The PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year has been announced ahead of the 45th PFA Awards this Sunday and while Manchester City and Tottenham are, unsurprisingly, well represented, Liverpool – currently third in the league and through to the Champions League semi-finals – have just one man in the XI.
That man is Mohamed Salah, who has scored 30 goals in the league so far this season and is many people’s favourite to win the Player of the Year award, although he faces stiff competition from Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne, who also make the PFA’s line-up.
In a 4-3-3 formation, Man Utd shot-stopper David De Gea is in goal with Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Alonso – the sole player from dethroned champions Chelsea – across the back line.
In the middle of the park there’s David Silva, De Bruyne and Christian Eriksen, while, up front, Salah, Sergio Aguero – amazingly the first time he has ever made this list – and Harry Kane finish off the line-up.
Champions Man City make up almost half of the Premier League team of the year, but the list of players missing certainly raises an eyebrow. No Roberto Firmino, no Leroy Sane, no Mousa Dembele, no Andrew Robertson.
Salah has already said helping Liverpool win the Champions League is more important than any individual award he could receive this season.
The Egyptian reached the 40-goal mark across all competitions this season in Liverpool’s 3-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth on Saturday and is leading the race for the European Golden Shoe.
And Liverpool beat Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate this month to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they will face AS Roma.
“To win the Champions League,” Salah said, when asked if he preferred to win the competition or an individual award. “If you had a choice, then of course the Champions League.
“… To win the Champions League is huge for everyone. I don’t care about the rest.”
The 25 year-old has scored 30 goals in 32 league appearances for Liverpool in his debut season at the club and is now as short as 1-3 to be named the PFA Player of the Year. In a huge swing in the betting, De Bruyne is out to 9-4 in places.