Alan Shearer has named his Premier League team of the season so far, and it includes a strong Newcastle United contingent.
In an article for the Athletic, the Toon legend was asked to name his best XI from the first half the campaign – and unsurprisingly it includes a lot of players from Eddie Howe’s side.
Shearer has included as many as four Newcastle players, which is the most from one single team. It also includes three Arsenal players and two from Manchester City.
But the Magpies’ all-time leading scorer has paid tribute to the best defence in the division, and picked four players from Howe’s usual back five.
Alan Shearer admits it’s ‘unfair’ to leave out fifth Newcastle player
With more clean sheets than any goalkeeper this season, Shearer has picked Nick Pope as his stopper, who Callum Wilson thinks has been Newcastle’s best player.
And he has also picked both of Newcastle’s full-backs in Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn. Interestingly, the article includes eight different teams from people at the Athletic, and Trippier is the only player to feature in every one of them.
The fourth player picked by Shearer is Fabian Schar, who is named at centre-back alongside Arsenal star William Saliba. However, the Match Of The Day pundit admits that is is ‘unfair‘ not to include Schar’s partner in crime Sven Botman.
It does seem harsh for Shearer to leave Botman out, but Saliba has been ‘superb‘ as he says, and Newcastle aren’t the only team that has excelled defensively this season.
The £35million signing is probably a victim of not being in the starting XI at the beginning of the campaign, which is why Schar gets the nod ahead of him. On top of that, Saliba has been a key player in Arsenal’s bid to win the Premier League title.
While Botman missing out feels harsh, there are another couple of Toon players who will feel they should have made the team. Both Bruno Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron have been exceptional, but they are up against some incredible players – especially Almiron in attack.
Alongside the Newcastle foursome and Saliba, the other players in Shearer’s team are: Casemiro, Kevin de Bruyne, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane and Erling Haaland.
But Shearer definitely had his Newcastle hat on when he was deciding on his team. However, it is difficult to argue with the players he has picked.
The one undisputed choice is Trippier. He has been the best right-back in the division this season, and has barely put a foot wrong in both defence and attack. The 32-year-old is a leader, a pivotal player, and an absolute bargain at £12million.