Jamie Carragher has surprisingly selected a Sheffield United player in his team of the year ahead of his Liverpool counterpart.
Despite naming seven Reds in his best XI of the season so far in the Telegraph, Alisson Becker is not included as goalkeeper.
Instead, Dean Henderson is named as the number one. The stopper, on loan from Manchester United, has been in impressive form this term. Henderson’s 11 clean sheets have helped Chris Wilder’s side to seventh in the table.
“In a starting XI packed with the league leaders, I can imagine I have upset Liverpool supporters by failing to select Alisson Becker,” Carragher wrote in his column.
“He is the best goalkeeper in the world and in normal circumstances would be straight in. But I am basing my judgement on a season in which he has only played just over half Liverpool’s games in all competitions due to injury.
“In the Premier League, Henderson has as many clean sheets as Alisson, and his save success rate is an impressive 76 per cent – just behind Liverpool’s number one.
“On balance – given Sheffield United were tipped to be in a relegation rather than top four battle – I think Henderson deserves recognition.”
Other Sheffield United players Carragher could have included
The former Liverpool defender’s team in full is; Henderson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, De Bruyne, Grealish; Salah, Aguero, Mane.
It is difficult to argue with most of Carragher’s picks. Yet if there are any Blades who possibly also deserve recognition it is primarily in defence.
Only the Reds have a better defensive record than them this term. Both John Egan and Jack O’Connell could therefore feasibly be included. Especially ahead of Joe Gomez, who has only made 19 league appearances in 2019/20.
Jack Grealish is another questionable selection. It’s likely that some Blades fans would argue either John Fleck or Oliver Norwood are more worthy contenders.