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IMHO

Here’s my prediction for next season’s Team of the Year and I am prepared to argue with strangers online about it

I haven't picked Mohamed Salah or Harry Kane — please be creative with your insults

What kind of idiot opens themselves up for criticism by predicting next season’s Premier League Team of the Year now?

This idiot right here!

Firstly, I shall name my team and give justification for each selection.

Then we can argue online about it until it descends into immature name-calling, sarcastic GIFs, and/or mum jokes.

Sound good?

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Already you have been triggered by Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah’s absences — this is understandable.

My thinking is that both will suffer from their brilliance becoming normalised.

I anticipate Salah to maintain his status as one of the world’s best, but if he scores, say, 19 league goals, he may be cruelly overlooked come Team of the Year simply because he didn’t repeat 2017/18’s glorious madness.

Prove me wrong, you wonderful Egyptian superhero

PA:Press Association
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Prove me wrong, you wonderful Egyptian superhero

Similar thing with Kane — we expect 20+ goals and so if others match that tally, they may edge him out by virtue of being a new face.

Is it fair? No, but neither is life.

David De Gea 

Nothing different, David

PA:Press Association
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Nothing different, David

Best keeper in the world and it’s difficult to imagine that changing.

Managers can prepare for Salah now that they know what to expect, but how do you adjust to a world-class shot-stopper? You can’t.

Kyle Walker

He needs some competition

PA:Press Association
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He needs some competition

There’s a distinct lack of quality right-backs in the Premier League at the moment.

Unless a new face comes in during the transfer window for either Man United or Chelsea, I reckon Walker will get the nod again.

Antonio Rudiger

Ooooo, a deliberately provocative choice, how original…

AFP or licensors
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Ooooo, a deliberately provocative choice, how original…

His improvement in the second half of the season has gone under the radar somewhat.

Chelsea are due a good season next campaign if their recent history is anything to go by and a back three of Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta has the potential to be airtight, especially if they have a new Italian manager at the helm.

Probably should have chosen Azpilicueta but what’s life without whimsy?

Virgil van Dijk

I’m happy to admit I still don’t fully understand his barnet

Getty - Contributor
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I’m happy to admit I still don’t fully understand his barnet

He’s already got credit in the bank for improving Liverpool’s defence at the back of this season.

Give him a half-capable partner in place of Dejan Lovren and Jurgen Klopp’s side could be genuine title-challengers.

Benjamin Mendy

Try hard

AFP or licensors
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Try hard

Having sat out a wonderful season for Man City, everyone’s favourite Tweeter will be itching to go come August.

Playing in a Pep Guardiola team, and overlapping a winger of Leroy Sane’s quality, Mendy could help himself to a fair few assists next season.

Naby Keita

Red Bull coursing through his veins

Getty - Contributor
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Red Bull coursing through his veins

The Premier League won’t know what hit it.

Liverpool’s new recruit has the potential to grab the league by the scruff of the beck, hold it up against the wall, and steal its lunch money.

Goals, assists, tackles, red cards… box office.

Paul Pogba

Can you hear that? It’s a Graeme Sounness blowing a gasket

PA:Press Association
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Can you hear that? It’s a Graeme Sounness blowing a gasket

Jose Mourinho is the biggest threat to this particular selection.

However, if Man United sign a suitable Michael Carrick replacement to play deep alongside Nemanja Matic and Pogba is given license to create, you never know what #numbers he could rack up.

Casually, provided ten assists this season, same as Salah, Dele Alli, Riyad Mahrez and Christian Eriksen, and he hasn’t operated at full capacity.

Kevin De Bruyne

A non-controversial pick. Let’s move swiftly on

PA:Press Association
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A non-controversial pick. Let’s move swiftly on

Same again please, Kev.

Thanks.

Roberto Firmino

A reminder that Firmino’s agent used to be a dentist

PA:Press Association
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A reminder that Firmino’s agent used to be a dentist

I expect the tidal wave of appreciation for Bobby’s unique brand of football to gain even more momentum.

People will be eulogising over his tackle and interception stats as much as his goals and assists.

Gabriel Jesus

Remember when DJs at average clubs used to play ‘Call Me Maybe’ five times a night? Wild days

Getty Images - Getty
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Remember when DJs at average clubs used to play ‘Call Me Maybe’ five times a night? Wild days

Guardiola wants the Brazilian to be his first-choice centre-forward — that’s obvious.

If he stays fit, with De Bruyne, Sane, David Silva and (insert City’s inevitable marquee signing) feeding him all season, Jesus could score 20+ league goals in tap-ins alone.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The best No14 Arsenal have ever had. What’s that? Thierry who? Oh, him… yeah, good point

Getty - Contributor
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The best No14 Arsenal have ever had. What’s that? Thierry who? Oh, him… yeah, good point

My early shout for the Golden Boot. Fight me.

If Arsenal’s new gaffer has the balls to play him alongside Alexandre Lacazette all season, Aubameyang could replicate his Bundesliga success on these shores.

He outscored Robert Lewandowski last season, remember?

There you have it.

I look forward to reading your expletive-ridden critiques — find me for your trolling needs.


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