How on earth has Paul Pogba made this season’s PFA Team of the Year after a poor season from a player who obviously rates himself and gets paid handsomely for little effort. Eden Hazard, who at times has been sensational, has not made the cut, which beggars belief, especially as he is on the six-man shortlist for the Players’ Player of the Year award.
Title chasers, Liverpool and Manchester City have dominated the selection’s, made by the members of the Professional Footballers’ Association. Raheem Sterling, who has been excellent and matured into a vital player, is among six Man City selections, whilst Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk are among two of the four player’s that have been included from Liverpool. However, Mohamed Salah also misses out, despite currently being joint top-scorer in the Premier League.
The attacking options that have been behind Man City’s strong title defence this season have been rewarded, again led by Sergio Aguero who has continued to score goals at vital times and been a handful for every Premier League back line. Aguero’s inclusion means he is the only player to retain his position in the PFA side from a year ago. The Argentinian shares the joint top-scorer accolade alongside the overlooked Salah, as well as Arsenal forward, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who also fails to make team of the year.
Alongside Aguero in attack is Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, meaning Harry Kane, whose season has been plagued by injury, is an absentee from the list for the first time in five seasons.
Raheem Sterling, who has ably supported Auguero, makes his first appearance in the PFA team as one of the chosen midfielder’s, alongside teammate Bernardo Silva, who is also a new name on the list following an excellent season in Man City’s midfield. Fellow City player, Fernandinho, also gets the nod, but they line up alongside Pogba, who has done little to have earned his inclusion in comparison.
At the back, Aymeric Laporte, who signed for Man City in January last year for a then club record fee of £57m, breaks up a Liverpool domination in the back four. But in the same manner that City’s attacking has been rewarding, Liverpool’s defending has been recognised too. Virgil van Dijk, who signed for Liverpool in a record breaking £75m transfer has justified that money with some imperious performances and has been a reassuring presence in the Reds’ defence. He will also be a strong candidate to win the Players’ Player award.
The two chosen full-backs are Liverpool teammates, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. Both young talents who have shown experience beyond their years on the domestic and European scenes. In goal, despite Liverpool’s Alisson Becker conceding fewer goals and keeping more clean sheets, is his Brazilian compatriot, Man City’s Ederson, who gets the vote.
The PFA will honour the players at its annual awards ceremony in London on Sunday 28 April, but many there on the night will be scratching their heads at the inclusion of Pogba, a player who clearly wants a move away from Old Trafford and who has gone missing in far too many games to have deserved to be anywhere near this team of real stars.