Every year in the NBA the best players are gathered for an All-Star game, where the best players from the Eastern and Western conference compete. What if the Premier League put on such a showpiece event?
Firstly, the league would be split into Northern and Southern teams, with the two teams being selected from that divide. A maximum of three players from each team will be allowed, including team captains.
Southern teams: Arsenal, Bournemouth, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford and West Ham United.
Northern teams: Aston Villa, Burnley, Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
For each team, a team captain would need to be selected. These captains will be responsible for selecting the teams and leading them on the field.
For the Southern Team captain, we have gone for Harry Kane. Kane is England captain and main man for Tottenham Hotspur. The 26-year-old has won the Golden Boot twice, scoring over 200 goals for Tottenham in all competitions.
For the Northern Team captain, we have gone for Jordan Henderson. Henderson is a great leader for Liverpool, having helped them to their sixth European cup last season. He has also proved very versatile this season, changing roles within midfield to fill in for the injured Fabinho.
The Southern Team (4-4-2)
GK – Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)
Kepa hasn’t always avoided been in the spotlight for the right reasons. Most notably, the Spaniard refused to be substituted in the Carabao Cup Final in 2019. He starts between the sticks for the Southerners
RB – Max Aarons (Norwich City)
Aarons has played his first season in the Premier League this year and has impressed throughout. His performances have been so impressive that the 20-year-old has been linked to Tottenham.
CB – Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)
Nathan Ake, an ever-reliable for Bournemouth, joining them in 2017 after being a serial loanee for Chelsea. The Dutch international has since been linked with a move back to Stamford Bridge.
CB – Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion)
Like Ake, in Lewis Dunk, we have a player who is consistent and reliable. The 28-year-old is an England international, having made his debut in 2018. Like Ake, he has been linked with a moved away from Brighton, where he has been for his entire career.
LB – Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Azpilicueta is Chelsea’s captain, having spent eight years in West London. The Spaniard can operate in all of the positions along the back line, but we have decided to put him at left back.
RM – Heung-Min Son (Tottenham Hotspur)
Heung-Min Son is currently serving in the South Korean military. But the winger has 66 goal contributions from 129 games out wide for Spurs. He has emerged as one of Tottenham’s most valuable players since signing from Bayer Leverkusen.
MF – N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
In a recent article, we described how N’Golo Kante is best suited to a double pivot system. We return Kante back to this system, alongside Declan Rice. The Frenchman is one of the best midfielders in Premier League history, revolutionising a midfield system in a similar vein to that of Claude Makelele.
In a double pivot. Kante is unrivalled in all of world football and for that, he has to be in the Southern Team XI.
MF – Declan Rice (West Ham United)
Declan Rice usually operates in a double pivot alongside Mark Noble. In this All-Star Game, he sits alongside N’Golo Kante. At just 21, Rice has made 100 appearances for West Ham United already. The midfielder controversially swapped his international allegiance to England, despite having already represented the Republic of Ireland in friendlies.
LM – Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Wilfried Zaha has been the main man for Palace what seems like a lifetime now. The Ivorian international is a real threat with his pace and trickery on that left-hand side and that’s why he’s in our Southern Team.
ST – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Arsenal’s captain has to be in the Southern Team, after winning the Golden Boot last season with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.
ST – Harry Kane (C) (Tottenham Hotspur)
With a wide range of passing, set pieces ability and deadly finishing it hard to find a chink in Harry Kane’s armour. Perhaps his seeming inability to stay fit for an entire season could be an area for criticism. The leader of the nation in the 2018 World Cup, where he won the Golden Boot. Harry Kane completes this XI!
The Northern Team (4-1-2-1-2)
GK – Alisson (Liverpool)
Since Alisson has joined Liverpool he has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, second to only Jan Oblak. The Brazilian boasted a total of 21 clean sheets in Premier League last season, worthy of the Golden Glove Award.
RB – Aaron Wan Bissaka (Manchester United)
Aaron Wan Bissaka has been dubbed as the best one-on-one fullback in the world by Jamie Carragher. The 22-year-old is in his first season for Manchester United, since switching from Crystal Palace.
CB – Yerry Mina (Everton)
Yerry Mina possesses a real attacking threat from set-pieces, scoring three headers in the 2018 World Cup. At 6ft-5in, The Colombian has been a star for Everton since joining in 2018, becoming one of their most reliable players when he has been fit. The 25-year-old has struggled with foot and hamstring injuries since moving to Goodison Park.
CB – Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)
Many eyebrows were raised when Liverpool paid £75 million for the Dutchman in January 2018. Since then, the 28-year-old has proven his worth, helping Liverpool to consecutive Champions League finals. The Holland captain is the embodiment of composure, as he rarely looks flustered.
LB – Lucas Digne (Everton)
Lucas Digne has been the standout player at Goodison Park since his arrival. The Frenchman is a skilful and polished player, who consistently delivers for the Toffees. Digne’s tally of 52 chances created in 2018-19 was higher than any other defender in Europe’s top-five leagues.
DM – Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)
At 24-years-old Ndidi plays with a maturity beyond his years. In his first full season, the Nigerian international was the Premier League’s top tackler with 138 dispossessions. Ndidi has been an unsung hero in a Leicester side that currently sit third in the Premier League.
MF – Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
For the last few years, Kevin De Bruyne has been one of the best players in Premier League. When he hangs up his boots, he will be considered one of the best players to have ever played in the Premier League. The Belgian is an absolute magician, racking up countless assists in the sky blue of Manchester City.
MF – Jordan Henderson (C) (Liverpool)
Jordan Henderson has definitely faced his doubters. He was ridiculed after Sir Alex Ferguson said he refused to sign the midfielder due to his running style. Brendan Rodgers tried to flog him off to Fulham as a make-weight for Clint Dempsey, but Henderson dug his heels in and wanted to prove his worth.
The Englishman has gone on to captain his club to a Champions League trophy and has become one of the most versatile and important players in one of the world’s best teams.
AM – James Maddison (Leicester City)
James Maddison has impressed so much for Leicester this season; he has been linked with big money moves with lofty price tags. This comes after his 12 goal contributions this season, which have also earned the 23-year-old an England call up.
ST – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Sergio Aguero has been at Manchester City for nine seasons now. He is there record goal scorer with 254 goals and counting and is a bona fide City legend. Everyone remembers where they were when he scored that goal against Queens Park Rangers in 2012. One of the greatest strikers in Premier League history, simply has to be in this All-Star game.
ST – Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Raul Jimenez is one of the most under-appreciated strikers in Europe. The Mexican has a dogged work rate, with a clinical finish. With 22 goals this season, it’s hard to see how Wolves didn’t face stiffer competition to sign him permanently in the summer, after such a great loan spell during 2018/19. He often turns provider as well with 10 assists this season, which is more than Bernardo Silva, Willian and Dele Alli.
Be sure to let us know what you think of our teams! Make sure you send in your own teams, remember only three players per team! Who would win in the North vs South All-Star Game?