Garth Crooks’ team of 2020 leaves Liverpool fans furious over surprise omissions

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Liverpool fans are not happy with Garth Crooks' team of the year, after the former striker omitted Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk.

Salah scored 23 goals across the calendar year and helped Liverpool win their first ever Premier League title but Crooks opted for a front three of Tottenham star Son Heung-min, Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Salah's team-mate Sadio Mane.

There was also no space for last season's top scorer Jamie Vardy or England captain Harry Kane, who scored 16 goals and provided ten assists across the year.

Explaining his decision to omit Salah in his column on BBC Sport, Crooks claimed the Egyptian was not at his best after the restart while Mane was.

"I've no doubt Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp thinks the world of Mane but I'm not sure he gets the praise his performances and goals deserve", he wrote.

"Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are back in form again but they weren't at the end of last season. Liverpool struggled on their return from the lockdown in June, when Covid-19 threatened the cancellation of the entire season, but Mane did not."

Van Dijk was another puzzling omission, with Crooks naming Tyrone Mings and Fabinho as his centre-backs, despite Fabinho playing just 10 league games in defence across 2020.

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Van Dijk, meanwhile, did not miss a league game until he suffered an injury in October and he played a key part in Liverpool's title win.

Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne was named Premier League and PFA Player of the Year but he missed out on the team to Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish and Bruno Fernandes.

Explaining De Bruyne's omission, Crooks claimed: "De Bruyne and City have struggled to find any consistency at all this season. That said, I doubt whether De Bruyne could have retained the unbelievable standard he had set for himself."

Reacting to Crooks' team of the year, fans questioned why the likes of Salah, Van Dijk and De Bruyne were not picked, with one writing: "Salah got 23 league goals as a winger, DCL got 16 as a striker. More nonsense from Crooks. Vardy, Kane or Ings would’ve made more sense".

"De Bruyne tied the record for assists and won pfa poty but doesn't get in. This guy", added a second.

"No VVD? For the whole of 2020? Fabinho instead. Needs to be binned this column," wrote a third.

Garth Crooks' team of the year 2020 – Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Tyrone Mings, Fabinho, Andrew Robertson; Jack Grealish, Jordan Henderson, Bruno Fernandes; Sadio Mane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Son Heung-min

  • Mohamed Salah
  • Virgil van Dijk
  • Premier League
  • Liverpool FC

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