The Premier League Team of the Season, According to Opta
Statisticians at Opta have used their data and metrics from the season to come up with a team of players that stood out in the English Premier League. While some selections may surprise you, there is no denying that these athletes were essential for their respective teams this campaign.
Brentford’s David Raya: The Shot-Stopper That Kept Brentford Safe
Brentford goalkeeper David Raya proved his worth to the Bees this season by being one of only four players who played every minute in the Premier League. He was instrumental in helping them achieve their highest finish since 1938 while making an incredible total of 154 saves, more than any other keeper in the league.
Additionally, Raya had a save percentage of an impressive 77%, which made him stand out compared to other goalkeepers who played at least five games across this campaign. His ability to play long passes also suited Brentford’s style well – they played more long passes than any other side in England’s top-flight division during this time.
Kieran Trippier Proves Essential for Newcastle United
Newcastle United full-back Kieran Trippier has been one player who has consistently shown his worth throughout this season. He started every single game for Newcastle and provided constant support on both ends of the pitch.
Trippier created a record-breaking number of chances (76) from set-pieces and put in as many as successful crosses into dangerous areas (138), reminiscent of Jermaine Pennant’s performance back in ’05/’06 when he managed (146).
In addition, only three players had more touches than Trippier in the Premier League this campaign, showing how valuable he was to Newcastle United.
Manuel Akanji: Manchester City’s Solid Defender
New to English football this season, Manuel Akanji played a key role in Manchester City’s success. He lifted the Premier League title with them and could be part of a treble-winning side by its end.
The Swiss international had an 83% win record for Man City when played; they won 24 out of his 29 appearances. Furthermore, he has been exceptional at completing passes – boasting an impressive pass accuracy rate (93.3%) which is better than anyone who attempted at least 500 passes across all Premiership games.
Ruben Dias: The Rock-Solid Portuguese Defender
Manchester City defender Ruben Dias has impressed over all three seasons that he’s spent in England.
He has now won the EPL title thrice and boasts an extraordinary winning percentage of 78%. This season alone, Man City won around 85% of the matches where Dias featured compared to only about half (50%) when he wasn’t playing.
Dias completed more successful passes per minute on average than any other player during this campaign. In fact, only Aymeric Laporte made more accurate attempts per match during any stage since Opta began collecting data back in ’03/’04.