Picking the top eleven players in the Premier League this season is no easy task. We’ve seen players with huge reputations perform well and players without any reputation at all perform even better. This is my Premier League Team of the Season.
Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel
One of Leicester’s standout players. Kasper Schmeichel was unbeatable at times in the Premier League. He kept 15 clean sheets in Leicester’s title winning season, the second best in the league behind only Petr Cech and made some incredible saves in incredibly key moments to keep Leicester’s title winning dream a reality.
Right Back: Hector Bellerin
One of the best young talents in the league and one of the standout performers in what was at times an under-performing Arsenal side. Bellerin is one of the fastest players in the league and with an eye for a pass he proved to be one of Arsenal’s most integral players this season. With a goal and 5 assists in 36 matches, Bellerin walked in to this right-back slot.
Centre Back: Toby Alderweireld
One of the signings of the season. Toby Alderweireld was a rock at the back for Tottenham and their stable and resilient defense was in large part down to his positional awareness, leadership and defensive capabilities. We also can’t forget how he good he was going the other way, as he scored 4 goals with 2 assists as he featured in all 38 matches.
Centre Back: Wes Morgan
A real-leader at the back was exactly what Leicester needed in their quest to win the title. Luckily they had that in Wes Morgan, as he featured in all 38 matches, scored twice and helped them keep 15 clean sheets. With pace, strength, and fantastic defensive awareness, he’s incredibly hard for forwards to get past and he showed why he can compete with the best centre-backs in the league this season.
Left Back: Christian Fuchs
An unsung hero in Leicester’s title winning charge. Christian Fuchs was incredibly industrious down Leicester’s left-hand side as he assisted 4 goals, made 100 tackles and 100 interceptions. He epitomizes what a top-level left-back should be capable of.
Defensive Midfield: N’Golo Kante
The signing of the season by quite some margin. N’Golo Kante was incredible for Leicester City in 2015-16, making more tackles in Europe’s top 5 leagues than any other player with 174, and more interceptions than any other Premier League player with 156. He was also very good going the other way, bossing the midfield, running around like a gazelle and scoring a goal with 4 assists in 37 matches.
Right Midfield: Riyad Mahrez (C)
The PFA Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez was absolutely incredible in 2015-16. 17 goals with 11 assists in 37 matches was not only the second best goals + assists tally of this season (behind only Jamie Vardy), it’s also one of the best a player has ever achieved in the league. He ran circles around the opposition’s defenders, dancing his way to 130 successful dribbles, more than any other Premier League player. He also won a whopping 10 man of the match awards and made more appearances on my Team of the Week special than any other Premier League player has ever managed since I started doing it, with 15. He also gets to captain the side, as he wins my award for Premier League Player of the Season.
Attacking Midifield: Mesut Ozil
The Premier League’s new record holder for number of chances created in a single league season, with 144. Mesut Ozil was at times absolutely brilliant in 2015-16 and should feel incredibly robbed of his rightful place in the PFA Team of the Year. On top of a league leading 19 assists in 35 matches, he also scored 6 goals. Without Ozil, creativity certainly would have been lacking for Arsenal in 2015-16 and a second place finish would have been highly unlikely.
Left Midfield: Dimitri Payet
The other candidate for singing of the season. With an ability to strike a magical free kick, Payet proved to be the league’s standout set-piece specialist. He scored 9 goals with 12 assists in just 30 matches in his first ever season in the Premier League, but with 116 chances created, those assist numbers could have been even higher. He flourished under Slavan Bilic this season so much so that he’s now been called up to France’s Euro 2016 side.
Centre Forward: Harry Kane
Arguably the Premier League’s most well-rounded striker. Harry Kane can do it all. On top of scoring 25 goals in 38 matches, he also contributed in all other areas of the pitch in a fun-to-watch Tottenham Hotspur team. In his two seasons since making it in to Spurs’ starting XI, he’s now made two PFA Team of the Season appearances and there is certainly more to come.
Striker: Jamie Vardy
The most incredible story of Leicester’s Premier League season was Jamie Vardy, an ex-non-league player who came up through the ranks to break the record for scoring in consecutive matches in the league. Vardy scored in 13 matches between September 29 and November 28 to break the record. That’s right, in two months, not a game went by without him scoring a goal. He would go on to end the season with 24 goals and 6 assists in 36 matches helping Leicester win the title and scooping up individual honours such as the FWA Player of the Year and the Barclays Premier League Player of the Year Award.
Substitutes: David De Gea, Robert Huth, Chris Smalling, Danny Drinkwater, Dele Alli, Romelu Lukaku, Sergio Aguero