It’s team of the year season, and I don’t think I can bear to read another eulogy to N’Golo Kante – as adorable and brilliant as he is.
With these line-ups even more meaningless than Garth Crooks’ weekly equivalent, we at Paddy Power wanted to inject some relevance.
So, here, for the very first time, is the PPunters’ Team of the Season – based on how much money these stars made you.
For the goalkeeper and defenders, we based this on clean sheet betting markets, finding the five most profitable Premier League teams and including their defensive player who has played most this season.
The midfield and attack were a little more straightforward to compile – players ranked simply on how profitable they were in the anytime goalscorer market, divided by position.
GOALKEEPER: Heurelho Gomes, Watford, 50.2%
The shotstopper with the gobstopper is the Premier League’s most reliable ‘keeper according to our questionable stats.
Let that sink in while you reminisce over his various Tottenham howlers earlier in his career.
RIGHT BACK: Cedric Soares, Southampton, 44.24%
The Portu-geezer has been linked with a move to Chelsea this summer, and this may be an indication why – the most reliable cog in one of the division’s most reliable defences.
CENTRE BACK: Ryan Shawcross, Stoke, 37.73%
Shawcross edges into this team, courtesy of Stoke proving just 2% more profitable than Sunderland.
Which I, for one, am glad about. My credibility would shot if I included a David Moyes player in this XI.
CENTRE BACK: Aleksandar Kolarov, Man City, 50.8%
Pep Guardiola is a tactical mastermind after all – Kolarov’s semi-regular move to centre back this season has resulted with him filling the position in our team of the year.
Though that may or may not have something to do with the fact that two left backs made the side…
LEFT BACK: Andrew Robertson, Hull City, 50.3%
Well, this is something to cheer, at least, Tigers fans. Right?
CENTRE MIDFIELD: Jordan Henderson, Liverpool, 99.4%
We know Jurgen Klopp loves stats, but that’s some number to marvel at – Henderson returning a hefty profit for backers this season.
CENTRE MIDFIELD: Ander Herrera, Man United, 98.7%
Jose Mourinho’s favourite bastard.
Lovely on the ball, lovelier in the tackle, and loveliest when in full rant. Herrera’s well worth his place in the team of the season, stats based or otherwise.
WIDE RIGHT: Enner Valencia, Everton, 99.2%
Right, Mr Koeman, are you going to activate the option to sign Valencia permanently for £14.5million this summer?
Think carefully before you decide. Yes, I know he’s only made four starts for you. That’s right, he scored just three goals in the league.
But what’s that? He’s in the Paddy Power team of the season? Sign him up, Ronnie.
IN THE HOLE: Wayne Rooney, Man United, 69.8%
WTAF? Rooney was on the best players to back this season. Honestly.
In terms of profit, he worked out at over 80% more lucrative than team-mates Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, despite the duo being better at football and able to actually manoeuvre across a football pitch.
For this position, he beat off competition from Ross Barkley (68.4%), Mesut Ozil (65.2%), Gylfi Sigurdsson (51.2%). Funny old game.
WIDE LEFT: Dusan Tadic, Southampton, 95%
The Southampton winger would hardly have been on the tip of your tongue for this team, unless you’ve been backing him – in which case, your bedroom walls are probably covered with his face.
Honestly, I’m struggling to say anything about the Serbian midfielder. He has nice hair. Erm, he does good bastarding.
CENTRE FORWARD: Salomon Rondon, 88.2%
The best striker in the league isn’t Romelu Lukaku (-9.5% profit), Harry Kane (0.8% profit), or even Zlatan (14.3% profit).
No, it’s West Brom battering ram Rondon. A man almost out-scored by Gareth McAuley.