The PFA Premier League team of the year for 2022/23 includes both Erling Haaland and Harry Kane as strikers, while no left-back was deemed worthy of inclusion.
The XI is constructed from nominations by professional footballers and was understandably dominated by players from Arsenal and Manchester City, with the title rivals providing nine of the 11 players.
The exceptions were Newcastle right-back Kieran Trippier and Tottenham striker Kane, who joins Haaland as a striker with the PFA choosing not to include Marcus Rashford as a left-sided forward, which is what we predicted in March.
Indeed, the left side of the XI is entirely missing with no left-back included; the defence instead looks lopsided with Trippier being joined by Manchester City’s John Stones and Ruben Dias, as well as Arsenal’s William Saliba.
The midfield picked itself with Rodri and Kevin de Bruyne from Manchester City being joined by Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard.
Completing the forward line along with individual winner Haaland and Kane was Young Player of the Year Bukayo Saka.
The goalkeeping nod went to Aaron Ramsdale, even though he was statistically the 14th best goalkeeper last season as he was found wanting in the run-in.
Full PFA XI: Ramsdale; Trippier, Saliba, Stones, Dias; Rodri, De Bruyne, Odegaard; Saka, Haaland, Kane.
“It’s an honour to win this prestigious award,” said Haaland. “To be recognised by your competitors is a great feeling and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me.
“It was an unforgettable season for the team and for me personally. Winning the Treble was something I never imagined, so to achieve that with such a special group of players was an amazing feeling.
“We created some incredible memories last season, but now we want to do the same again this year. We have started the season well and we need to keep going.”
Meanwhile, Saka wrote on social media: “PFA Young Player. It’s an honour for me to accept this award and have my name alongside the previous winners. To have your peers acknowledge you is a very special feeling! Thank you to the PFA and congratulations to all the other winners and nominees this evening.”
Arsenal have not had four inclusions in the PFA Team of the Year since 2007/08, when Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor made the cut.
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