It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and no better time to look back on what has been a truly unique 12 months in football and beyond.
We had no idea what was coming our way when we brought in 2020 – with football and pretty much everything else halted indefinitely in March as the country got to grips with the Covid-19 pandemic.
But the season restarted and we had matches in the height of summer as Liverpool secured a first title triumph in 30 years.
A short off-season followed before a packed fixture list for the 2020-21 campaign which is already approaching its midway point.
So – who makes Mirror Football’s Premier League Team of the Year for 2020?
Look no further…
Goalkeeper – Emiliano Martinez
Impressed at Arsenal after finishing the season as the Gunners’ No.1 due to Bernd Leno’s injury.
Won the FA Cup but wasn’t assured he’d keep possession of the gloves and so signed for Aston Villa where he has shone between the sticks under Dean Smith.
Defender – Reece James
Leaving Trent Alexander-Arnold out of any combined team is probably sacrilege at this point – but Reece James’ emergence sees him take a deserved spot in this one.
Trent will have to make do with all the others. And the Premier League title.
Defender – Virgil van Dijk
Says a lot about some of the questionable defending in the Premier League this year when Virgil van Dijk waltzes into this team despite spending almost all of the current campaign on the sidelines.
Was imperious prior to that, though. A Rolls Royce of a footballer.
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Defender – Conor Coady
Probably the trickiest position in the team to select, given the aforementioned defensive struggles.
Wolves ‘ Conor Coady the best of the rest in the centre-half department.
Defender – Andy Robertson
What a player.
You thought helping Liverpool to a first title in a generation was a miracle then he went and skippered Scotland all the way to a major tournament. Head-scratching.
Midfielder – Jack Grealish
A footballer that polarises opinion, but I’m really not sure why.
Hard to think of a player more important to his team than the Aston Villa skipper. A true talisman and a wonderful talent to boot.
Midfielder – Kevin de Bruyne
More assists than anyone else in 2020. More chances created than anyone else in 2020.
The best player of 2020? He’s certainly in the conversation.
Midfielder – Bruno Fernandes
There’s been a lot of chat about Manchester United lacking a leader. He may not wear the captain’s armband, but Bruno Fernandes is absolutely that man.
Vocal on the pitch, in the dressing room and leads by example with his performances. Undoubtedly the Red Devils’ most important signing post-Fergie.
Forward – Son Heung-min
Goes from strength to strength at Tottenham and has now firmly established himself as one of the world’s premier forwards.
Well in the Golden Boot discussion this season and has helped Spurs to an impressive start to the current campaign – albeit with a wobble over the last couple of weeks.
Forward – Jamie Vardy
Including Son Heung-min and not Harry Kane seems a little silly given their partnership, but I couldn’t leave Jamie Vardy out.
Scooped the Golden Boot last term and on course to do so again this season. And snapped a corner flag in half with a slide tackle. What a fella.
Forward – Mohamed Salah
Seldom has a footballer combined such prodigious talent with being so happy all the time.
Plays the game with a smile on his face and why wouldn’t you when you can do what he can? One of the Premier League’s all-time great imports.