The PFA’s Team of the Year for 2016-17 in the Premier League was announced on Thursday and there were some notable absentees.
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Remember: this XI is put together after each PL player votes for his XI in a 4-4-2 formation. So, it is the players who vote for this team and therefore it may not be the most accurate representation of the top players in each position.
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Here is the PFA Team of the Season in full with David De Gea and Eden Hazard both named in the team of the fourth time in the past five seasons, while Harry Kane gets the nod for a third-straight campaign.
Below is a look at the biggest snubs, as plenty of people are particularly disappointed with the inclusion of Gary Cahill and De Gea.
Hugo Lloris – It seemed to be a toss up between Lloris and De Gea and the Tottenham goalkeeper has marshaled the best defense in the PL while also always looking calm and composed. In the 2-2 draw at Man City he had a rare lapse of concentration but apart from that he’s been flawless.
Tom Heaton – Maybe because he plays for Burnley but Heaton has been superb not only with his shot-stopping but also his leadership as the Clarets’ captain. When you look around the league at top goalkeepers, only De Gea, Lloris and Thibaut Courtois are ahead of him.
Toby Alderweireld – Perhaps the most puzzling absentee, Alderweireld has been an absolute rock at the heart of Spurs’ defense and he makes everything looks so easy. Good on the ball, powerful in the air and never puts a foot wrong, I thought Alderweireld would be a lock for this XI.
Jan Vertonghen – See above. Alongside his Belgian teammate Alderweireld they’ve formed a formidable partnership with the only reason I can think of for them both being left out is some time on the sidelines through injury. Still, their teammate Danny Rose has missed a large chunk of the season and he’s still been included. Bizarre.
Cesar Azpilicueta – He has arguably been Chelsea’s best defender all season long but David Luiz and Gary Cahill have been picked ahead of him. A real head-scratcher but maybe this is because he’s played at wing back as well as the right-sided center back in a 3-4-3 formation? Still, the Spaniard deserves to be in this team.
Ander Herrera – The only other Manchester United player alongside De Gea and Zlatan who deserves a shout. So consistent all season and Mourinho’s general in midfield. Kante gets in ahead of him though.
David Silva – Anybody who has watched City regularly this season can tell you Silva has been the hub of Guardiola’s team. His genius is often overlooked.
Christian Eriksen – Has the most assists in the PL and Pochettino called him Spurs’ “special one” in recent weeks. Should he be in ahead of Dele Alli?
Alexis Sanchez – The Arsenal forward has been in fine form for most of this season despite his, and Arsene Wenger‘s, future up in the air. The Chilean star is up for the PFA Player of the Year award but didn’t do enough to go in ahead of Lukaku, Kane, Hazard or Mane. Maybe should’ve pushed Mane out of the XI but a very close call.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Again, another player who is up for the PFA Player of the Year but wasn’t selected in this team. Ibrahimovic has scored big goals at big moments for United but the veteran has missed some really good chances throughout the season. Maybe that’s why his peers thought the clinical duo of Kane and Lukaku deserved it more.