The Premier League team of the season so far – Liverpool outnumber Manchester City and Aston Villa star is shock inclusion

11 Sep

The Premier League season is well and truly underway, and it is shaping as exciting and goal-filled as ever.

With Manchester City closely trailing Liverpool in the table, it seems like the Premier League could well be another two-horse race.

The two clubs dominated league so much last season that nine of the eleven members of the PFA Team of the Season were from either Liverpool or Manchester City. However, will that be the same this year?

Manchester City are hoping to win their third consecutive Premier League title, but will face stiff competition from Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool
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WhoScored.com, one of the most accurate and well respected football ratings databases, has formulated their own Team of the Season so far – and there are a few surprise inclusions that you might have expected.

WhoScored.com have ranked each player Premier League player throughout the season thus we can see who the eleven best players have been so far this campaign.

So who makes the XI? Find out below…


Goalkeeper

Hugo Lloris – Tottenham- Average Rating: 7.2

The stats say Lloris has been the best goalkeeper this Premier League season
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So far this season, Hugo Lloris has been rather busy in the Tottenham goal.

The 2018 World Cup winner has made 19 saves so far this campaign, the most of any goalkeeper in the Premier League.

So despite failing to manage a clean sheet, the Spurs shot-stopper has found his way into the Premier League Team of the Season so far.

Defenders

Roberto Pereira – Leicester – Average Rating: 7.4

Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool – Average Rating 7.4

Just like last season, Virgil van Dijk has been ever-present so far for Liverpool in the 2019/20 campaign.
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Joel Matip – Liverpool – Average Rating: 7.5

Arthur Masuaku – West Ham – Average Rating: 7.9

It is no surprise to see two Liverpool defenders, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk, in the Premier League Team of the Season so far. Jurgen Kloop has transformed Liverpool’s previously shaky defence into one of the most solid in Europe.

Arthur Masuaku has at last found himself a place in the Hammers’ squad after a very impressive start to the season, which has included one clean sheet and 13 tackles.

At right-back, Ricardo Pereira has averaged a higher rating that both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Portuguese defender has registered 20 tackles far this campaign, only being bettered by the aforementioned Wan-Bissaka.

Midfielders

Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – Average Rating: 7.7

John McGinn – Aston Villa – Average Rating: 7.5

John McGinn insisted he was always planning to stay at Villa this summer
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Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City – Average Rating: 8.2

Raheem SterlingManchester City – Average Rating 8.0

Once again, it is no surprise to see Mohammed Salah of Liverpool and both Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling of Man City included in the Premier League Team of the Season so far. Sterling has registered five goals so far this campaign, the joint second highest in the league thus far, while Kevin De Bruyne has five assists to his name,. more than any other player.

However, it is the inclusion of John McGinn that might raise a few eyebrows. Despite Aston Villa lying in 18th place with only three points out of a possible twelve, the Scotsman has completed 17 tackles so far this campaign, more than any other midfielder.

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Forwards

Roberto Firmino – Liverpool – Average Rating: 8.2

Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – Average Rating: 8.0

Sergio Aguero scored his 400th career goal in Manchester City’s win at Bournemouth
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Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero has scored six goals so far this campaign, more than anyone else in the league. He currently averages 1.5 goals per game in the league. He has scored 43% of Manchester City’s goals this campaign.

Liverpool’s Robert Firmino completes the XI, averaging 4.3 shots so far per game in the 2019/20 season. He has also scored two and assisted another two, a contribution that has ensured Jurgen Klopp’s men have retained their 100% win record.

Here’s how the team of the season looks so far, according to stats
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Arsenal fans should be excited about the arrival of Kieran Tierney, says Aston Villa’s John McGinn

13 Aug

Kieran Tierney has everything it takes to become an Arsenal star and will run through brick walls for the club, according to Scotland team-mate John McGinn.

The new Gunners defender completed his move from Celtic on deadline day for a reported £25million following a summer-long saga.

Much is expected of the 22-year-old, not least by Aston Villa star McGinn, who reckons his compatriot will thrive in north London once he returns from injury.

“He’s got everything,” McGinn told talkSPORT.

“Once he gets back fit, he will run through a brick wall for Arsenal.

“Not only that, he can gallop up and down the pitch and get assists, he’s a very good crosser of the ball.

“He’s also a really humble guy who will improve all the time.”

Tierney has been recovering from a double hernia operation for several months and only made 21 league appearances for the Hoops last season.

McGinn, who scored his first Premier League goal for Villa in their 3-1 defeat to Tottenham, almost joined Tierney at Celtic last summer, but a move from Hibs fell apart after the two clubs failed to agree a fee.

The Scotland international eventually joined Villa for £2.75m and won the club’s Player of the Year award as they were promoted to the Premier League last season.

However, he admits a fire still burns for the Scottish champions.

“I’m still a Celtic supporter, I was watching the game at the weekend, and I always will be,” he added.

“It will never leave you.

“But I have to focus on doing my best for Aston Villa and whatever comes up in the future we will take it from there.

“I am still a Celtic supporter and the boys here know I harp on about it all the time but I’m fully focused on Villa.”


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‘Kieran Tierney has got everything… he will run through a brick wall for Arsenal’, says Scotland teammate and Aston Villa star John McGinn

13 Aug

Kieran Tierney has everything it takes to become an Arsenal star and will run through brick walls for the club.

That is according to his Scotland international teammate and Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, who spoke exclusively to talkSPORT this week.

Tierney completed his move from Celtic to Arsenal on deadline day for a reported £25million following a summer-long saga.

Much is expected of the 22-year-old, not least by McGinn, who reckons his compatriot will thrive in north London once he returns from injury.

“He’s got everything,” McGinn told the Jim White show.

“Once he gets back fit, he will run through a brick wall for Arsenal.

“Not only that, he can gallop up and down the pitch and get assists, he’s a very good crosser of the ball.

“He’s also a really humble guy who will improve all the time.”

Tierney has been recovering from a double hernia operation for several months and only made 21 league appearances for the Hoops last season.

McGinn, who scored his first Premier League goal for Villa in their 3-1 defeat to Tottenham, almost joined Tierney at Celtic last summer, but a move from Hibs fell apart after the two clubs failed to agree a fee.

The Scotland international eventually joined Villa for £2.75m and won the club’s Player of the Year award as they were promoted to the Premier League last season.

However, he admits a fire still burns for the Scottish champions.

“I’m still a Celtic supporter, I was watching the game at the weekend, and I always will be,” he added.

“It will never leave you.

“But I have to focus on doing my best for Aston Villa and whatever comes up in the future we will take it from there.

“I am still a Celtic supporter and the boys here know I harp on about it all the time but I’m fully focused on Villa.”


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John McGinn EXCLUSIVE: Aston Villa star says he was never intending to leave this summer despite Manchester United links

13 Aug

John McGinn has dismissed suggestions he was considering a move away from Aston Villa this summer.

The Scotland international moved to Villa Park in August 2018 from Hibernian despite interest from boyhood club Celtic.

John McGinn has started the 2019/20 season well with Villa
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However, it looks like it was a wise move as McGinn played a huge role in helping the Villans getting promoted to the Premier League and even scored in their victory over Derby County in the Championship play-off final.

His form was understood to have attracted the attention of other clubs including Manchester United, who were reportedly lining up a £50million bid for the 24-year-old.



John McGinn insisted he was always planning to stay at Villa this summer
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But McGinn put an end to any speculation surrounding his future at Villa by signing a new five-year contract at the club last week.

He celebrated signing the new deal by scoring for Villa in their Premier League opener against Tottenham where he also had stats of an 85 per cent pass completion rate.

However, Dean Smith’s side lost the game 3-1.

Villa have had an incredibly busy summer, buying TWELVE new players in preparation for life back in the top flight.

And McGinn told talkSPORT that a new contract was actually in the pipeline since the start of the summer.

Speaking to Jim White and Natalie Sawyer, McGinn said: “Obviously you see bits and bobs but my intentions were pretty clear and the club were aware of that. I didn’t want to leave this summer.

“I feel loved here, I feel respected by everyone – the players, the coaches and I was keen to prove that I could play in the Premier League with Villa.

“It’s been an OK start [to my Aston Villa career] but there’s a lot more to come from me.

“I was chuffed [to sign a new deal]. The club came to me at the start of the summer and basically said to me ‘listen, we’ve got a lot of work to do and we want to know if you want to be here’ and it was pretty straight forward.

“Nothing else crossed my mind, I wanted to be at Villa this season and the club wanted that so they’ve kept the best till last and they’ve managed to get me signed up eventually!”

LISTEN TO THE FULL JOHN MCGINN INTERVIEW ABOVE

John McGinn commits long-term future to Aston Villa despite interest from Manchester United earlier this summer

8 Aug

John McGinn has signed a new five-year contract with Aston Villa ahead of the new Premier League season.

The 24-year-old was a revelation for Villa last season as they were promoted to the top flight through the play-offs.

John McGinn helped get Aston Villa promoted to the Premier League
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His performances for club and for Scotland understandably led to interest from other clubs, most notably Manchester United.

It was believed that Villa wanted £50million for the midfielder and United legend Sir Alex Ferguson was pushing for the deal to go through.

The former manager is close friends with McGinn’s grandad Jack and wanted to see him at Old Trafford.

Villa signed the Scotland international from Hibernian last summer and went on to make 45 appearances in all competitions.

He was voted both fans’ player of the season and players’ player of the season.

McGinn told the club’s website: “I have loved every minute of my time at Aston Villa and I am delighted to commit myself to the club for the long term.”

Club CEO Christian Purslow said: “We are delighted to secure John’s services for the long term at Aston Villa.

“He is the type of player Dean Smith an our ownership group want to build our club around: young, determined, athletic, technically-gifted and passionate about winning.”

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John McGinn: Aston Villa midfielder compared to Wayne Rooney after rumours of £50million Man United bid

1 Aug

Former Everton coach Andy Holden says Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn reminds him of a young Wayne Rooney with his ‘demon’ like work ethic.

McGinn, 24, scored seven goals and contributed ten assists for Villa last season as they clinched promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.

John McGinn ‘trains like a demon’ like Wayne Rooney, according to his former Hibernian coach Andy Holden
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It was McGinn who scored the decisive goal for Dean Smith’s men in their 2-1 victory over Derby at Wembley which secured a return to the top flight.

And Holden, who worked with McGinn during his time at Hibernian, has spoke glowingly about what the Scotland international is like – both on and off the pitch.

“He is a throwback,” Holden told the Times. “At Hibs, he would be the first one out to train and he’d ask, ‘What was Wayne Rooney like?’

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“I’d say, ‘Just like you, son.’ Wayne would be the first out with a bag of balls on his back and last in carrying a bag of balls as well.

“They are different players, and you can’t compare what they have done, but in terms of loving football and having drive and focus they are very similar.

“John trains like a demon, cares massively about what he does and he is a gem of a kid.”

Rooney is regarded as a Manchester United legend after a stellar 13-year spell at Old Trafford
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He continued: “In the dressing room, he will say something to gee-up his team-mates.

“But what sets him apart is that he also has the ability to do things in a game that lead the way as well.

“I’m sure a lot of people will see that over the coming months.”

McGinn has already been causing a stir ahead of his maiden Premier League campaign, scoring a sublime solo goal in a 4-1 win at Charlton in Villa’s penultimate pre-season fixture.

It’s therefore no surprise that legendary Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson has reportedly told his beloved side to sign McGinn, who was linked with a £50million switch to Old Trafford earlier this summer.

Ferguson, 77, is close friends with the Aston Villa midfielder’s grandfather, Jack.

McGinn is set to make his top-flight debut next weekend when Smith’s side visit Tottenham in their first game of the 2019/20 season.

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Manchester United transfer news: How Red Devils could line-up next season with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Wissam Ben Yedder, John McGinn and Sean Longstaff

2 Jul

Manchester United completed their second signing of the summer on Saturday as they look to get their transfer business done early.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka joined for an initial £45million, which could rise with add-ons, following Daniel James to the club after the winger’s £15million move from Swansea.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka joined Manchester United for £45million on Saturday
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to overhaul his squad during the transfer window following a disappointing campaign saw them finish sixth in the Premier League.

Some reports suggest the Red Devils are hoping to make a further six signings before the window shuts on August 8.

This weekend they were even linked with a shock move for Aston Villa star John McGinn.

According to the Sun, Red Devils boss  Solskjaer is eager to add McGinn to his ranks but could cost around £50million.

The 24-year-old, who only joined the Midlands outfit a year ago from Hibernian for just £2.75million, played a vital role in the club’s promotion success via the Championship play-offs in the 2018/19 campaign with seven goals and nine assists.

United have also been consistently linked with Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff, who impressed with the club last season.

Here at talkSPORT.com, we’ve taken a look at how they could line-up next season if some of these deals go through.

Goalkeeper

There has been plenty of speculation surrounding David De Gea’s status at Old Trafford with United taking up his one-year extension.

If he does not sign a new deal then they could look to sell him to make sure they do not lose him next summer for nothing.

De Gea looks set to stay, for now, but this situation will no doubt change several times before the window shuts.

David de Gea was below his best for Man United in the final weeks of last season
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Defence

Solskjaer added Wan-Bissaka to his defence on Saturday with the exciting right-back joining from Crystal Palace.

Even though the 21-year-old only played one full season at Selhurst Park, he proved to be one of the standout defenders in the Premier League.

It will make a big difference from the likes of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young who have been utilised in the position over recent seasons.

Solskjaer is also looking at signing a centre-back this summer and they have already been linked to several names.

Harry Maguire looks like he will be off to Manchester City but they have been rumoured to be interested in West Ham’s Issa Diop.

Midfield

This is where we could see some big changes for the Red Devils next season.

Ander Herrera has left following the expiration of his contract, while Paul Pogba has been linked with a move away from the club.

James has already signed from Swansea and United could add players like Sean Longstaff and John McGinn to their side

Solskjaer would also need to accommodate Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata in this side and there could be plenty of rotation throughout the season.

Daniel James became Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first Manchester United signing
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Attack

Romelu Lukaku looks set to leave Manchester United this summer with the striker speaking of his admiration for Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte and Serie A.

The Red Devils are reportedly interested in Sevilla striker Wissam Ben Yedder, who has an attractive release clause of just £36million.

Wissam Ben Yedder was on fire for Sevilla last season
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If Solskjaer does sign Ben Yedder then he would have the tough challenge of accommodating both him and Marcus Rashford in the starting line-up.

Rashford could be forced out wide to make way for the striker but the England international has made clear his desire to play through the middle.

How Manchester United could line-up in 2019/20

Is this how Solskjaer’s Manchester United team could look next season?

 

Manchester United to pay £50m for John McGinn? ‘I’d be staggered’, says talkSPORT reporter

1 Jul

talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook says he would be ‘staggered’ if Manchester United splashed out £50million to sign Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn.

Reports emerged on Monday claiming United are preparing a bid for the 24-year-old Scotland international after his outstanding season with promoted Villa.

McGinn got seven goals and ten assists in the Championship last season, and won the club’s Players’ Player and Fans’ Player of the Year awards ahead of homegrown hero Jack Grealish.

John McGinn was named Man-of-the-Match for Aston Villain their Championship Play-off final against Derby
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The Scot only signed for Villa from Hibernian for £2.75m a year ago, after rejecting interest from Celtic.

Now, he is being linked with a big-money move to the Premier League, with Villa reportedly slapping a whopping £50m price tag on him.

But Crook doubts the move will happen.

 

Speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT, Crook said: “I’m not an expert on Aston Villa, but I do have an interest in Manchester United.

“I’d be staggered if they paid £50million for John McGinn.”

Our man in the south coast also gave us an update on all the gossip from Southampton, after they announced the £15m signing of striker Che Adams from Birmingham on Monday.

Crook says Danny Ings is set to follow in a permanent £18m deal from Liverpool imminently, while a host of players are set to leave the club this summer – including record signings Sofiane Boufal and Guido Carrillo.

Listen back to Alex Crook’s transfer update on talkSPORT above

Aston Villa transfer news: How the Villans could look next season with record-signing Wesley Moraes, Jack Butland and Leeds star Kalvin Phillips

1 Jul

Aston Villa’s promotion to the Premier League was met with jubilant celebrations and sighs of relief from large sections of the West Midlands.

Dean Smith’s side beat Derby County 2-1 at Wembley to end a three-year exile from the top flight, but the boyhood Villa fan instantly set about building a squad capable of staying up as soon as the champagne had dried off his suit.

Aston Villa are back in the Premier League and looking to stay there
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Villa have already signed Jota from rivals Birmingham City, while Anwar El Ghazi and Kourtney Hause have made their loan moves permanent.

Club-record signing Wesley Moraes is expected to be confirmed on July 1 once work permit issues have been ratified, with the 17-goal striker making his £22million move from Club Brugge official.

Smith is still working hard to bring Tyrone Mings back to the club, with the Daily Express claiming the Villans want to add six more signings to their squad.

Jack Butland of Stoke is an option in goal, with Ethan Ampadu, Leeds star Kalvin Phillips and Brentford winger Said Benrahma also under consideration.

Jack Butland currently plays for Stoke City in the Championship
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With John McGinn and Jack Grealish set to stay after superb seasons in the Championship, Villa could quite easily have a squad capable of challenging for a top half finish in the Premier League.

So how could Smith’s starting XI for next season look? Check it out below.

Last season, Smith alternated between a 4-3-3 formation and a 4-4-1-1, depending on who the opposition was. If, for instance, they were playing a more defensive team at home, Smith would drop Grealish back into midfield alongside McGinn and Glenn Whelan.

This would allow Villa to attack from deep and get their playmakers on the ball to create chances for former loanee Tammy Abraham up front and then supply into the wide areas where the full backs were given license to roam past their inverted wingers.

Kalvin Phillips starred for Leeds in the 2018/19 campaign, with Aston Villa now primed to move for the midfielder
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While Whelan and Neil Taylor performed dutifully last year, the introduction of Phillips into midfield and Matt Targett from Southampton at left-back adds greater mobility to the side.

If, however, they play sides who expect to dominate the ball and will try to pass Villa to death, Smith can implement a 4-4-1-1 formation to solidify his team, with Grealish playing in a more advanced role to feed off scraps from the lone striker.

Dean Smith has a multitude of options ahead of the new season if he gets the signings he wants
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Video of John McGinn’s goal for Aston Villa against Sheffield Wednesday in Championship loss

24 Sep

John McGinn opened his Aston Villa account in style when his stunning volley crashed into the back of the Sheffield Wednesday net.

It is surely already on the list of goal of the season contenders.

Here, talkSPORT.com wanted to share an angle of the incredible swerve he managed to get on the volley – think Roberto Carlos’ free-kick against France and you get the idea.

McGinn, 23, joined the Championship club from Hibs in the summer despite strong interest from Celtic.

Sadly for the Scotland international, his stunning equaliser was as good as it got, as Villa lost 2-1 with players being booed off the pitch.