The 2016-17 premier league is at its pinnacle with only 16 games to end it. The English premier league is not only the oldest football league in the world but arguably the biggest football league in the world. The English premier league was rebranded in February 2016 and the name was changed to only premier league without a title sponsor name being added to it. The premier league is the most watched league in the world with TV rights of over €2.48 billion. The even and regulated distribution of the Tv rights among clubs in the premier league offers clubs the opportunity to boost their inventory. A relegated club in England is assured of €100 million profit for being relegated, Only Real Madrid and Barcelona makes more profit than a relegated club in the premier league. The competitiveness of the premier league is based on the quality in squad depth. This is why the premier league will continue to be the best national league in the world.
SportsGoogly have analyze d the performance of all players in the season and have selected the best XI who can represent the Premier League. The selection was based on current performance and statistics of the ongoing season. The best Premier League XI as of matchday 22 is as follows;
David De Gea (Manchester United)
David De Gea is the arguably the best goalkeeper in the premier league. De Gea is a product of the Atletico Madrid academy and he joined the club at age 13 in 2003. De Gea also played for the Spanish U15, U17, U19, U20, U21, U23 and now the senior team. Manchester United signed David De Gea in 2011 at a transfer fee of £17.8 million which is a British record in terms of goalkeeper signings.
David De Gea is known for his saves, reaction and reflexes. De Gea is conceding a lot of goals but his saves in the post for Manchester United is unquestionably.
This season, De Gea is once again at his best and is performing tremendously. De Gea’s statistics for the 2016-17 season is below;
Clean Sheets: 7
High Claims: 16
Sweeper Clearances: 6
Through Outs: 66
Accurate Long Balls: 206
Danny Rose is a left full back playing for Tottenham Hotspurs and he is also used by the English national team as a left full back. The 26 year old was signed from Leeds united in 25 July 2007 with a fee of £1 million.
Rose is a modern full back with a lot of attacking instincts. Rose is skillful and quick on the attack with excellent recovery rate.
This season, Danny Rose is again the preferred option for Tottenham on the left side of defence. Below is the statistics for Danny Rose in the 2016-17 season:
Matches: 17 games
Average passes per game: 45
Clean sheet: 7 games
Blocked Shots: 8
Defensive Clearance: 52
Ball Recoveries: 80
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspurs)
Jan Vertonghen is a Belgium International playing for Tottenham Hotspurs in the English Premier League. Vertonghen is a product of the Ajax academy, and was loaned to RKC Waalwijk in 2006. On July 2012, Tottenham Hotspurs confirmed the signing of Jan Vertonghen from Ajax.
Vertonghen is a tall lanky chap, very rootless and cautious on challenges. The 29 year old center back have worth of experience in football.
Vertonghen is the preferred center back for Tottenham Hotspurs and is one of the best Center backs in the English premier league. Currently, Vertonghen is playing amazingly well and he is the main man at Spurs defense. Below showcases the statistics of Jan Vertonghen.
Matches: 20 games
Goals Conceded: 13 goals
Tackles Won: 25
Blocked Shots: 3
Defensive Clearances: 177
Headed Clearances: 102
Ball Recoveries: 109
50/50 Balls Won: 12
Aerial Battles Won: 75
Passes per Game: 58.96
Laurent Koscielny is an experienced 31 year old defender who plays for Arsenal. Koscielny have made 42 appearances for the French national team and have played 343 competitive games with 26 goals. Koscielny is a product of the Guingamp academy and spent two years at Tours before signing for Lorient in 2009.
In 2010, Arsenal signed Laurent Koscielny to replace Philippe Senderos who have moved to Fulham. Since 2010 Koscielny have being the back borne behind Arsenal’s solid defense.
Once again this season, Laurent Koscielny is proving to be one of the best center backs. Koscielny’s experience is the pivot for Arsenal’s position on the premier league table.
Below is Koscielny’s statistics for the 2016-17 season.
Matches: 21 games
Goals Scored: 2
Clean Sheet: 1 game
Pass per Game: 50.71
Blocked Shots: 3
Defensive Interceptions: 60
Defensive Clearances: 135
Headed Clearances: 74
Ball Recoveries: 145
Duel Challenges Won: 137
50/50 Battles Won: 3
Aerial Battles Won: 82
Cesar Azpilicueta is a Spanish international who plays as a full back for both club and country. Azpilicueta joined the Osasuna youth side in 2001 and rose through the ranks till the first team. In 2010 Azpilicueta joined French Giants Marseille.
Chelsea signed Azpilicueta in August 2012 for £7 million and he was first deployed into the reserves team. Azpilicueta is a talented full back who can play on both the left or right side of the defense. Azpilicueta is also good at counter attacks, very quick and accurate with the ball. Azpilicueta also contributes a lot in terms of attacks, as a defender he supports the attack frequently and he has a good crossing rate. In terms of recovery from attacks to defensive positions, Azpilicueta is fantastic to recover due to his pace.
This session Chelsea is playing an unusual tactic in England which is the three back defense. This new tactics have exposed Azpilicueta to more central defensive duties. The performance of Azpilicueta in the three man defense of Chelsea is the pivot of Chelsea’s performance this season. Azpilicueta have established himself never than before at Chelsea and this awards him the left full back position. Here is Azpilicueta’s statistics for the season;
Average Pass Per Game: 62.32
Clean Sheets: 13 games
Tackles Won: 50
Defensive Clearances: 72
Headed Clearances: 41
Ball Recoveries: 118
Aerial Battles Won: 45
The 24 year old Brazilian is a wiz kid in the creative midfielder area. Coutinho is an attacking midfielder but sometimes used as winger. Coutinho is a youth product of Vasco Da Gama. Inter Milan signed Coutinho in 2008 and they had high hopes that he is the future of Inter Milan. After 5 years of inactivity at Inter Milan, Liverpool signed Philippe Coutinho in January 2013 with a transfer fee of£8.5 million.
Philippe Coutinho is very talented and he has dribbling ability, pace, and agility. His vision and passing ability have earned him the nickname Little Magician by Liverpool fans and his precocious ability has also led his team’s supporters to give him the nickname “The Kid”. Although naturally right footed, Coutinho is capable of playing with both feet and can strike the ball well from distance.
Coutinho’s majestic performance and abilities were showcased in the 2016-17 season, in the middle of the season Coutinho have extended his contract for a long a term stay with a high weekly wage of €200,000. Coutinho is described by the pundits as the act in the Liverpool season and his mouth-watering contract renewal deal is worth the performance. The statistics of Philippe Coutinho is as follows;
Shots on Goal: 50
Shots on Target: 17
Passes per Game: 47.60
Chances Created: 4
Through Balls: 12
Blocked Shots: 18
Defensive Interceptions: 10
Ball Recoveries: 74
Duels Won: 77
50/50 Challenges Won: 34
N’Golo Kante is a French defensive midfielder and plays like the legendary Lassana Diarra. The 25 year old begun his footballing career for Boulogne in France. Kante helped Caen to qualify to the French Ligue 1 and was subsequently scouted for Leicester City for a fee of €8 million in 2015.
After kante’s incredible performance for last season with Leicester City which led them to the premier league title, Kante became a hot prospect and Chelsea met his buy out clause of £32 million to sign him before the 2016-17 season.
During his title winning season with Leicester City, Kanté led the Premier League in both tackles and pass interceptions. Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that “Kanté is by far the best player in the league” during Leicester City’s Premier League Championship run.
Kante is the back bone of the Chelsea team and the commander of Chelsea’s midfield. Kante is a box to box defensive midfielder with tackles and defensive interceptions as his hall mark. If N’Golo Kante is at his best, Chelsea always flourish. This session Kante is once again flourishing and this is his statistics for the season;
Shots on Goal: 22
Shots on Target: 6
Passes per Game: 62.52
Long Balls: 85
Blocked Shots: 7
Headed Clearances: 11
Duels Won: 166
50/50 Battles Won: 26
Aerial Challenges Won: 16
Kevin De Bruyne is an amazing midfielder talent and a hot prospect for the future. De Bruyne passed through the ranks of the Genk academy. De Bruyne was introduced into the Genk team in 2008 and on January 2012, Chelsea signed Kevin De Bruyne on a transfer fee of £7 million and was immediately loaned to Werder Bremen in Germany. In January 2014 De Bruyne made his German stay permanent by signing a £18 million deal with Wolfsburg.
In August 2015 Manchester City signed De Bruyne for 6 years with €55 million making De Bruyne the second most expensive player in England at that time. De Bruyne’s career was englighten in the 2011-22 Belgian league season where he scored 12 goal in 48 appearances for Genk.
De Bruyne is a big fan of Micheal Essien and wanted to play like Essien. De Bruyne is often used in attack as an attacking midfielder instead of his preferred defensive midfield role.
De Bruyne is providing his former employers(Chelsea) wrong that he can play the premier league. De Bruyne have kept Manchester City going this season and the Manchester City team is being built around the Belgian international. De Bruyne is currently the assist leader in the premier league and this is his statistics for the season so far;
Shots at Goal: 59
Shots on Target: 15
Passes per Game: 47.05
Chances Created: 12
Through Ball: 18
Alexis Sanchez is a very strong attacking midfielder and preferably used by Arsene Wenger as a center striker. Sanchez is a product of the Cobreloa academy until Udinese of Italy signed him. After a successful loan spell with River Plate in Argentina in 2008, Udinese recalled Alexis Sanchez into the first team.
In 2011, Barcelona signed Alexis Sanchez on a transfer fee of £26 million to supplement Messi in the Barcelona attack. With lack of playing time at Barcelona, Arsenal used that advantage to sign Alexis Sanchez in July 2014 for €30.7 million. The Chilean have been a further in the cup for Arsenal since his signing.
Sánchez is a quick, creative, and hardworking player with an eye for goal, who is known in particuar for his energy, skill, and work rate on the pitch. Although naturally right footed, due to his ability with either foot, he is capable of playing anywhere along the front line, on either flank, or through the centre of the pitch throughout his career, he has been deployed as a supporting striker, as a winger, as a false-9, and even as an attacking midfielder; he has recently also been used in a more advanced, central role, as a main striker. A talented forward, Sánchez is gifted with excellent technical ability, agility, flair and acceleration, which enables him to dribble past opponents with feints in one on one situations, create space, and either score goals himself or set-up his team-mates. He is also effective from set pieces.
This season, Alexis Sanchez is Arsenal’s main target man upfront. Sanchez is the heart beat of Arsenal this season in the English premier and arguably the best player for Arsenal so far. Below is Alexis Sanchez statistics for the season;
Goals Scored: 15
Shots at Goal: 80
Shots on Target: 33
Passes per Game: 43.32
Blocked Shots: 23
Defensive Interceptions: 11
Defensive Clearances: 2
Diego Costa is Chelsea’s preferred striker this season. Costa joined Chelsea from Atletico Madrid in July 2014 at a transfer fee of £32 million. Diego Costa started his playing career at the Sporting Braga Academy in Portugal. Diego Costa came to attention in the 2013-14 la liga season where he scored 27 goals in 35 appearances.
Costa is described as a hot tempered player and very aggressive. Costa’s anger have a lot of historical anticident. Costa is noted for his aggression towards referees and opposition team players.
This season, Diego Costa have become Chelsea’s lifeline towards the premier league trophy. Costa’s striking potency is better than before and pundits believe that he is being peddled by his Antonio Conte.
2016-17 statistics for Diego Costa is shown below.
Matches: 20 games
Goals Scored: 15 goals
Shots on Target: 30
Passes per Game: 29.35
Blocked Shots: 5
Defensive Interceptions: 26
Defensive Clearances: 18
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the most experienced striker in the premier league at age 35 but still scoring goals. With 116 appearances for Sweden and playing for most of the top clubs in the world, experience is the bench mark for Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic joined Manchester United as a free agent from PSG. Ibrahimovic started his footballing career at his home club Mami FF in 1999. He moved to Ajax in 2001 then to Juventus in 2004 after Juventus Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined rivals Inter Milan in 2006. In 2009 he joined Barcelona in Spain and back to AC Milan in 2010. Ibrahimovic’s last club was PSG which he joined in 2012 before leaving in 2016.
Ibrahimovic is described as being “good in the air, quick, tall, strong and agile, he plays well with his back to goal and boasts some of the best finishing, vision, passing and ball control around.”A versatile and well-rounded footballer, from a tactical standpoint, Ibrahimović is capable of playing anywhere along the front line, due to his ability to both create and score goals for his team, although he is most often deployed as a striker, due to his composure and eye for goals.
Due to his prolific goalscoring, consistency, and spectacular strikes, Ibrahimović is regarded by many in the sport to be one of the best players in the world and one of the most complete strikers of his generation, he has also drawn praise from managers and teammates for his leadership and longevity, as well as his fitness, professionalism, and dedication in training.
This season Zlatan Ibrahimovic have once again showed his class in premier league this season with impressive performances. Below is Ibrahimovic’s performance this season.
Goals Scored: 14
Shots at Goal: 90
Shots on Target: 37
Passes per Game: 37.62
Blocked Shots: 24
Defensive Interceptions: 9
Defensive Clearances 18
Headed Clearances: 14
The league is still ongoing and more players are improving on their performances so at the end of the season, there could be a change in the final lineup. Players like Eden Hazard, Petr Cech, Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Gary Cahill, and Tom Heaton etc all have statistics and have played and are likely to to join the best XI of the 2016-17