and he has it all. He strikes the ball well, heads well, cool when he is one-on-one with the goalkeeper. He finds space in the penalty area. It’s all there,” José Mourinho has said of the Manchester United star.
Riding on the back of the Portuguese midfielder’s stellar performances, Manchester United have slowly become title contenders again. Being comfortable in both central midfield positions alongside a more defensive player while also being able to receive the ball on the half turn ahead of play is one of the reasons that make Bruno the complete midfielder. And unlike other midfielders, he is a significant threat and scores more regularly than others in his role.
A few of the most important aspects of his game are his ability to see space in the opponent’s defensive line. Bruno will find an avenue to receive the ball between the defensive line and make the most of available half-spaces. From there, he will look to find an outlet pass to his wide players or to create something himself with his great ability in tight spaces and agility.
Known for being adept at positioning himself in the right places, whether it’s to run behind the defensive line, slip in behind the defence, or to arrive outside the penalty area to shoot, Fernandes does it all to perfection.
Left-wing – Mohammed Salah (Liverpool)
There has been only one undisputed King at Liverpool and that has to be Mohammed Salah. The Egyptian maestro is a goal machine and is nearing 100 goals for Liverpool in his fifth season at Anfield. Predominantly known for his movement, clinical finishing, ball control and speed, Salah is one of the most versatile forwards in modern football. Although he plays as a winger, the Egyptian is known to cut into the centre and make runs behind the defence.
Since coming to Anfield, Salah has scored 20+ goals in all seasons, and along with his incredible goal scoring consistency, he also rakes up the assists as well.
Centre-forward – Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Harry Kane is the most orthodox striker one can ask for. Hailed as one of the purest strikers of the game, Kane is known for his finishing and prolific goal scoring abilities. An out-and-out striker, Kane also has a great vision and sets up crucial plays with his brilliant passing ability which also helps him rake up assists along with the goals.
As England’s captain, Kane is a natural leader and a commanding figure on the pitch. For multiple seasons now he has carried Tottenham Hotspur to heights they shouldn’t have been at, and if Spurs do lose their captain, there shall be one massive void at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Right-wing – Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspurs)
One of the most powerful and skilled forwards in the sport currently. Son Heung-min has come a long way from being the next big thing. He is now an indispensable asset at Spurs.
Incredibly versatile and deadly as a winger, Son has slowly become one of the key members to the Spurs setup. His partnership with Kane up top is something that the opponent defences dread. The South Korean is known to play behind the striker, as a poacher, which also helps him use his speed to break through defences with relative ease. He is known to burst through defences, and along with his incredible speed, Son also has excellent ball control and agility which see him put in almost seven dribbles per game with a 70% success rate.
One of Son’s strongest points is that he has no weak foot and is as deadly with his left as he is with his right. One the most tactical players going around, Son will be looking to lead the Spurs attack should his strike partner Kane leave.