BBC pundit Garth Crooks picks his 2020 Premier League team of year but shocks fans after leaving out Kane and Salah

GARTH CROOKS picked his 2020 Premier League team of the year – and left out Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne.

The BBC pundit is known to throw a few curveballs into his weekly selections.

And it was no different as he wrapped up the year in classic Crooks fashion with his BBC Sport column – leaving fans typically bewildered.

The 62-year-old decided to leave out title winner Salah despite his return of 23 goals in the calendar year – five more than anybody else.

Kane was also overlooked even though he netted 16 times and assisted ten in 25 appearances and ending the year ninth in the all-time list of Premier League goalscorers.

And De Bruyne, crowned the league's and PFA Player of the Year in the summer, failed to make the cut either.

Instead, Crooks unsurprisingly went for six Liverpool players.

The best goalkeeper in England in 2020, Alisson gets the nod between the sticks.

Although Crooks does say he won the Golden Glove for the most clean sheets last year – even though his Brazilian compatriot Ederson actually bagged the award.

Formidable full-backs Trent Alexnader-Arnold and Andy Robertson earn their spots while, at centre-back, there is another Anfield man – but not Virgil van Dijk.


Instead, utility man Fabinho is in there, even though he played just TEN times in that position in the whole of 2020.

Mind you, it makes more sense than putting Joel Matip in his team of the week for 'surviving one or two scary moments'… despite not playing in the match in question.

He is partnered by Aston Villa and England defender Tyrone Mings who has been a stalwart under Dean Smith this year.

In midfield, Football Writers' Association player of the year and title-winning captain Jordan Henderson is holding the fort.

Crooks said: "'Captain Marvel' has held Liverpool together and got them back to the top of the league amidst a catalogue of injuries and enormous disruptions.

"De Bruyne and City have struggled to find any consistency at all this season. That said, I doubt whether De Bruyne could have retained the unbelievable standard he had set for himself."

Just ahead of Henderson are two of the standout players of 2020 in Jack Grealish and Bruno Fernandes.

Grealish helped keep his boyhood Aston Villa side in the top flight with his goals, assists and leadership last term and has got them in European contention this time around.


Fernandes, meanwhile, may well be the best of the lot following his January arrival at Manchester United.

Crooks said: "The Portugal international's contribution to United's fortunes has been immense. Penalties, free-kicks or in open play, Fernandes has been in devastating form."

And the stats back it up – 18 goals and 14 assists in 29 appearances this year as well as three player of the months gongs.

No Kane, no Salah and no golden boot winner Jamie Vardy for Crooks.

Instead Dominic Calvert-Lewin leads the line with 16 strikes in 2020, getting him into the England set-up alongside Grealish.

On one side is Sadio Mane.

Crooks' assessment read: "The Senegal international remained consistent and even carried the Reds through games on occasions.

"His contribution this season remains a key component to the club's success. Liverpool have lots of jewels in their crown but they would do well to look after this gem."


And last but by no means least is Son Heung-min.

The Tottenham forward – who got into a dramatic bust-up with Hugo Lloris in July – took his game to a new level in 2020 and Crooks lauded his emotional comeback after inadvertently breaking Andre Gomes' ankle.

Son had the best shot conversion rate of any player to take at least 20 shots in the Premier League in 2020, scoring 17 times from 65 shots (26 per cent).

Fans on Twitter gave their views on the eye-opening choices.

One asked: "Does he do it for a bit of attention or does he actually mean it?"

Another quipped: "Crooks has lost the plot again."

And a final user joked: "They will all be devastated," referring to the players omitted.



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