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Adrian Kajumba's 2023/24 one-player-per-club Team of the Season

By Adrian Kajumba 1 Jun 2024
Saliba-Bowen

Football writer selects his best XI featuring players from 11 clubs, along with nine substitutes

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After a breathtaking 2023/24 Premier League campaign, football writer Adrian Kajumba selects his Team of the Season picking only one player per club.

Adrian Kajumba-1ppc
Starting XI
Jordan Pickford (Everton)

A big reason why Everton had the division’s fourth-best defensive record despite finishing 15th. Premier League ever-present Pickford kept 13 clean sheets to finish runner-up for the Castrol Golden Glove but had to work far harder than winner David Raya, making 117 saves to the Spaniard’s 45 and posting a better save percentage, 73.9 per cent, the third highest in the league, versus Raya’s 13th highest figure of 68.1 per cent.

Diogo Dalot (Man Utd)

Not many to choose from following Manchester United’s disappointing season with Kobbie Mainoo or Bruno Fernandes perhaps the only other contenders. But Dalot stood out as a Man Utd rarity - a excellent performer who was consistently available among their otherwise injury-ravaged defence. Chipped in with a couple of goals at Sheffield United and Brighton & Hove Albion too.

William Saliba (Arsenal)

One half of, surely, the division’s best centre-back pairing alongside Gabriel. Saliba became the first Arsenal player to play every minute of a Premier League campaign. And while there were many potential candidates from the Gunners, it is Saliba - Arsenal conceded the least goals, 29, and kept the most clean sheets, 18 - who edges it to get the recognition in this selection. 

Micky van de Ven (Spurs)

Tottenham Hotspur's signing from Wolfsburg gets the nod ahead of the likes of Destiny Udogie and Pedro Porro. Van de Ven's searing pace makes him ideal for head coach Ange Postecoglou’s high-line tactics and almost impossible for opposing strikers to escape. Spurs might wonder how different their season could have panned out had he not suffered a hamstring injury, which ruled him out for two months, when they were top in November.

Antonee Robinson (Fulham)

Another reliable performer, left-back Robinson missed only one Premier League match all season. Tireless up and down Fulham’s left flank and excels at the basics. Finished seventh among Premier League players for tackles made, with 93, winning 58 of them. Even more impressively, his 80 interceptions are the most of any player in Europe’s top five leagues.

Rodri (Man City)

A champion again, arguably the best in his position in Europe and stretched his incredible individual unbeaten Premier League run to 50 matches in Manchester City’s title-clinching last day win against West Ham United. On the same occasion, Rodri displayed his knack for scoring big goals once more with another crucial strike, their third, to settle any Man City nerves. Phil Foden and Erling Haaland's scoring form made them Rodri's rivals for a place in this team but there are few alternatives to the Spanish midfielder. 

Michael Olise (Crystal Palace)

One of Crystal Palace’s terrific trio of Jean-Philippe Mateta, Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze had to be selected. Options elsewhere and one key stat earns Olise a place in this team. Though he only featured in half of their Premier League matches, Olise scored 10 goals, recorded six assists and produced the Premier League's joint-highest goals and assists per 90 minutes figure of 1.13, confirming he was one of the divisions most effective players this season. 

Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)

Mohammed Kudus could have been West Ham United’s representative, a player who has dazzled and produced some spectacular moments - and a memorable celebration - in his debut season. But Bowen has too. He finished as West Ham’s top scorer with 16 league goals and his slice of history from the start of the campaign should not be forgotten either. The winger became first ever player to score in six successive away matches from the start of a season.

Alexander Isak (Newcastle)

Enjoyed an excellent campaign to finish third in the scoring charts with 21 Premier League goals. In doing so he became the first Newcastle United player since Alan Shearer in 2003/04 to pass the 20-goal mark in a Premier League season. Impressive team-mate Anthony Gordon ran him close to be Newcastle’s representative but the Swede has regularly looked like an elite-level frontman and his goal tally gives him the edge. 

Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

Not just Chelsea’s star of the season but one of the entire Premier League’s. Only Haaland scored more than Palmer’s 22 goals while he was just two behind Castrol Playmaker of the Season Ollie Watkins with 11 assists too. Man City may have won the league again but it is testament to Palmer’s talismanic efforts for Chelsea that the debate about whether they were right to let him go remains a valid one. 

Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)

Watkins shone for UEFA Champions League qualifiers Aston Villa with both goals and assists. He finished joint-fourth in the race for the Castrol Golden Boot with 19 goals. Watkins was an equally effective provider with 13 assists to claim the Playmaker of the Season award.

Substitutes
Arijanet Muric (Burnley)

Had he started sooner than mid-March Burnley might have avoided relegation. Their form improved notably once he did while his goals prevented figure of +7.09 was the Premier League’s third highest.

Murillo (Nott'm Forest)

The Brazilian centre-back looks an ideal blend of traditional and modern day defender and pips the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Morgan Gibbs-White here.

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Alongside Alexis Mac Allister, Van Dijk was one of Liverpool’s standouts and showed more signs of being back to his old self this season.

Alfie Doughty (Luton)

Thomas Kaminski and Ross Barkley were other Luton Town options but left wing-back Doughty was an eye-catching outlet. He prodcued 340 crossed and 151 corners, which were the most in Europe's top five leagues.

Pascal Gross (Brighton)

Consistent and versatile for Brighton & Hove Albion this season, their player of the season and biggest contributor of goals and assists combined with 14. 

Gustavo Hamer (Sheff Utd)

In a difficult season for Sheffield United, midfielder Hamer was one of the few players who showed flashes of Premier League quality.

Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford)

Brentford’s form took a hit when he suffered an ankle injury. Still finished joint-top of their Premier League goal contributions chart with 15, despite spending three months on the sidelines.

Matheus Cunha (Wolves) 

Led the way for Wolverhampton Wanderers with 19 goals and assists. Another player who badly missed by his team when he was out for two months with a hamstring injury.

Dominic Solanke (AFC Bournemouth)

Enjoyed his career best season yet with 19 Premier League goals. Honourable mentions for the likes of Illia Zabarnyi, Milos Kerkez and Ryan Christie.

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