You would be hard-pressed to find a year that the Premier League was more wide open. That's what happens when the defending champions are Leicester City, not to mention Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool are all in transition. Then there are Arsenal and Tottenham, who are, well Arsenal and Tottenham. All of this is happening at a time when the Premier League has more money than ever before too, so more and more good players are flooding the league and spreading out on teams across the country. So in a year this unpredictable, and yet supremely talented, what would the best team the Premier League has to offer look like?
Goalkeeper - David De Gea
Manchester United came very close to selling De Gea a year ago, with a faulty fax machine the only thing that kept him at Old Trafford. The Red Devils sure are happy that was the case because imagining them last season without De Gea is terrifying. The Spaniard was predictably terrific for a Manchester United team that needed exceptional goalkeeping. If there was any doubt that he was the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, it's gone. De Gea is the best in England and it's not particularly close. Now he might even have a decent defense in front of him too.
Getty ImagesBen Hoskins
Right back - Hector Bellerin
The choices at right back are ... well, let's just say not great. There's Bellerin, Kyle Walker and Nathaniel Clyne. Those are the best right backs in the Premier League and it's not exactly an inspiring group. Bellerin is just 21 years old though, and the converted winger has been improving each year. The Arsenal man should only be better this season and, even when things go poorly, he can always lean upon his blazing speed to bail himself out.
Arsenal FC via Getty ImagesDavid Price
Centerback - Toby Alderweireld
Alderweireld joined Spurs last season after spending a year on loan at Southampton and the Belgian immediately helped transform the Tottenham defense. He was positionally perfect for Spurs, great in the air and even got involved in the attack with some outstanding passes from the back. Tottenham had huge expectations for the centerback and he exceeded them, helping Spurs get into the title race and earning them a place in the Champions League. No centerback in the league was as good as Alderweireld last year and he's primed to replicate it this season.
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Centerback - Chris Smalling
This would be Vincent Kompany's spot if he could stay fit, but betting on his fitness isn't exactly wise. There isn't another great choice here -- Virgil van Dijk has a shout -- so take a look at Smalling's last four months. First, he finished the season in sterling form for Manchester United and then he carried that over to the Euros, where he was good for England. With Jose Mourinho coming in at Old Trafford, Smalling should only get better. He's shown flashes of great play before, but consistency has eluded him. He might be primed to sort that out now.
Getty ImagesCatherine Ivill - AMA
Left back - Cesar Azpilicieta
It's easy to overlook Azpilicueta. He's not your typical modern fullback, bombing up and down the wing. He's a defender above all and a very good one at that. But that doesn't mean he's not capable with the ball. The Chelsea man is a good passer and keeps the ball well. He's exceedingly responsible and ensures that the team can continue to push forward with the ball without leaving too much space to get burned by the counterattack. Antonio Conte may change his role some, but Azpilicueta has shown by now that he's plenty adaptable.
Getty ImagesMike Hewitt
Central midfield - N'Golo Kante
There's a reason Chelsea made Kante one of their top transfer targets. The Blues were outplayed through the center of the park too often last season so they grabbed the man who bossed the middle for the Premier League champions a year ago. You won't find anyone who will run more or cover more ground than Kante, which is especially impressive when you consider how smart he is about his movement. That's how Kante is involved in seemingly every play and now under Conte, who can build the Blues around his ability to turn back opposing teams before the back line is even bothered, he should only be better.
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
Central midfield - Paul Pogba
Forget the €110 milion price tag -- which you can only say if you're not the one cutting or cashing the check -- and instead just focus on what he's done at Juventus. He's only gone from prodigy to legitimately one of the best midfielders in the world who doesn't have a hole in his game. If you want to play him as a defensive midfielder, you can. Same as an attacking midfielder or anything in between. Ideally, you free him up to do everything, with a man in front of him and one behind him, which Manchester United could very well do. It won't take long for Pogba to establish himself as the best midfielder in the Premier League.
Man Utd via Getty ImagesJohn Peters
Right winger - Riyad Mahrez
Mahrez earned PFA Players' Player of the Year last season and for good reason. The Algerian had 17 goals and added 11 assists to lead Leicester to the Premier League title. Every time Mahrez collected the ball on the wing and turned toward the goal, he was a nightmare for opposing defenses. That won't change this season, not even if he leaves Leicester. Chelsea and Arsenal are both after Mahrez, but it won't matter too much if he goes to Stamford Bridge or the Emirates. He'll be sensational wherever he plays.
Getty ImagesMatthew Ashton - AMA
Left winger -- Sadio Mane
Liverpool went after Mane as soon as the summer started and had a deal wrapped up before the end of June. He's shown himself to be a great player over the last two years at Southampton and now he's going to Liverpool, which just so happens to be the perfect place for him. Not only is he going to a bigger, better club that will surround him with better talent, but he couldn't be more ideal for Jurgen Klopp's system. The counterpress that Klopp uses will suit Mane with and without the ball, making him one of the most influential players in the league this season.
Getty ImagesCatherine Ivill - AMA
Forward - Harry Kane
Kane was the Premier League's leading scorer a year ago and had 21 goals the previous season despite not getting a start for Spurs in the first two months of the campaign. It took all of two years for him to go from a nice prospect fighting for his spot in the Tottenham team to arguably the league's best striker. Kane's game has continued to grow too, with him showing quality passing and hold up play to go with his world class finishing. Spurs are only getting better too, putting better players around him that make his job easier, so Kane may shine even brighter this season.
AFP/Getty ImagesIAN KINGTON
Forward - Sergio Aguero
The only question for Aguero is whether he's fit, but for all the knocks on his absences, the Argentine played 33 matches two years ago and 30 matches last season. So while it may feel like Aguero is injured a lot, he sure is playing plenty. When Aguero does play, he's downright deadly, finding the net 50 times over the last two years in Premier League play alone. We'll see how he fits in under Pep Guardiola, but Aguero has shown himself to be one of the world's best players under multiple managers, in any number of situations. Put him on the field and he'll score.