MOST Dream Team gaffers will know by now that the good people at WhoScored provide our match ratings.
It therefore makes sense to monitor which players their clever algorithm deems to be the cream of the crop.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at their Premier League Team of the Season in its current iteration…
GOALKEEPER: Jose Sa (£3.6m)
Wolves’ custodian just edges out Alisson (£4.7m) between the sticks.
For the most part, Bruno Lage’s side have conceded very few goals this season – only the top three clubs have a better defensive record.
And Sa has been a huge contributor to that effort having made 110 saves – only three keepers have been forced into action more often.
By way of a comparison, Alisson has made 64 saves, mostly because he is blessed with a more dominant team ahead of him.
RIGHT-BACK: Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m)
Without wanting to give too much away, the 23-year-old boasts the joint-second highest average rating among Premier League players on WhoScored for 2021/22.
The main reason for this is his astonishing creative output from right-back, particularly via his Beckham-esque crosses from deep.
With 12 league assists to his name, Alexander-Arnold is a close second in the race for the Premier League Playmaker award this term – the man leading the way also features in this XI.
CENTRE-BACKS: Joel Matip (£5.5m) & Virgil van Dijk (£6.9m)
It’s a strong Liverpool contingent at the back with Thiago Silva (£4.7m) narrowly missing out.
It could be argued that the Reds’ Cameroonian defender has been better than their imperious Dutch No4 this season – that’s what WhoScored reckon – but there’s no real need to force a competition when they work so effectively as a pair.
The injury-prone Matip’s workload has been managed with Ibrahima Konate (£5.1m) having been given his fair share of minutes but the former remains Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice partner for Van Dijk, who is virtually ever-present.
Liverpool have conceded 22 goals in 33 league games so far.
LEFT-BACK: Joao Cancelo (£7.9m)
Manchester City have conceded one goal fewer than their pursuers and while their Portuguese full-back is a willing tackler and tracker, he really excels with the ball at his feet.
Cancelo is supremely confident in possession and essentially plays as an additional midfielder in Pep Guardiola’s system, with great effect.
His tally of six league assists is certainly respectable but that figure doesn’t do justice to how integral he’s been to City’s build-up play.
WhoScored’s algorithm, however, has monitored his positive influence in fine detail – he’s achieved the joint-most 7+ ratings in Dream Team at the time of writing.
MIDFIELDERS: Kevin De Bruyne (£7.0m) & Bernardo Silva (£3.9m)
We should point out here that WhoScored have opted for a 4-4-2 formation for this XI and they’re not too worried about balance.
Man City’s Belgian playmaker is the man level with Alexander-Arnold as the league’s second-best player this season having scored 11 goals and provided six assists in just 27 appearances (five of which came as a substitute).
His Portuguese team-mate has been a consistent performer and was arguably his side’s best player during the first third of the campaign.
Bernardo has scored eight league goals so far, already his best ever return in a City shirt.
WINGERS: Mohamed Salah (£7.7m) & Son Heung-min (£6.1m)
In reality it’s unlikely either of these players would be wingers in a 4-4-2 formation but that’s the beauty of hypothetical XIs.
Anfield’s Egyptian King is deservedly the heavy favourite to sweep the individual awards given he’s currently the Premier League’s leading goalscorer (22) and top assist provider (13).
To put it another way, Salah is averaging a goal involvement every 74 minutes in the top flight this season.
His closest rival for the Golden Boot is Tottenham’s South Korean superstar.
Son has scored 17 league goals this term, equalling his best-ever Premier League haul which he set in 2020/21.
The 29-year-old has been one of the most consistently brilliant Dream Team assets for a number of years now.
STRIKERS: Harry Kane (£7.4m) & Ivan Toney (£5.1m)
Son’s partner in crime makes the cut too despite his underwhelming start to the season.
Since Antonio Conte was appointed Spurs boss, Kane has resumed normal service and, despite his sluggish start, is now the joint-sixth top scorer and joint-sixth top assist-provider.
No player has claimed more Star Man awards than the England captain (all competitions) in Dream Team 2021/22.
Finally, something of a surprise inclusion in the form of Brentford’s top scorer and a very welcome one at that.
Toney was tipped to reach double figures for goals before the season started and he’s done just that having netted 12 in 29 appearances.
The Bees are set for a comfortable mid-table finish in their first ever Premier League campaign and they have their well-rounded No17 to thank for it.
Whether he’s able to hold off Sadio Mane (£4.7m) and retain his place come the season’s end is another matter but Toney deserves plenty of credit for his efforts so far.