Stan Collymore and Alan Shearer have both named Sheffield United players in their Premier League team of the year.
The official PFA team of the year is yet to be announced, but Collymore and Shearer clearly think the Blades should be included.
United impressed many during their first top flight season in 12 years. Eventually finishing ninth, they were in contention for European qualification for much of the campaign.
Their defensive record of 39 goals conceded in 38 league games was only bettered by the top three of Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.
It should perhaps therefore be unsurprising that these former players-turned-pundits have opted for centre-backs in their respective team of the year.
Although not the same one.
Who have Collymore and Shearer picked?
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Collymore is a columnist for the Mirror and his XI unsurprisingly features five players from runaway champions, Liverpool.
There are also two from Man City and Man United’s Bruno Fernandes in midfield – despite only joining the Red Devils in January.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Harry Kane get the nod in attack ahead of golden boot winner, Jamie Vardy, as well.
Yet for the Blades the interest is at the back. Collymore includes Jack O’Connell, describing the 26-year-old as “hugely impressive”.
O’Connell was certainly key to the success of Chris Wilder’s team. They only kept one of their 13 league clean sheets without him in the side.
The defender is being monitored by England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of a potential call-up.
Yet despite O’Connell and fellow centre-back John Egan receiving plenty of plaudits this term, Shearer has opted for the more unsung of Wilder’s back three.
In his team of the year for the official Premier League Twitter account, the former Newcastle United and England striker has selected Chris Basham.
The rest of his back four and entire midfield are the same as Collymore’s. Shearer has also included Sadio Mane in attack. Yet he has chosen Vardy and Raheem Sterling ahead of Aubameyang and Kane. Nick Pope also gets the nod in goal instead of Ederson.
However, Basham is probably Shearer’s most surprising pick. The 32-year-old generally receives much less adulation than O’Connell and Egan. However, he is actually the only one of that impressive defence who has played every league minute in 2019/20.
Either way, it’s good to see Blades getting the praise they deserve. Now let’s see if it’s reflected by the PFA.