There have been plenty of outstanding individual performances in the opening half of the Premier League season, but the three clubs at the top of the tree have towered over the rest of the competition.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have dominated the first 19 games of the League campaign, and their supremacy can be reflected in our team of the season, which comprises 10 players from those three teams.
Here is our Man’s Life Premier League Team of the season.
GK: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
There was surprisingly plenty of competition for this spot, with the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jose Sa performing exceptionally with their new clubs to start the campaign. However, no keeper has had as much impact on their team as Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy. The Blues shot-stopper has elevated his status to become one of the best goalkeepers in world football, saving a league-high 84% of the shots he faced this season, along with his extraordinary ability in possession.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
With Trent Alexander-Arnold revolutionizing the game and making Liverpool tick from right-back, there was only ever going to be one man who takes this spot. The Englishman is the best playmaker in the league alongside Kevin de Bruyne and Jack Grealish and has already managed two goals and eight assists this season to go alongside his improved defensive effort to start the campaign.
CB: Thiago Silva (Chelsea) and Joel Matip (Liverpool)
There haven’t been too many standout centre-backs throughout the first half of the campaign, but the most consistent defenders this season have been Joel Matip and Thiago Silva. Matip has largely outshone Virgil van Dijk in the first half of the campaign, providing Liverpool with another imposing presence in the backline while also helping them beat the opposition press with his extraordinary ball-carrying ability. Thiago Silva, on the other hand, continues to ooze class at age 37, gluing the Chelsea backline together with his reading of the game and skill on the ball.
LB: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)
The best left-back in the league over the first half of the campaign has been the right-footed Joao Cancelo. Just like Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool, Joao Cancelo is one of the primary creative fulcrums of Manchester City, with the Portuguese already having four assists in the league and averaging an impressive 7.3 progressive passes per 90 minutes this season.
CDM: Rodri (Manchester City)
Amongst all the glitz and the glamour in the Manchester City starting lineup, one player who has quietly become one of the most vital cogs of Pep Guardiola’s side is Spanish midfielder Rodri. Rodri initially struggled with the pace and power of English football, but after two years of acclimatizing, he has become one of the best pivot players in the league.
CM: Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher has been one of the standout young players this season after joining the Eagles on loan from Chelsea this summer. The Englishman has six goals and three assists in 15 appearances for Patrick Vieira’s side, and has been equally impressive without the ball, ranking second at Palace for tackles and averaging 5.4 ball recoveries per 90 minutes. Gallagher has grown in stature as the season progressed, and his impressive performances for Palace earned him his first international call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad in November.
CM: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Bernardo Silva has been the second-best player in the league behind Mohamed Salah in the 2021/22 campaign and has become virtually undroppable for Manchester City, starting all but one game for Pep Guardiola’s side this season. Silva’s ability to control the tempo of the play with the ball mixed with his pressing and defensive work-rate make him an incredible asset for Manchester City. More impressively, the Portuguese has also added an end product to his game this season and currently sits on seven goals and one assist in 17 appearances.
RW: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Mohamed Salah has been the best player in Europe in the first half of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, hitting levels of performance and consistency that was previously only considered capable by a nimble Argentinian genius and a Portuguese forward. Salah leads the Premier League in goals (15) and assists (9) and has scored or assisted in all but two of Liverpool’s games in 2021. There is an heir of inevitability around the Egyptian this season, with Salah helping Liverpool score an unimaginable 50 goals in the opening 18 games.
ST: Diogo Jota (Liverpool)
After battling injuries in his first year with Liverpool, Diogo Jota has enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign for the Reds. Jota’s performances have relegated Roberto Firmino to the bench this season, and the Portuguese is currently the second-highest scorer in the league with ten strikes. Although Jota doesn’t offer the same link-up play as Firmino, his predatory instincts and movement in front of goal has elevated the Liverpool attack and caused opposition defences nightmares throughout the first half of the season.
LW: Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Left-wing was the toughest position to pick for this team, but eventually, Mason Mount edged out the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Emmanuel Dennis and Phil Foden for the final spot. Mount has been the only consistent attacker for Chelsea this season and is averaging nearly a goal involvement a game with 7 goals and four assists in just 11 starts for the Blues.