Friday, September 29, 2023

Arsenal and Manchester City dominate PFA Team of the Year with nine players in elite XI

Arsenal and Manchester City dominate the PFA Team of the Year with nine players from the respective sides making up the elite XI.

It may not be much of a surprise given Arsenal and City battled it out for the Premier League title last season which saw Pep Guardiola’s men pip them to the post.

PFA Player of the Year award winner Haaland of course made it into the Team of the YearHand out via PFA

As did Young Player of the Year winner Bukayo SakaHand out via PFA

Erling Haaland’s 36 goals in 35 appearances helped Pep Guardiola’s men beat the Gunners to the title in the end.

And it is no surprise to see the Norwegian up front, having also won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award.

The only other players to be named are Harry Kane, who has since left Tottenham for Bayern Munich, and Newcastle star Kieran Trippier.

Arsenal had led the title charge for most of the season, helped by the brilliant efforts of Bukayo Saka.

The 21-year-old scored 14 and assisted 11 in a season that saw him start every match for the Gunners and was named PFA Young Player of the Year, as well as making it into the PFA Team of the Year.

The two join Kane, who along with Kieran Trippier are the only non-Arsenal and Man City players in the XI, in a formidable attack that scored a total of 80 goals in the Premier League last season.

In midfield, City largely dominated after Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri were named in the side.

That might come as no surprise after stunning campaigns from the duo with De Bruyne making a remarkable 16 assists last season – more than anyone else.

De Bruyne had a sensational season last yearGetty

Kane scored 30 times in the Premier League last year but has since joined Bayern MunichAFP

Rodri’s defensive capabilities in midfield and his metronome-like passing might be Guardiola’s secret weapon. The pair are joined in midfield by Martin Odegaard.

The playmaker, the second Norwegian in the side along with Haaland, enjoyed a fine season after being named captain of Arsenal.

The 24-year-old scored 15 times and made seven assists, proving how crucial he has been to Mikel Arteta’s side.

Lining up at the back, Trippier has been joined by two City players and one Arsenal star – all centre-backs traditionally.

Trippier had a fine season for Newcastle, who conceded just 33 goalsGetty

Ramsdale has been named in the PFA Team of the YearAFP

John Stones, Ruben Dias and William Saliba were all named in a back line.

Newcastle and City conceded the two least goals last season, both letting in 33 in 38 games, while Arsenal conceded 43 – the same as Manchester United.

Standing between the posts, Aaron Ramsdale has been given the gloves in the PFA Team of the Year.

He beats Nick Pope, Alisson and Ederson to the accolade, as well as David de Gea, who was awarded the Golden Glove for most clean sheets last season.

Ramsdale kept 14 clean sheets throughout the campaign, making a string of fantastic saves along the way.

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