RB: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United)
Similar to last year, Trippier has been the most consistent right back in the Premier League so far this season. He has been one of the main reasons for Newcastle’s quick ascension, and at 33 years old, he is playing some of the best football of his career. Newcastle sits in 7th in the league currently and their team performances haven’t been up to their standards so far (in part due to key injuries), but Trippier has registered 6 assists already this season, one behind league-leading Pedro Neto of Wolves, so his spot in this XI is pretty nailed on given there are few other standout performers in this position.
CB: William Saliba (Arsenal)
William Saliba is the main man in a defense that has only allowed 10 goals in 12 Premier League games. He is calmness personified on the ball, never breaking a sweat under pressure. Having passed a key test earlier this season in keeping Haaland quiet in their matchup, and getting the all-important 3 points in that game, he commands his spot in this XI.
Arsenal simply wouldn’t be able to play the way they do, as effectively and efficiently, without Saliba in the team. It might seem unfitting to throw him into the “best defender in the Premier League” conversations, but with the levels he has demonstrated since the start of last season, more and more people are starting to see it.
CB: Mickey Van de Ven (Spurs)
Enter the second surprise of the season signing from Spurs. Van de Ven has helped transform this Tottenham defense under Ange Postecoglou. The Dutch defender has shown that he can cope with the pace of the Premier League just fine, even demonstrating that he himself carries incredible speed for a central defender. He has featured in all but one of Spurs’ league fixtures (missing one due to injury with more absences on the way), and has managed to be the key figure in their defense, helping to improve not only the team but those around him. Romero suddenly looks like a great defender again, but seemingly only when paired with Van de Ven. Coincidence… I think not!
LB: Destiny Udogie (Spurs)
Here I am adding the third Spurs player already into a Premier League Team of the Season, who would’ve thought? Not me! Udogie has been immense for Spurs. He fears nothing and no one, and it shows in his game. He may only be 20 years old, but it seems that Spurs have found a long-term solution to what has been an ongoing left-back problem that has plagued them for quite some time. Udogie is the real deal, at least, that’s what it seems like as of right now. With some more time in the Premier League and continued development on this trajectory, there’s no telling how good Udogie might be in a few year’s time.