• Pablo Lario

The untouchables: The Most Important Premier League XI

The English transfer window has already closed and the new Premier League season has began. So far, it has been a roller-coaster, and that's why I thought to myself: Why don't you make and XI plus some substitutes (in case someone gets injured) of the most important, and irreplaceable players in "the best football league in the world" (La Liga?)

That's why today you're looking at the 15 most irreplaceable players entering this 2019-20 PL season; courtesy of 'Kaiser' by 'The Watch'.

Goalkeeper (GK): Alisson Becker (Liverpool)

To get over Loris Karius' disastrous performance in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final, Liverpool went out and spent £67 million last summer to put Alisson between the posts. It's been worth every penny. Along with central defender Virgil van Dijk, more on him in a bit, Alisson helped transform Liverpool's defence to the best in the Premier League, notching 21 clean sheets while allowing just 22 goals. Although he wasn't able to help the Reds overtake Manchester City for the Premier League title, he did play an integral role in Liverpool's run to its sixth European title. Hope he recovers soon (I heard Adrian tried to injure him again "on purpose" to get his place in this XI as well).

Defender (LCB): Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)

He wasn't even Liverpool's first-choice left back when he was purchased from Hull in the summer of 2017. Now he's one of the best left backs in the world and a crucial piece of Liverpool's transformation in defence. And while he's certainly played a major role in improving the Reds at the back, his greatest contribution are his marauding runs and ability to get forward. Robertson notched 11 league assists last season, which set the record for most assists by a defender in Premier League history, before it was later broken by teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold (12).

Defender (CB): Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

I could say "save the best for last", but I was like "Nah, fam! The best for the beginning". The reigning PFA Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season, Van Dijk was the best player in the Premier League last season and the biggest reason the Liverpool defence went from allowing a goal per game on average in 2017/18 to allowing .58 goals per game last season. As long as "Big Virgil" is leading the back line, Liverpool shouldn't have any issues on defence.

Defender (RCB): Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)

Laporte was a rock in defence for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City last season, playing 35 league matches beside a rotating cast of partners including John Stones, Nicolás Otamendi and Vincent Kompany. With Laporte leading the unit, the City back four was nearly unbreakable last season, allowing only 23 goals. But Laporte is just as important to City going forward. He also provided a calm presence playing from back, ranking second in the league in completed passes.

Midfielder (CM): João Moutinho (Wolves)

The only player on this list who's not a player for one of the Premier League's Big Six clubs, Moutinho was the most important player in Wolves charge to a seventh-place finish and spot in the Europa League. Considering the return Wolves has gotten from the £5 million it paid for him last summer, he may be one of the most successful Premier League signings of the year. Sitting in front of Nuno Espirito Santo’s back three, Moutinho dictated the tempo and sprayed passes forward, nabbing 8 assists in the process. He was the engine that ran the highly-efficient Wolves machine. Clearly, an irreplaceable man.

Midfielder (CM): Paul Pogba (Manchester United)


I'm not going to lie: I struggled with whether to include Pogba here, mainly because there's still a chance Manchester United will sell him off before the international transfer window closes at the end of August (He's still sleeping with Real Madrid pyjamas on). But he's also had problems with consistency since his return to Old Trafford in 2016. He was poor under Jose Mourinho, but then blossomed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, scoring 9 goals and nabbing 6 assists in 10 matches between December and February. But after United's fabulous winter stretch, he regressed once again as the Red Devils faltered to close the season, finishing with 13 goals and 9 assists. But I'm including him because if he stays at United and if he plays with the freedom he played with during the winter under Solskjaer, there isn't a better midfielder in the league. Ouch...

Midfielder (RM): Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Some Manchester City player had to step in our XI and make up for the production lost in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, and that player could not be other than Bernardo. Transitioning from winger, Bernardo made the move to central attacking midfielder with aplomb, retaining possession, playing smart passes and working his tail off for City. Although he didn't quite match De Bruyne's typical production, he tallied a respectable 7 goals and 8 assists, numbers that belie just how important he was to City. What a f***** genius!!

Midfielder (LM): Son Hueng-min (Tottenham)

Despite missing a chunk of the season to compete for South Korea in the 2019 Asian Cup (He almost ended up in the military with Korean Rambo), Son was one of the most productive players for Tottenham last season. It was Son who was tasked with filling in for the injured Harry Kane, and he did so without missing a beat, racking up 12 goals and seven assists. Without as many international commitments to take him away from Tottenham this season, he could be on the verge of an even more productive year.

Forward (LW): Sadio Mané (Liverpool)

While Mo Salah has typically won the plaudits and garnered most of the attention out of Liverpool's fearsome attacking unit, Mané has quietly become one of the very best players in the Premier League, improving each season under Jürgen Klopp. Last season was his best to date, as he played the most games (36) he's ever played in a season at Anfield, while also scoring the most goals (22) of his career in any league, tying him for the Golden Boot alongside Salah and Aubameyang.

Forward (RW): Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

What is there to say about the prodigious talent of the Egyptian man that hasn't already been said? Salah has only spent two seasons at Liverpool, but he already feels like a club legend. Scoring 32 goals in you inaugural season and winning a Champions League title in your follow-up will do that for a player. His goal-scoring regressed last season (22), but he still managed to tie teammate Mané and Arsenal's Aubameyang for the Golden Boot. If that was his sophomore slump, I can't wait to see what he has in store for his third jaunt through the Premier League with Liverpool.

Forward (ST): Harry Kane (Tottenham)

The best striker in the world is here!! (Ha, ha! Funny one!)

Fatigue from the World Cup and frequent injuries kept Kane from playing his best for Tottenham last season, but he was still pretty dang good. He managed to score 17 goals and nab 4 assists in 28 games played. He almost certainly would have hit the 20-goal mark for the fifth consecutive season had he played a full slate. But with a full summer of rest behind him, Kane is fit as a fiddle and should be healthy enough to go the distance.

"The Untouchables" Team Substitutes (and some honourable mentions):

Forward (ST/LW): Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Last season was Aubameyang's first full campaign at Arsenal since joining the club in January of 2018, and he proved why it was right for Arsenal to make him the club's most expensive player ever at that time. Forging a ferocious partnership with fellow Arsenal attacker Alexandre Lacazette, who just missed a spot on this list, Aubameyang scored 22 goals, tying him with Sadio Mané and Mo Salah for Golden Boot honours. He's been excellent for Arsenal this preseason, as well as in the first games of the PL, so, he should be one of the primary beneficiaries of addition of Nicolas Pépé to the squad.

Forward (LW/RW): Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Raheem Sterling has long been considered one of the most promising talents in all of world football, and over the last two seasons he's started fulfilling that promise. Sterling has blossomed under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola (The F***** Master of The Universe!!), tallying 17 goals and 10 assists, one short of his high from the season before in each category. Considering how long he's been performing at such a high level for Manchester City and Liverpool before that, it's hard to believe Sterling is only 24. His best years are likely still ahead of him.

Forward (ST): Sergio Agüero (Manchester City)

Agüeroooooooooooooo!!! The prolific Argentinian attacker has been one of the most consistent players in the Premier League during the entirety of his eight-year stretch with Manchester City. The Citizens' talisman has scored in the double-digits in all eight of those seasons and 20 or more in six of them, including each of the last five. He scored 21 goals last season, and, at 31, he's still got a few good years left in him. Agüero hasn't always received the respect he's due from Premier League fans and media, but he should go down as one of the greatest players in EPL history.

And now, I know... I haven't forgot: Here are the honourable mentions that I promised, OK!?

  • Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

  • Ederson (Manchester City)

  • Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

  • Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

  • Fernandinho (Manchester City)

  • Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)

Have you guys noticed that Liverpool and Man City are f***** OP!!! (Thank God... I support Liverpool)

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