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30th Mar 2018

Peter Crouch picked an interesting back four in his Team of the Year

"Ashley Young, right now, is the best left back in the country"

Darragh Murphy

It’s that time of year again.

The Premier League is well and truly in the home straight and players are now being asked to recognise the accomplishments of their colleagues throughout the season.

Manchester City are understandably going to dominate most players’ selections given the superiority they’ve shown throughout the campaign while Mohamed Salah is a shoe-in after a tremendous debut season for Liverpool.

On Thursday, Leicester full back Danny Simpson shared his Team of the Year on Twitter while Peter Crouch has decided to make his picks public via his Daily Mail column.

After confirming Salah as his Player of the Year, Stoke City’s Crouch opted for a “an old-fashioned, British 4-4-2” for his team.

Crouch picked Manchester United stopper David De Gea as his goalkeeper, which few supporters will have a problem with, although the 6’7” centre-forward knew he was going to raise a few eyebrows with his back four.

“This was probably the hardest section to pick,” Crouch wrote. “If Vincent Kompany and Virgil van Dijk had enjoyed uninterrupted seasons, they would have been certainties. I was going to include them but the more I thought about it, the less I could justify it.

“Jan Vertonghen was another with outstanding claims but, in the end, Otamendi and Maguire get the nod.

“I singled out Maguire in my first column for Sportsmail in November and he’s only enhanced his reputation since. Otamendi, meanwhile, has come on so much under Pep Guardiola.

“While Walker is an obvious choice on the right, some of you will be surprised by Ashley Young but, right now, he is the best left back in the country and he will get votes because of his form. He’s been very solid.

“Would I pick this as the best back four in the league? Probably not. But they are the four players who deserve the recognition for the seasons they have had.”

It’s hard to find any faults with Crouchy’s midfield and front two, however, as the ex-England international has picked a tour de force of talent with his remaining six spots.

Crouch named Salah, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Eden Hazard, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero in a side that would take some beating.

His full Team of the Year looks like this.