The Merseysiders’ push for a Champions League berth may have floundered in recent weeks but Tim Howard’s fourteen clean sheets has ensured Europa League football will grace Goodison Park in 2015. Overshadowed in the press by Ross Barkley’s exploits, the USA internationals’ consistency between the sticks is still one of the highlights of Roberto Martinez’s maiden campaign.
The French international looks set to secure a big-money transfer away from the North East as one of the few players to emerge with any credit from another tumultuous Newcastle United campaign. Debuchy proved one of the Magpies’ most consistent and committed defenders this season, contributing a goal and three assists ahead of a lucrative move.
Azpilicueta has been one of Chelsea’s most dependable performers in Jose Mourinho’s first year back in charge so much so that the 24-year old looks set to secure an improved contract before the summer. The Spaniard’s superb campaign has restricted the Ashley Cole’s appearances and solidified Azpilicueta’s place in Mourinho’s starting back four.
Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez have regularly hogged the Southampton headlines but centre back José Fonte has been just as important to the Saints’ rise to eighth in the league table. The Portuguese defender helped Mauricio Pochettino’s side keep an impressive 15 clean sheets during 2013-14’.
The German international’s partnership with Laurent Koscielny in the heart of Arsenal’s defence was one of the main reasons the Gunners managed to secure Champions League football for a 17th consecutive year. The 6ft 6in defender has also captained the side in the absence of Thomas Vermaelen or Mikel Arteta this term.
The 29-year old Australian was voted Palace’s player of the year in 2013 and enjoyed another influential season in the centre of the park for the Eagles. Jedinak’s work rate and ability to shutdown opposing side’s more illustrious midfielders made him an integral part of Tony Pulis’ revival of the London club.
Four goals and seven assists in twenty-nine appearances has seen Marko Arnautovic emerge as one of Stoke City’s unsung heroes of 2014. The Austrian international revelled playing on the wing for Stoke this term thanks to Mark Hughes’ slick passing approach and looks set to extend his stay at the Britannia Stadium.
The oft-maligned central midfielder endured a tough start to life at Anfield before consistently producing the goods for Brendan Rodgers and becoming a vital component of Liverpool’s title challenge. Henderson’s energy and ability to get up and down the pitch was sorely missed in Liverpool’s last two outings but the former Sunderland player is now firmly established in Rodgers’ starting XI.
This season saw Liverpool’s on-loan striker enjoy his most productive spell since moving to the Stadium of Light. Borini has netted seven goals including the winner in the Tyne-Wear derby and formed an excellent partnership with Conor Wickham to help Sunderland stave off relegation.
The Ivorian international’s magnificent return of 24 goals helped ease the pain of losing mercurial striker Michu to injury and Michael Laudrup’s departure during a turbulent campaign at the Liberty Stadium. Bony’s excellent season has attracted the attentions of Borussia Dortmund with a rumoured £20 million bid being lined up for the 25-year old striker.
Shane Long’s mid-season arrival from the Hawthorns along with fellow signing Nikica Jelavic helped turn around Hull City’s fortunes. Steve Bruce’s side are looking forward to an FA Cup final appearance against Arsenal and safe from relegation on the back of Long’s goals, work rate and fruitful partnership alongside Jelavic.
Cech (Chelsea); Shaw (Southampton), Kompany (Man City), Cahill (Chelsea), Coleman (Everton); Hazard (Chelsea), Yaya Toure (Man City), Gerrard (Liverpool); Lallana (Southampton), Suarez (Liverpool), Sturridge (Liverpool).