LONDON: Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is the only non-Manchester City or Liverpool player to be named in the Professional Footballers’ Association’s (PFA) Premier League team of the year on Thursday.
The 26-year-old French World Cup-winning midfielder’s inclusion is a surprise after an indifferent season, although he hit a purple patch after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at Old Trafford as interim manger.
Pogba was dropped for the final matches of Jose Mourinho’s tenure and has had a dip in form under Solskjaer in recent weeks.
City and Liverpool have been locked in an enthralling duel for the title, with Guardiola’s City going top again on Wednesday after beating United 2-0 at Old Trafford, with Pogba unable to inspire his side to a much-needed win.
City are a point ahead of Liverpool in the race for the Premier League title with both teams having three games left to play.
City provide six of the 11 players — goalkeeper Ederson, centre-half Aymeric Laporte, midfielders Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho and forwards Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling — in the side, which also had four players from Liverpool.
Liverpool dominated the defensive positions with centre back Virgil van Dijk joined by full backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold in the side and Sadio Mane named as a forward. Van Dijk and Sterling are believed to be in the running for the player of the year award.
There is no place, though, for Liverpool’s Egyptian star Mohamed Salah, who has scored 19 Premier League goals this season, Spurs pair Harry Kane and Son Heung-min or Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard despite being on the six-man shortlist for the player of the year award.
The PFA Team of the Year is voted for by members of the PFA.
Manchester City had five players in the 2017/18 side but only Argentine star Aguero retains his place from the team of 12 months ago.
Team of the Year: Ederson (Manchester City), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Sadio Mane (Liverpool).
Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2019