Premier League Opinion: Best U23 XI of the Premier League season
There is a large emphasis that is placed on youth development by majority of the Premier League clubs. While certain parties are heavily dependant on these academies to provide them with quality players, others use them as just a form of business in order to increase the club value.
It can be said that the youngsters are the backbone of this rather youthful league.
Here’s the Premier League U23 XI of the season:
GK – Kepa Arrizabalaga
The Spanish sensation was signed for a fairly hefty fee by Chelsea in the summer as their desperate search for a keeper led them to Athletic Bilbao.
Although he has turned 24 now, he is the youngest first-choice goalkeeper in the league to have any shout of making this squad.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold
The youngster came up through the ranks at Liverpool before being handed a well-deserved opportunity by Jurgen Klopp.
Since making the first team role his own though, the Englishman has looked effectively unstoppable at times with his blistering pace and sharp movement.
CB – Davinson Sanchez
Still only 22, Sanchez is one of the many Spurs players who still have a massive future ahead of them. The injuries picked up by the remaining Spurs defenders have provided the youngster with enough opportunities to prove him worth to Mauricio Pochettino this season.
CB – Issa Diop
Another young player who’s really stepped up to the plate for their side this season has to be West Ham United centre-half, Issa Diop.
The Frenchman has showcased his consistency as well composure to the Hammers’ fans this season and he’s been transformed into one of the fan favourites at the London Stadium.
LB – Ben Chilwell
The youngster has been one of Leicester City’s better players this season and the standout feature about his is the fact that first and foremost, he’s a defender.
His ability to read the play and move the ball forward quickly has caught the eye and he’s guaranteed a massive future in England.
CM – Declan Rice
The young West Ham United star has finally ended the curiosity behind his international loyalty by pledging to England.
The English fans will be overjoyed with this choice as Rice has proved time and again this season that he can be one of the most dominant midfielders in the league on his day.
CM – Ruben Neves
The Portuguese superstar has been one of Wolves’ standout players this season and although he doesn’t show his quality by frequently knocking in the goals, the ones he does score are usually special strikes.
His passing and composure in the middle of the park have been one of the key features of Wolves’ play this term.
CM – Ruben Loftus-Cheek
The Chelsea star has had to wait quite long for his opportunity but when it finally did come, he made sure to grab it with both hands.
Now a regular figure in the Chelsea first-team, Loftus-Cheek’s mazy runs and pin-point passes have been a good attacking outlet for the Blues while his goals have come at handy times as well.
RW – David Brooks
The young Bournemouth star has risen to supremacy under the guidance of Eddie Howe at the Vitality and his efforts for the Cherries this season certainly haven’t gone unnoticed.
He possesses a blistering change of pace that has caught many Premier League defenders out this season and he’s even managed to pitch with goals and assists this term.
ST – Marcus Rashford
Manchester United’s season has been one to forget for the fans but one standout player for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been English prodigy Marcus Rashford.
He usually gives it his all on the pitch even when United are struggling and he’s even scored some key goals along the course of the campaign.
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LW – Richarlison
Considering that the Brazilian is still only 21, the amount of criticism he receives can only be perceived as unfair.
He has shown the Goodison Park crowd exactly what he’s about on more than one occasion this campaign and it’s no surprise that he’s a real hero in Merseyside.