And so it’s over, another Premier League season concluded. Manchester City have become the first team in a decade to retain the title, pipping Liverpool by a single point, and collecting close to 200 points across the past two seasons.
Though the final day was devoid of a top-four battle, or a relegation dog fight, the football fan has been spoilt this season, with a most exhilarating, nail-biting championship race beyond anything ever previously thought imaginable.
Here’s a breakdown of arguably the best player from each club competing who help propel the 2018/19 season into one of the most memorable in recent years.
Manchester City – Bernardo Silva
Bit of a curveball as there has simply been no better forward player in the Premier League than Raheem Sterling this season, and Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho, and Sergio Aguero (again) can stake a claim for being a City standout. However, Bernardo’s integrality to Pep Guardiola’s set-up has been illuminated, with the Portuguese stepping niftily into the injury-blighted Kevin de Bruyne’s shoes; tireless, hard-working, and passionate.
Liverpool – Virgil van Dijk
he PFA Footballer of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season, as the Dutch defender helped Liverpool keep the most clean sheets in the league.
Chelsea – Eden Hazard
With a transfer ban looming, losing the brilliant Belgian would be devastating for this side. Took the playmaker award for the season with 15 assists to complement his 16 goals, meaning no other footballer in the top tier has had more of a goal involvement. Has opposing teams at his mercy on his day; simply put, when Hazard ticks, Chelsea ticks.
Tottenham Hotspur – Son Heung-Min
It’s incredible to think that the Korean missed just eight games this season, despite having to serve his country to two separate tournaments. Though his season finished with ignominy, receiving a straight dismissal for the first time in his career, Son took the mantle from Harry Kane with gusto; between November and February, the 26-year-old forward was involved in a stonking 17 goals.
Arsenal – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
One of three of the Golden Boot recipients, the Gabonese has often slid under the radar. If Lucas Torreira had kept his temperament in check, however, the competition would have been close.
Manchester United – Victor Lindelöf
Luke Shaw may have picked up the Player of the Season award, but Swedish center-half Lindelöf has stepped up this year, under both managers. The already shaky defensive looked positively kamikaze when he wasn’t in the backline.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Raúl Jiménez
Their season may have ended with a whimper, having not truly recovered from that FA Cup exit, but take nothing away from Wolves return to the Premier League, with Nuno Espirito Santo rightfully being elected into the nominees for Manager of the Year.
Conor Coady, Jonny, Wily Boly, Ruben Neves, Matt Doherty, and Diogo Jota have proven they don’t look out of place to go tete a tete with the EPL’s elite, but a tough call gives Raúl Jiménez the spot.
Everton – Lucas Digne
An excellent acquisition in the summer, though Yerry Mina had originally got the hype going after the Colombia’s exploits in the World Cup, it’s the French left-back who has excelled as the season has gone on. Digne has demonstrated both his defensive capabilities – Everton kept eight clean sheets in their last 11 games – and attacking threat. A player helping to hint that the future for the Toffees is looking rosy under Marco Silva.
Leicester City – Youri Tielemens
The former Ebony Shoe winner has only been with the Foxes since January, but what an impact he has made, as the club looked to dispel memories of the turgid, unimaginative Claude Puel-era. Special mention also for Ben Chilwell, who has been jostling for a top-three left-backs in the league contention, and James Maddison, who has been outstanding since moving from Norwich City.
West Ham United – Declan Rice
Nominated for Young Player of the Year, the Irish-turned-Englishman’s stock has risen exponentially, gaining a heft of experience next to Mark Noble who it’s looking increasingly apparent he’s ready to take the mantle (and the captain’s armband if he remains in east London) from. Impressive is an understatement, a maturity belying his 20-years.
Watford – Ben Foster
A bottom-half finish dampens what has been a good solid year with Javi Gracia, with an evergreen goalkeeper continuing to prove his worth. The 36-year-old (!) Foster has made the third most saves of any keeper in the Premier League this season, and enabled him to overtake Petr Cech for the overall accolade.
Crystal Palace – Aaron Wan-Bissaka
What a talent the young right-back is! The 21-year-old bounced back from being the youngest ever Palace player to be shown a red card all the way back in August, to being arguably the first name on Roy Hodgson’s team-sheet.
Newcastle United – Solomon Rondon
His season-long loan deal ended with a brilliant return of 12 goals and seven assists, and has added some much needed relief to Rafa Benitez’ Toon operating on an absolute shoestring budget. Securing him permanently needs to be a must.
Bournemouth – Ryan Fraser
Unpredictability has been top of the agenda for the Cherries, but a player who has certainly challenged that with his reliability is midfielder Fraser, who has been involved in a stunning 20 goals for Bournemouth.
Burnley – Ashley Westwood
The midfielder had his best season for the Clarets’ yet, and the 29-year-old’s particular talents were highlighted in a brilliant eight-match unbeaten run in 2019.
Southampton – Nathan Redmond
The calamitous first half with Mark Hughes didn’t mark anyone out as particularly special, but under his successor Ralph Hassenhuttl, Redmond has once again demonstrated his imperativeness to Saints. Featuring in every game of the campaign, the 25-year-old scooped the club’s award for Player of the Season.
Brighton & Hove Albion – Shane Duffy
The sacking of Chris Hughton immediately after the season’s conclusion, as well as Cardiff’s win at Old Trafford on the final day shows how t*ts up the Seagull’s campaign could have really gone. Figures such as Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy have remained imposing in a squad that needs an overall if they have any serious intention to com
Cardiff City – Neil Etheridge
Etheridge has been simply outstanding between the sticks for Cardiff. Based on his displays for the Bluebirds, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to be poached by a remaining Premier League side for the next campaign.
Fulham – Ryan Babel
Really trying to find some silver lining for the Cottages, who descend back down into the Championship as swiftly as they arrived. Taking into account Scott Parker allowing Fulham to leave with a big of dignity with a three-match winning streak, could donate the accolade to Ryan Babel.
Huddersfield Town – Christopher Schindler
This was a head-scratcher, so it’s kudos to the German center-back.