As the end of the season beckons across Europe, in some form, it is time for us at Outside of the Boot to recognize the accomplishments of tomorrow’s stars with the U-22 Team of the Season across each individual top leagues, a feature we’ve run since 2014 . This feature looks at the best of Premier League.
[Eligibility: As of 1st June 2019 – 21 years old and below for outfield players; 22 years old and below for goalkeepers]
Following an impressive season back in the Premier League, Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson (23) represents the blades in goal after his successful loan spell from Manchester United. Title-winning Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (21) is at right back, having broken the Premier League record for assists by a defender, a record previously set by the youngster himself last season. Two sides who struggled in the relegated battle are in the centre of defence, Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa (22) who helped his side’s survival push; partnered by Ben Godfrey (22) whose Norwich City side unfortunately went back down to Championship despite some promising performances. Bukayo Saka (18) enjoyed a breakthrough season with Arsenal, developing into a utility player capable of playing in a variety of positions & roles. He takes his place at left-back in this XI.
Speaking of versatility, Declan Rice (21) takes his spot in central midfield after a season that saw him become a main-stay in his West Ham United side, even captaining the side on occasion. Manchester City’s Phil Foden (20) partners Rice in a three-man midfield following slightly more involved campaign with Guardiola giving the Englishman twenty-three league appearances as he continues to develop into a creative midfielder. Arguably the biggest beneficiary of Chelsea’s transfer ban, Mason Mount (21) completes the midfield having appeared in all but one of the Blues’ thirty-eight games.
Two of Manchester United’s academy graduates make it in the front three – Mason Greenwood (18) who played a key role in his side’s late surge into Champions League qualification with his ten goals is joined by team-mate Marcus Rashford (22) on the opposite flank who had his own best scoring campaign. The side is completed by Tammy Abraham (22) who leads the line following his fifteen goals for Chelsea, though a rather sub-dued second half compared to the first.
Read all our Young Players features here.