While the vast majority of other Premier League Team of the Season selections are certain to be a mishmash of red and sky blue, comprised of players from either runaway champions Liverpool or runners up Manchester City, we decided to approach things from a different angle here at FST.
Jurgen Klopp’s relentlessly consistent Reds were so achingly better than the rest of the field in this season’s Premier League, that their domination would understandably extend to the bulk of the hypothetical “best elevens” churned out by fans and media outlets alike.
If there was any padding needed to fit in around the lengthy list of Liverpudlians, then Pep Guardiola’s Citizens have position fillers lining up around the block to take their place in the XI – however, that all sounded a little dull to us.
For variety’s sake, we thought it would be a little more interesting to compile a Premier League Team of the Season without using any players from the competition’s most exceptional pair of teams.
Check out our alternative XI of the season selection below:
When you’re finished here, check out our special feature – the 2019/20 Premier League season in numbers.
Goalkeeper: Rui Patricio (Wolves)
Portuguese stopper Rui Patricio generally gets far less attention at Wolves than his compatriots Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota and Joao Moutinho, though the Wanderers number one is every bit as influential as trio of teammates at Molineux.
The 32-year-old was one of eight goalkeepers to play every minute of Premier League action in 2019/20, and with 38 appearances between the sticks, Patricio played a major part in helping Wolves to finish with the 5th best defensive record in the division.
Right-back: George Baldock (Sheffield United)
Having secured a top-half finish in their first season back in the big time, Sheffield United were one of the Premier League’s biggest success stories this term, and ever-present wingback George Baldock played an integral role in their success.
The 27-year-old, who has been with the Blades since their rise to the top tier from the Championship, has looked right at home at English football’s highest level, combining his robust defensive skill-set with an adventurous steak to great effect for the Blades.
Centre-back: Harry Maguire (Manchester United)
An £80m priced tag was always going to draw a huge amount of scrutiny, but in a season where every tiny mistake has been magnified and every piece of quality play brushed over, Maguire has enjoyed a superb first campaign at Old Trafford.
Installed as club captain just months into his United career, Maguire became the first player at the club to start every Premier League game in a season since Gary Pallister did the same back in 1994/95. With Maguire’s influence massive, United finished in third spot with the league’s third best defensive record having conceded less than 1.0 goals per game on average.
Centre-back: Lewis Dunk (Brighton)
Still one of the best kept secrets in the Premier League, Lewis Dunk has enjoyed another excellent season for Brighton in 2019/20, quietly outperforming most of his positional counterparts at other clubs up and down the league.
The 28-year-old, who has only been capped once for England, was at his impactful best at both ends of the pitch for the Seagulls, adding a genuine goal threat to his top-class defensive work. Dunk started 36 of Albion’s 38 league fixtures and chipped in with six goal contributions overall (three goals, three assists).
Left-back: Lucas Digne (Everton)
Much has changed at Goodison Park during what’s been a season of transition for Everton, however in a constantly shifting environment, French defender Lucas Digne has been the picture of consistency.
The ex-Barcelona fullback started all but three of the Toffees’ Premier League fixtures this season, and the 27-year-old maintained his lofty standards throughout his fine individual campaign. Digne finished the season with a noteworthy seven assists, though the 30-times capped Les Blues international didn’t shirk his defensive responsibilities either and averaged a meaty 2.1 tackles per 90 minutes.
Midfield: Declan Rice (West Ham)
There isn’t a single West Ham supporter around that won’t gush lavishly about the performances of Declan Rice given half a chance. The anchorman has been a one-man wrecking ball at the base of the Irons’ midfield in 2019/20, though Rice could never be considered any team’s water carrier.
Rice has been just as effective with the ball as he has without it this season, and the 21-year-old, who was recently crowned Hammer of the Year, wields a line-breaking pass to match the league’s most potent defence splitters.
You deserve it, @_DeclanRice 👊
Our Hammer of the Year 🤩 pic.twitter.com/RIxH48hxzV
— West Ham United (@WestHam) July 27, 2020
Midfield: James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
With his expertly calibrated right-foot still his most potent weapon, Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse added tenacity to his abundance of technique this season as the 25-year-old continued his transformation into complete midfielder under Ralph Hasenhüttl.
Ward-Prowse started all 38 games for Southampton in 2019/20, and finished with an impressive five goals and three assists for the season. Out of possession, the schemer collected nine yellow cards as the keener competitive edge that should serve him well next term began to sharpen.
Midfield: Emiliano Buendia (Norwich City)
Bottom club Norwich have little to be proud about this season after they exited the Premier League with a whimper, though innovative Argentine midfielder Emiliano Buendia enjoyed a remarkably creative campaign for the otherwise clawless Canaries.
The 23-year-old attacking midfielder finished his season with a relatively modest looking seven assists, though had his teammates been more clinical, Buendia might have pushed his haul well into double figures.
Incredibly, only James Maddison, Jack Grealish and Kevin de Bruyne played more chance creating key passes per game on average than Buendia in 201920, who manufactured openings for his Norwich City comrades 2.3 times per game.
Attack: Raul Jimenez (Wolves)
As talismanic Premier League figures go, few players are more influential for their clubs than Mexican hitman Raul Jimenez.
The explosive centre-forward scored 33% (17) of Wolves’ total Premier League goals himself this season, and Jimenez’s ability to pop up at crucial junctures with hugely important game-changing moments is astounding.
Jimenez’s fitness record has also been excellent, and the 29-year-old started 37 of Wanderers’ 38 Premier League fixtures since August, and came off the bench in the other.
Attack: Chris Wood (Burnley)
With 14 goals in 29 starts for modest attackers Burnley this season, Chris Wood enjoyed his most prolific ever Premier League campaign in 2019/20.
The New Zealand international is a battle-hardened expert at making life uncomfortable for his markers, and goals against Man Utd, Tottenham and Wolves last term, shine a light on his nose for the big occasion.
Playing without any help from his usual partner in crime for the majority of the year, Ashley Barnes, Wood’s shoulders were wide enough to bear the extra goal-scoring responsibility for the Clarets.
Attack: Danny Ings (Southampton)
Danny Ings’s excellence was recognised last week when he was named among the players to receive votes in the FWA Football of the Year Awards, though the Saints striker can count himself a little unlucky not to have featured higher up the final count.
Playing at the sharp end of Southampton’s ever-improving team, Ings helped himself to 22 Premier League goals in 2019/20, leaving him just one shy of eventual Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy.
Amazingly, 18 of Ings’ 22 goals were the Southampton’s first goals in their respective fixtures, highlighting just how critical a contribution the 28-year-old has made to the Saints’ cause.