Dan’s Premier League Best XI 2021 by Dan Smith
It’s that time of year where everyone is looking back at the year 2021.
Different outlets have been writing their team of the year, so I thought why not do the same?
Let me stress this isn’t purely based on the first half of the season but also the second half part of the last campaign.
This is based on January 2021- December 2021
Will Any Gunners make the cut?
Mendy – GK
One of the best things Lampard did was sign Mendy after Chelsea realised, they had wasted 71 million on Arrizabalaga.
While not quite comfortable with the ball at his feet like a Ederson or Alisson a keeper’s first choice is to keep the ball out of goal.
Has 18 clean sheets out of 36 as the club lifted their second Champions League.
Worst form of the last 12 months has been recently, but form is temporarily, class is permanent.
Arnold – RB
Came into 2021 with some questioning his form which led to him being dropped by England.
Before injury one of 4 right backs his nation called up for the Euros, but it’s believed Southgate views him as an option further forward.
When Arnold was played there in a friendly the decision was criticized by Klopp.
Has gone back to the levels of two years ago with delivery world class.
Has made full back a sexy position, a crucial part of Liverpool’s attack.
Contributed to 17 goals in the last 12 months.
An amazing stat for a defender.
Reece James – RCB
This was my only way to get both right backs into my team.
An issue Southgate needs to solve in time for the World Cup.
Played in a back three at times last season and this formation would allow him to choose when he wants to switch to the flank.
Especially this season has rivalled his England colleague for assists and goals.
Contributed to 9 goals.
Dias – CB
Player of the season for 2020/21.
Filled the void left by Vincent Kompany, bringing leadership back to Man City’s defence.
His range of passing and ability on the ball is everything Pep Guardiola wants in his centre back.
Contributed to 20 clean sheets.
One of Frank Lampard’s biggest mistakes was not playing Rudiger more.
Tuchel immediately played his fellow country man in either a back 3 or 4.
At a time where so many centre backs are judged on their ability on the ball, Rudiger is old school in he’s a warrior who loves to defend.
No defender has kept more clean sheets this year than him.
Has reportedly informed Chelsea he will only extend his contract if he’s made one of their highest earners.
That will alert some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Cancelo – LB
Ability on the ball makes him crucial to the Champions system.
Can play either left or right back, but naturally will step into midfield and join in with their attack.
Especially when KDB was injured that’s been a key aspect to their success
Rice – DM
Became one of his nation’s first names on their team sheet.
Is so much more than a holding midfielder as he has increasing demonstrated extreme quality on the ball while his running stats are one of the best in the division.
At 22, he is only going to get better and might even add goals to his game.
The complete midfielder.
Won’t be at West Ham much longer.
Gundogan – DM
Part of the City midfield that changed the perception of what a defensive midfielder can do.
Instead of just breaking up play, Pep Guardiola would drop creative players deeper to control the tempo and dictate the rhythm of play.
No player has scored more in 2021 then the German, whose goals came at a crucial time in the title race, stepping out of KDB’s shadow.
B Silva – AM
For years one of the most underrated players in the division.
Has stepped out of the shadow of Gundogan and KDB, their main source of goals while they were out injured
B Fernandes – AM
While this season he’s had his attitude at times questioned and it is debated if he’s been overshadowed by Ronaldo, you can’t deny the impact Bruno has had in 2021.
Whether it’s goals or assists, he’s been a part of over 20 goals and has made the most chances in the division.
Salah – striker
Easily the most consistent player this year.
Even with Liverpool’s disappointing title defence the striker scored 31 goals and has 22 already this season.
While the likes of Harry Kane and Aubameyang have lost their mojo Salah has been the best at dismantling the smaller clubs.
Some even argue he’s currently the best player in the world.
Let me know your best XI of 2021? Would any Arsenal players get in?
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