Wednesday 15 May 2019 5:10 pm

Best of the Rest XI: The Premier League’s top performers this season outside of the Big Six


Sport and Business Reporter at City AM. Email: michael.searles@cityam.com

Sport and Business Reporter at City AM. Email: michael.searles@cityam.com

This season’s individual accolades have been awarded and, unsurprisingly, the vast majority went to players at Liverpool and Manchester City, with the leftovers for players at other Big Six clubs.

But the Premier League is home to another 14 teams who have shown an array of talent this year.

Here is City A.M’s Best of the Rest XI.


Read more: Sterling deserves recognition even if Van Dijk claims Player of the Year

Lukas Fabianski

Bounced back from relegation at Swansea to become West Ham’s No1 and no goalkeeper made more saves than his 148 this season. More significantly his save percentage of 72.4 was the fourth best behind Allison, Hugo Lloris and Vicente Guaita, who played far fewer minutes.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Cemented his status as Crystal Palace’s first-choice right-back and showed great attacking instincts as well as exceptional defending. Made the third most tackles with 129 and also had one of the lowest dribbled-past-per-game rates at 0.3.

Watford v Crystal Palace - FA Cup Quarter Final
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been one of Crystal Palace's bright sparks this season (Source: Getty)

Conor Coady

A rock at the back for seventh-placed Wolves. Played in every single match, recovering the ball on 251 occasions while rarely putting a foot wrong as he formed a formidable partnership with Willy Boly.


Nathan Ake

 

Continues to prove an astute buy at £20m from Chelsea. Particularly effective at clearing the ball and also has an eye for goal, contributing four, including a last-minute winner against Tottenham this month.

 

Lucas Digne

Beats Ben Chilwell to a well-contested spot after helping Everton keep 12 clean sheets. Surprisingly good in the air as well as in the tackle, winning 205 duels. At the other end he delivered 280 crosses, creating 13 big chances and providing four assists. Also scored four, including a memorable goal in the 4-0 win against Manchester United.

Idrissa Gueye

Integral to Everton since his arrival in 2016, he made 142 tackles this season, only one off the most, although he played around 150 minutes less than Wilfred Ndidi.

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-ARSENAL
Gueye has stood out for Everton once again covering the whole pitch and getting stuck in (Source: Getty)

Declan Rice

Stepped into the West Ham midfield alongside Mark Noble following an injury to Jack Wilshere and never looked back. His presence in the side coincided with an uplift in form, with his season highlight a man-of-the-match display at home to Arsenal capped by the winning goal.

James Maddison

Leicester’s £22.5m signing made the step up from the Championship easily and has arguably been the best player outside of the Big Six. Scored seven goals and got seven assists from midfield, but it could have been more as he created the most chances in the league with 100.

Wilfried Zaha

Had his best goal return to date with 10, plus five assists, but it was his dribbling and all-round attacking threat, which statistics do not fully reflect, that again proved so vital to Palace staying in the Premier League.

Arsenal FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Zaha is integral to Palace's attack and helped inspire them to a 3-2 win at the Emirates last month (Source: Getty)

Ryan Fraser

Impossible to leave out given that only Eden Hazard provided more than his 14 assists. What’s more, the Bournemouth midfielder created 28 big chances – defined as an opportunity a player should be reasonably expected to score from – which is 10 more than anyone else.

Read more: Trevor Steven: My choices for manager and players of the year

Callum Wilson

Scored a career-high 14 league goals in 30 appearances, including multiple strikes with both feet and his head. Also contributed nine assists and combined particularly well with Fraser as they assisted each other 12 times, just one off the Premier League goal combination record set by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton 24 years ago.

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