With 2015 almost at an end, TEAMtalk have put together a Premier League team of the Year based on the most consistent performers over the calendar year.
It’s a debate that is likely to divide opinions – who has been the best players over the calendar year? With that in mind, players who have only made their mark since August, such as Riyad Mahrez, Dimitri Payet, Odion Ighalo and Dele Alli, have not been included.
Similarly, the likes of PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard has also been overlooked after failing to get anywhere near the heights he achieved earlier this year.
So who are the most consistent performers of 2015? Have a look at our stars of 2015 and see if you agree. If you don’t agree, prove you can do better by sharing your team below.
TEAMtalk Premier League XI of 2015 (4-1-2-3):
De Gea; Bellerin, Smalling, Stones, Bertrand; Coquelin; Ozil, Coutinho; Kane, Lukaku, Vardy.
Subs: Adrian, Dann, Monreal, Drinkwater, Toure, Cazorla, Giroud.
David De Gea (Manchester United)
De Gea has established himself as one of the world’s best goalkeepers over the past year and won a place in the PFA Team of the Year last season. The Spanish international pulled off a number of stunning saves to secure Champions League football for Manchester United this season, and a summer of transfer controversy saw him stay at Old Trafford despite a proposed move to Real Madrid. Since then, De Gea has been in fine form for Louis Van Gaal’s side, conceding the least amount of goals in the Premier League.
Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)
Since establishing his place in the Arsenal starting 11, Spanish full-back Hector Bellerin has arguably been one of the best defenders in the Premier League. His unmatched pace offers a huge threat going forward, and a string of solid displays make him one of the first names on the Gunners team sheet.
Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
With massive doubts being raised no more than a year ago as to whether Chris Smalling was good enough to establish himself as a Manchester United regular, the sheer transformation of the 26-year-old can not be underestimated. With his great strength and athleticism, Smalling has been imperious in defence for United in 2015. For a player who was once heavily questioned, Smalling has become a regular in Louis Van Gaal’s defence and proved the critics wrong in being one of the Premier League’s best central defenders over the past year.
John Stones (Everton)
The impressive performances of Everton defender John Stones alerted Chelsea this summer, who bid up to £40million for the classy 21-year-old. But Everton were able to hang onto their prized asset, and the centre back has been a rock at the heart of Roberto Martinez’s defence, establishing a solid partnership with Phil Jagielka.
Ryan Bertrand (Southampton)
Bertrand begun his career at Chelsea with no better a mentor at left-back than Ashley Cole. After a string of loan spells, the England international settled down at Southampton. In his debut season, Bertrand’s consistency and quality established him as a regular in Ronald Koeman’s Saints side, earning him a place in the 2015 PFA Team of the Year. The 26-year-old has continued his wonderful form throughout 2015, rightly earning himself a place in the TEAMtalk team of 2015.
Francis Coquelin (Arsenal)
Since breaking into Arsenal’s starting 11, the defensive midfielder has produced a number of impressive displays. The Gunners have conceded the least amount of goals in the Premier League in 2015, and the fact that it coincides with Coquelin’s permanent inclusion team is no coincidence. The tough-tackling Frenchman acts as a protector to the Arsenal back four, and his recent injury ahead of the Christmas period comes as a huge blow given his top form throughout 2015.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
The “assist king” has been one of the most influential players over the past year in the Premier League and has been instrumental in Arsenal’s fight for their first league title in 11 years. The German World Cup winner is well on course to break Theirry Henry’s record of 20 assists in one season, and the Arsenal playmaker currently has 13 with 22 games to play. His creativity and passing have fired Arsene Wenger’s side to the top of the Premier League and well on course to lift the trophy come May.
Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool)
The little magician has undoubtedly been Liverpool’s best player in 2015, and his dazzling performances have been recognised with a place in the PFA Team of the Year last season. The Brazilian playmaker doesn’t seem to score normal goals, and long-range screamers have now come accustomed to the 25-year-old. The Liverpool 2015 Player of the Year has become a Merseyside favourite, and since the departure of Luis Suarez he is arguably their most important player.
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Where do you start with Harry Kane? The Spurs star has enjoyed the best year of his football career with his emergence as Tottenham’s number one striker. He has not only captained Spurs, the 22-year-old has earned a call up to the England squad and scored within 78 seconds of his debut at Wembley. Kane has scored an astonishing 24 Premier League goals in 2015 for Spurs, and after a seven game goal drought at the start of the season, Kane has banged in eight goals in a 14-game unbeaten run for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Who knows what 2016 has in store for the 2015 PFA Young Player of the Year.
Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
The Belgian powerhouse has attracted the attention from some of the biggest clubs in Europe after his consistent form for Everton in 2015. Lukaku has already scored 12 Premier League goals this season, and with 16 league goals in 2015, his place in the team is thoroughly deserved. His sheer pace and power make him a frightening threat for any defender, and at still only 22-years-old, the 6ft 3in striker is only going to go from strength to strength.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
What a year it has been for Jamie Vardy. The ultimate football fairytale was complete last month when the former non-league man scored against Manchester United to become the first ever player to score in 11 consecutive Premier League games, breaking Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record against his former club. The Leicester striker has already scored 14 goals in the Premier League this season, firing Leicester to the top of the league for the first time since 2000. With four goals and six assists between January and May last season, Vardy was instrumental in Leicester’s “great escape” that saw them seal Premier League safety by winning seven of their last nine games of the season.