Ruben Dias, Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane are the Team of the Season dead-certs, but there’s three options in goal… and one XI leaves out Kevin De Bruyne! Our experts pick their sides after Neville and Carragher selections
- Sportsmail’s experts have picked their Premier League teams of the season
- Manchester City’s Ruben Dias is a unanimous pick in the heart of defence
- Harry Kane is also ever-present while Phil Foden and Luke Shaw feature heavily
- Illan Meslier and Wesley Fofana are surprise inclusions after shining this season
With just a handful of games left to be played in this Premier League campaign, award season is now in full swing and nothing quite provokes a debate like the team of the season.
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville were in agreement over the inclusion of six players when they revealed their respective teams on Monday Night Football.
Manchester City and United featured heavily in both, expectedly, with Ruben Dias, Luke Shaw, Bruno Fernandes, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Tottenham’s Harry Kane the unanimous selections.
Ruben Dias is a unanimous pick in Sportsmail’s reporters’ Premier League teams of the season
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville picked their teams of the year on Monday Night Football
The Sky Sports duo agreed on the selection of six stars in their XIs, with Phil Foden in attack
But the Sky Sports duo were not in agreement on a few selections with Carragher looking outside of the ‘Big Six’ to pick Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez and West Ham defender Vladimir Coufal.
Neville, meanwhile, included United pair Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford, as well as Chelsea stopper Edouard Mendy in between the sticks.
But who makes our team of the season? Sportsmail’s experts have picked their best XI’s of the top-flight campaign and explain the thinking behind some of their decisions.
(4-2-3-1): Martinez (Aston Villa); Coufal (West Ham), Stones (Man City), Dias (Man City, Shaw (Man United); De Bruyne (Man City), Ndidi (Leicester); Mount (Chelsea), Fernandes (Man United), Foden (Man City); Kane (Tottenham)
No surprise to see Manchester City dominating the XI and rightly so given the season they’ve had.
It seems harsh to only include one Chelsea player when they could end up winning the Champions League and FA Cup, but it is a Premier League team after all so Manchester United have a couple of representatives with Leicester, West Ham and Tottenham one each.
The three players who just missed the cut were Mo Salah, Son Heung-min and Ilkay Gundogan.
Vladimir Coufal has had an instant impact at West Ham, helping them to European contention
(4-5-1): Meslier (Leeds); Walker (Man City), Stones (Man City), Dias (Man City), Robertson (Liverpool); Mount (Chelsea), Gundogan (Man City), Fernandes (Man Utd), De Bruyne (Man City), Grealish (Aston Villa); Kane (Tottenham)
Manchester City predictably dominate but the big omission is Phil Foden.
As fantastic as he is, his contributions over the whole campaign can’t be compared to Mason Mount or Jack Grealish who have been their team’s most essential players. Foden has started fewer than half City’s Premier League games.
Other inclusions are 21-year-old Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier who, far from being the weak link predicted, has been integral to Marcelo Bielsa’s great success and Liverpool’s Andy Robertson who has been consistently great given the personnel changes in the rest of the defence.
21-year-old Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier has been integral to Marcelo Bielsa’s great success
(4-3-3): Mendy (Chelsea); Walker (Man City), Stones (Man City), Dias (Man City), Shaw (Man United); De Bruyne (Man City), Kante (Chelsea), Fernandes (Man United); Mount (Chelsea), Kane (Tottenham), Foden (Man City)
An English front three from me.
Neither Gary Neville nor Jamie Carragher had Mason Mount in their teams, but I had to squeeze him in somewhere. He’s a starter under every manager, including England’s Gareth Southgate, for a reason.
So Son Heung-min made way for Mount in my XI. I’ve loved seeing the emergence of Phil Foden, too, so he had to be in my side.
Mason Mount was left out by Carragher and Neville but he’s been so good for Thomas Tuchel
(4-2-3-1): Martinez (Aston Villa); Cancelo (Man City), Dias (Man City), Stones (Man City), Shaw (Man United); Gundogan (Man City), De Bruyne (Man City); Mount (Chelsea), Fernandes (Man United), Foden (Man City); Kane (Tottenham)
City dominated… but Martinez has made a huge impact on Villa, perhaps the key to lifting them out of the relegation fight.
Kane remains the best centre forward in the Premier League and Mount has excelled consistently through both halves of Chelsea’s contrasting season.
Emi Martinez (right) has perhaps been the key to lifting Aston Villa out of the relegation fight
(4-2-3-1): Mendy (Chelsea); Coufal (West Ham), Dias (Man City), Fofana (Leicester), Shaw (Man United); Kante (Chelsea), Gundogan (Man City); Foden (Man City), Fernandes (Man United), Mount (Chelsea); Kane (Tottenham)
It would have been easy to pack this XI full of Manchester City players – Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Kevin De Bruyne… all more than merit their spot.
But Vladimir Coufal and Wesley Fofana deserve recognition for their respective first seasons for West Ham and Leicester, while Luke Shaw’s resurgence has been stunning.
In midfield, Gundogan has been an unlikely goal machine for City, while N’Golo Kante has been back to his best in recent months.
The three in front have all provided regular sparks of genius and Harry Kane is primed for yet another golden boot.
Defender Wesley Fofana deserves recognition for his first Premier League season at Leicester
4-3-2-1: Mendy (Chelsea); Coufal (West Ham), Dias (Man City), Konsa (Aston Villa), Shaw (Man United); De Bruyne (Man City), Ndidi (Leicester), Gundogan (Man City); Mahrez (Man City), Fernandes (Man United); Kane (Tottenham).
This is not necessarily the best XI players, otherwise it would have been tempting simply to pick Manchester City’s first-choice team.
Instead I have gone for players who have made a significant impact on their team’s improvement: Coufal, Mendy, Ndidi, Konsa.
Harry Kane is the best forward in the league and cannot be overlooked, while Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw have been outstanding for Manchester United. It would have been nice to find room for Youri Tielemans, Tomas Soucek or Mason Mount, but Ilkay Gundogan ultimately edged them out.
Likewise Riyad Mahrez just earned the nod over team-mate Phil Foden, while Jack Grealish, Raphinha, Bukayo Saka and Harvey Barnes all had strong claims.
Ezri Konsa has had a significant impact on Aston Villa’s defence under Dean Smith this season
(4-3-3): Mendy (Chelsea); Cancelo (Man City), Andersen (Fulham), Dias (Man City, Shaw (Man United); De Bruyne (Man City), Gundogan (Man City), Fernandes (Man United); Foden (Man City), Kane (Tottenham), Grealish (Aston Villa).
Joachim Andersen may raise eyebrows as Fulham have gone down but their issues have been at the other end. Has repeatedly stood out for Fulham and it will be no surprise if he is back in the Premier League and higher up next season.
Other dilemma was who to play as right-sided attacker. Riyad Mahrez and Raphinha were contenders, Mo Salah has scored plenty again but final choice was between Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka, both brilliant young England players who have had huge impacts on their teams.
Foden just edged it though because of what his performances have contributed to, two trophies already and possibly a third.
Joachim Andersen has always stood out for Fulham and should be in the top flight next season
(4-3-2-1): Mendy (Chelsea); Walker (Man City), Dias (Man City), Rudiger (Chelsea), Shaw (Man United); Gundogan (Man City), De Bruyne (Man City), Rice (West Ham); Mount (Chelsea), Fernandes (Man United); Kane (Tottenham).
Loads of omissions here – Son Heung-min, Paul Pogba, Ben Chilwell and Phil Foden all mightily close to getting in.
Likewise, a couple of controversial calls included – Antonio Rudiger has only played half the season but his impact on Chelsea has been profound.
Declan Rice’s inclusion may also raise a few eyebrows but he is developing into an accomplished central midfielder and deserves his spot.
Declan Rice may raise a few eyebrows but he is developing into an accomplished midfielder
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