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2023 Premier League Team of the Year: Manchester City & Arsenal stars dominate, Liverpool also in the mix

Given this is the time when everyone reflects on the previous 12 months, this seems like a good opportunity to come up with our Premier League Team of the Year for 2023.

As with any subjective list, we applied some crucial criteria which include no players can feature in this team if they have had their eyebrows threaded.

Having ruled out Ben White, we are also dismissing Trent Alexander Arnold’s claims because he is a lousy defender. As for a midfield spot, forget it.

Sideshow Bob haircuts are also banned which puts Marc Cucurella in the bin, although he wouldn’t have got anywhere near this team regardless of the mess on his head.

His Chelsea teammates are also barred because they have collectively been lousy, while the same rule applies to Manchester United. Let’s look at who made the cut.  

Alisson – Liverpool – GK

Alisson played a key role in Liverpool’s late rally last season, and he has continued in the same vein to help them mount a title challenge this time around.

The Brazilian has conceded just 11 goals in 14 games, kept four clean sheets and has an 80% save percentage this season. He is crucial to their title hopes.

Kieran Trippier – Newcastle United – RB

Everyone’s favourite Fantasy Premier League right-back has been a cut above everyone else in this category for much of the year, so picking him is a no-brainer.

A couple of dodgy performances in a weakened Newcastle United team over the past few weeks do not detract from Trippier’s remarkable year in the top flight.

William Saliba – Arsenal – CB

It took Saliba three years to establish himself at Arsenal following his move from Saint-Etienne, but he is now firmly established as one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old was a key component in Arsenal’s title bid last season and is once again playing an integral role as they strive to claim top spot in 2023/24.

Manuel Akanji – Manchester City – CB

Man City defender Ruben Dias has gone off the boil and Virgil van Dijk is not the player he once was, no matter how much Liverpool fans argue differently.

By contrast, Akanji has developed into one of the most consistent players in the Premier League. No matter who he plays against, he’s at least an eight-out-of-ten every time.

Pervis Estupinan – Brighton & Hove Albion – LB

Another favourite with FPL managers across the country, Estupinan is the poster boy for ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’.

Brighton have won just two of their last nine games since Estupinan sustained an injury. His absence could scupper their hopes of securing another top-six finish.

Rodri – Manchester City – M

With Rodri in the team, Man City are a well-oiled machine. When he is absent, the wheels start falling off. He’s the best at what he does by a country mile.

Man City will be hoping they can find the secret to eternal youth over the next few years as replacing Rodri will not be easy.

John McGinn – Aston Villa – M

McGinn’s improvement at Aston Villa was highlighted in our recent overrated and underrated in 2023 article and we make no apologies for including him in this team.

The Scottish international is Villa’s heartbeat – a dogged performer who opponents hate playing against. Let’s upset a few people and make him captain.

Martin Odegaard – Arsenal – M

Odegaard’s influence on Arsenal’s performances cannot be underestimated – generally speaking, when he plays well, the Gunners sparkle.

Some people are under the misapprehension that Declan Rice is the glue which holds Arsenal together. It’s Odegaard – no question.

Bukayo Saka – Arsenal – F

A measure of a player’s talent can often be seen by assessing how opposition managers attempt to stop them from performing against their team.

Saka is often confronted by two or three players whenever he has the ball, yet still finds ways to be effective. His inclusion in this team is well-deserved.

Erling Braut Haaland – Manchester City – F

Having broken the Premier League goalscoring record for a single season in 2022/23, Haaland has continued to pad out his tally this term.

Despite bagging 14 goals in 15 appearances, some critics have questioned whether he has been quite as good. Even on an average day, he gets in this team.

Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – F

It does not seem too long ago that people were questioning whether Salah was quite the player he once was. He has made that notion look silly in the last year.

The Egyptian forward remains Liverpool’s brightest spark in attacking areas and could easily be the difference-maker in this season’s title race.

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