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Best signings of Premier League season

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The 2018-19 season saw plenty of new signings play starring roles across the Premier League.

But which transfers turned out to be the best bits of business?

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Below we take a look at the top new arrivals from the entire campaign.


Permanent deals

Raul Jimenez: Top goalscorer for Wolves as the Mexican striker made his loan move permanent and was a revelation in the Premier League. Proper target forward.

Alisson: Helped improve Liverpool defensively and is set to be their number one for a long time. A few dodgy moments with his feet, but Jurgen Klopp wants him to take risks.

David Brooks: Bournemouth’s Welsh winger was simply superb in his debut PL campaign. Not much was expected when he arrived from Sheffield United but he added goals and assists and his pace is scary.

Sokratis: The Greek defender has been a rock for Arsenal and even though they have still had defensive issues, Sokratis has tried to hold things together as best as he can.

Lukasz Fabianski: Under the radar signing last summer, but Fabianski has excelled at West Ham with a string of fine displays. Solid, reliable goalkeeper.

Lucas Digne: Emerged as one of the best left backs in the Premier League, the Frenchman has got better and better since his move from Barcelona. Very dangerous going forward.

James Maddison: Fantastic young talent who is fearless on the ball and created the most chances in the league. Will be key to Leicester’s hopes of European qualification in the coming years.

Lucas Torreira: A fans favorite at Arsenal already, he and Matteo Guendouzi have added extra bite to their engine room. The Uruguayan midfielder has class on the ball and wins it back so quickly. Exactly what the Gunners needed.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Gerard Deulofeu: His loan move from Barca was made permanent last summer and Deulofeu has scored some stunning goals. He drifts off the left wing with ease and is so tough to mark. He’s form was vital in Watford’s impressive season.

Richarlison: Started and ended the season really well. Had a dip in the middle, but the Brazilian is still extremely young. At his best playing off the flank and is already being linked with a big move after a really good first season at Everton.

Joao Moutinho: One of a host of new names at Wolves who excelled in their first season in England, Moutinho was calm on the ball and his set piece deliveries set up so many chances. Oozed class all season.

Ryan Babel: Arrived at Fulham in January and is set to leave in the summer, the Dutch winger was a real bright spot for the Cottagers but couldn’t help them stay in the Premier League. Can be a key contributor elsewhere in the Premier League.

Ricardo Periera: The Portuguese right back has been a revelation for Leicester and adds a real attacking threat down the flank. Good business, once again, from the Foxes.

Fabinho: Took him a while to get going, but once the penny dropped he was a key player in Liverpool’s midfielder. Defensively sound and comfortable on the ball, he is now loved by Klopp.

Fabian Schar: Very solid first season in England for the Swiss defender, who also scored a stunning goal. Newcastle got themselves a bargain.

Ben Foster: One of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Watford snagged him from West Brom last season and Foster produced so many crucial stops.

Felipe Anderson: Arrived from Lazio for big money but proved his quality at various stages of the season. A bit up and down, but has the potential to be one of the best wingers in Europe.

Rui Patricio: The Portuguese national team goalkeeper look at home in the PL and used all of his experience in their fine season.


Loan deals

(Chris Radburn/PA via AP)

Youri Tielemans: Arrived in January from Monaco and has been sublime in central midfield. Leicester may struggle to sign him permanently after his fine displays.

Andre Gomes: See above. Arrived from Barcelona on loan and Gomes’ quality on the ball and surprising strength mean he is a perfect fit for the PL. Huge clubs are lining up to sign him, but the Toffees are trying their best to keep him at Goodison.

Victor Camarasa: One of Cardiff’s best players, the Spaniard scored some great goals and was a driving force from midfield. Has quality and not afraid to roll up his sleeves. If Real Betis do not want him back, plenty of PL clubs will look to sign him this summer.

Kurt Zouma: In the second half of the season he really kicked on and the Chelsea defender has finally put his horrible luck with injuries behind him. Everton are keen to sign him permanently, but with Chelsea’s transfer ban they may not let him go.

Salomon Rondon: What a signing he has proven to be. Arrived on loan from West Brom last summer and the Venezuelan striker knits Newcastle’s attack together. Such a handful for opposition defenses. Newcastle may not have the cash to splash on Rondon this summer.

Ranking top 10 Premier League players at each position

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There are 25 players in each Premier League squad, but who not only starred for their respective clubs but also elevated themselves to the upper echelons of the league this season?

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

We pondered that as we analyzed those who rose to the challenge best over the past nine months.

Below is a look at our complete list of the top 10 players in each position based on their play during the 2018-19 campaign.


Goalkeepers
1. Ederson
2. Alisson
3. David De Gea
4. Kepa
5. Ben Foster
6. Lukasz Fabianski
7. Hugo Lloris
8. Jordan Pickford
9. Rui Patricio
10. Martin Dubravka


Right backs
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold
2. Matt Doherty
3. Aaron Wan-Bissaka
4. Cesar Azpilicueta
5. Ricardo Perreira
6. Kyle Walker
7. Seamus Coleman
8. Kiko Femenia
9. Pablo Zabaleta
10. Yan Valery


Left backs
1. Andrew Robertson
2. Lucas Digne
3. Ben Chilwell
4. Luke Shaw
5. Jonny Otto
6. Patrick Van Aanholt
7. Ben Davies
8. Nacho Monreal
9. Jose Holebas
10. Emerson Palmeri


Center backs
1. Virgil Van Dijk
2. Aymeric Laporte
3. Toby Alderweireld
4. Jan Vertonghen
5. Vincent Kompany
6. Sokratis
7. Antonio Rudiger
8. Conor Coady
9. Michael Keane
10. Issa Diop


Central midfielders
1. Fernandinho
2. Joao Moutinho
3. Moussa Sissoko
4. David Silva
5. Jordan Henderson
6. Andre Gomes
7. Abdoulaye Doucoure
8. Fabinho
9. N'Golo Kante
10. Youri Tielemans


Attacking midfielders
1. Eden Hazard
2. Bernardo Silva
3. Kevin De Bruyne
4. Christian Eriksen
5. Gerard Deulofeu
6. Dele Alli
7. James Maddison
8. Gylfi Sigurdsson
9. Paul Pogba
10. Diogo Jota


Wingers
1. Raheem Sterling
2. Bernardo Silva
3. Sadio Mane
4. Mohamed Salah
5. Wilfried Zaha
6. Ryan Fraser
7. Pedro
8. Ryan Babel
9. David Brooks
10. Nathan Redmond


Strikers
1. Sergio Aguero
2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
3. Harry Kane
4. Roberto Firmino
5. Alexandre Lacazette
6. Raul Jimenez
7. Heung-Min Son
8. Jamie Vardy
9. Marcus Rashford
10. Salomon Rondon


PST writers’ Premier League Best XI of the 2018-2019 season

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The 38-game gauntlet of a Premier League campaign is over, and now, it’s time to look back at who were the standout performers over the 2018-2019 season.

So, who made our Premier League Best XI? We polled our PST staff for their opinions to form their Best XIs from the last nine months. It’s a difficult task, considering that there are always more than 11 players who shined, especially with multiple at one position.

Here are our results. Let us know Premier League Best XI in the comments below!

(more…)

Klopp ‘couldn’t be more proud’ of Liverpool’s 97-point season

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By any measure other than “Did you win the title?”, Liverpool’s 2018-19 Premier League campaign was a massive success.

[ MORE: Final Premier League standings of the 2018-19 season ]

After finishing 25 points behind last season’s champions, Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds closed the gap by 24 points by posting the third-highest points total in PL history this season. The only problem with that, of course: the gap remained at one point, thus Liverpool finish as runners-up despite losing just one game all season, to Man City.

[ WATCH: Man City celebrate 2018-19 Premier League title ]

Could Klopp and Co., have done anything more (i.e., been not “close to perfection,” but actually perfect)? (quotes from the BBC):

“Not really. I know people will find something and say a point here or three. We had lucky moments, City had lucky moments — against Burnley and us. But we scored a strange goal against Everton and a late one against Newcastle.

“It’s not about outplaying everyone, it’s about keeping believing and staying in the race. City found it difficult to get rid of us, and we couldn’t get rid of them.

“Being second in the Premier League isn’t what we wanted tonight, but we’ll take it. This is a first step, that’s how we see it. The team who played the last couple of weeks were together last year apart from Alisson.

“We were 25 points off [Man City] last season. If we do those same steps again, that will be a season. The boys deserve 100 percent. Congratulations to Manchester City, they played a good season. They took 198 points in two seasons. Not bad.”

“We tried everything to make it as difficult as possible, but not difficult enough. I couldn’t be more proud of the boys.

“It’s incredible what they did all season, and today was a strange situation. We were really good until 1-0, what happened then was clear. You can’t tell the people to calm down. At that moment [when Liverpool fans celebrated Brighton’s goal], it was a shock for everyone and Wolves were there. We had to fight. In the end, we scored two and kept a clean sheet. It’s nice, but not how we wanted it.

“It’s clear we had to work hard, and City, too. Our target during the week was to get 97 points, we got that — that’s special. We want to write our own history, and we did. Today feels not so good, but we have plenty of time to prepare for an important game in three weeks.”

That “important game in three weeks” is, of course, the Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur. All is not lost for Liverpool, who could still finish the season by lifting the one trophy which has eluded Man City — the trophy they desire the most.

Liverpool dominate Wolves in season finale, finish second (video)

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  • Mane slides home the opener (17′)
  • Mane heads home the second (81′)
  • Liverpool finish with 97 points
  • Wolves finish 7th, with 57 points

Liverpool capped off a thrilling, memorable season in which they lost just one our of 38 games with another victory on Sunday, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at Anfield, but fell one point short of Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Again, the second-place finishers lost just once all season — to the champions, of course — while the champions lost not one, not twice, not three times, but four. It’s the third-highest points total in PL history — behind on Man City last season, and this season.

A cruel way to conceded the title, indeed.

Sadio Mane opened Sunday’s scoring in the 17th minute, and it was a goal that looked quite familiar if you’ve watched much of Liverpool this season. Trent Alexander-Arnold got forward on the right wing and delivered a dangerous cross into the box, where Mane was waiting near the penalty spot. The finish was cool and precise.

Wolves went inches away from drawing level in the 44th minute. Matt Doherty got on the end of a ball from Diogo Jota and smashed a first-time effort pass Alisson and headed for the upper-90 at the far post. Fortunately for the Reds, the ball crashed off the top side of the crossbar.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

It was the closest Wolves would come to an equalizer, as Liverpool appeared remarkably comfortable — as a side with 30 league wins often does — in seeing their narrow advantage through to full-time.

For a bit of added insurance, Mane added his 22nd goal of the league season in the 81st minute — drawing him level with teammate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the Golden Boot. It was another brilliant ball into the box from Alexander-Arnold, and Mane got just enough of his head on it to redirect it past Rui Patricio.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Liverpool’s full race is far from run and they’ll have one more shot at a major trophy this season, when they face Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final in Madrid on June 1.