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The EFL Young Team of the Season – Goalkeeper and Defenders


The EFL Young Team of the Season – Goalkeeper and Defenders

The EFL Young Team of the Season – Goalkeeper and Defenders

The EFL have announced their team and manager of the season awards for all the Sky Bet EFL divisions. The results were compiled based on votes submitted by a regional representative from each of the 72 clubs who nominated players from their sides.

The official EFL Team of the Season was announced in April, but the purpose of this list is to honour the young starts within the division. Most big-hitters within the official list are over-25, and this list features players who are all under-24.

Two players featured were selected in the PFA Sky Bet Championship Team of the Season, but none were included in the official EFL-selected eleven. There is only one player from champions, Newcastle, and none from second-placed Brighton.

All three of the midfielders included were shortlisted for the EFL Young Player of the Season award, and are exquisite home-grown talents. The team features nine Championship players, who have all had remarkable campaigns.

Goalkeeper: Danny Ward, Huddersfield Town

Danny Ward continues to show why he is still on Liverpool’s books, and has been a big favourite among Huddersfield Town fans this season. His 11 clean sheets have helped guide the Terriers to the play-offs, and he has been a mainstay in the side having made 43 league appearances.

The Welshman has gone from strength to strength this season, having played well throughout the 2015-16 campaign in Scotland with Aberdeen. He signed a long-term deal with Liverpool as he joined Huddersfield on loan. With the Terriers now having secured promotion to the Premier League, it is likely that the club will seek to loan him again, or lodge a permanent offer for the player.

Right-back: Deandre Yedlin, Newcastle United

Deandre Yedlin has been in-and-out of the Newcastle United team this season, but has been electric when he has featured for the Magpies. The American has racked up a goal and six assists in 27 league appearances, and his attacking style of play is a feature of his game.

The 23-year old struggled when at Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, and was rarely given a chance in their first-team. Newcastle United will play in the Premier League next season, and Yedlin is likely to play a big part in the club’s campaign. Manager Rafael Benitez is likely to be busy in this summer’s transfer window, but it will be a big surprise if Yedlin is not at the club next season.

Centre-back: Liam Moore, Reading FC

Liam Moore has been one of the best defenders in the EFL Championship this season, and has come on leaps and bounds since his move from Leicester City last summer. The defender wanted to leave the Premier League club, and 2016-17 campaign has proven that he made the right decision. He has been a rock in Reading’s defence, and has helped lead the Royals to a play-off place.

The 24-year old has featured in a 3-back defensive formation, and has kept out Reading’s record signing, Tiago Ilori out of the side on several occasions. Figures show that the Royals’ defensive record isn’t brilliant, but injuries have been a big problem for the club. Reading lost on penalties in the playoff final, and although it is unlikely that he will leave the Royals in the summer, there will be a few Premier League clubs keeping an eye on him.

Centre-back: Jamaal Lascelles, Newcastle United

The second Newcastle defender to make this list is their captain, Jamaal Lascelles. The skipper has had an exceptional season for the Magpies, and at only 23-years of age he still has plenty of room to improve as a player. Eyebrows were raised when Lascelles was named as captain of the side at the start of the campaign, but he has taken on the role with aplomb and has been a great commanding leader of the defence.

It is likely that Lascelles will stay at the club past this summer’s transfer window, and with new recruits likely to be on their way to St. James’s Park, the Magpies are likely to be a much stronger outfit next season. Lascelles will be hoping to guide Newcastle to a mid-table finish, and if he continues to show the form he has throughout 2016-17 then the club should be in good stead.

Left-back: Ryan Sessegnon, Fulham FC

Sessegnon is undoubtedly one of the surprises of the season, right across the football league. The 16-year old has sent alarm bells ringing to Premier League clubs, with Liverpool the latest to take a serious interest in the full-back. He has been interchanging with Scott Malone throughout the season, and Malone was named in the official EFL Championship Team of the Season. Sessegnon has made 25 appearances in the 2016-17 campaign, scoring five and assisting three, which is quite remarkable for a 16-year old.

The defender has a pre-contract agreement in place with Fulham, and should he choose to activate that clause then he will almost certainly stay with the club next season. Liverpool have dubbed Sessegnon as one of their ‘top targets’ for this summer, with the idea of him coming in as an understudy to James Milner. It is obviously early days for Sessegnon, but his talent has already started to shine through with Fulham.

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