John Barnes has years of Premier League experience, including with high-fliers Liverpool and Newcastle United. But with experience of also playing in the topflight for teams outside of the traditional top sides with Watford and Charlton Athletic, Barnes has selected his current Premier League XI of players from outside the ‘Big Six’ teams.
Jordan Pickford (GK) – Everton
A very good goalkeeper. A brilliant shot stopper and deservedly England’s current number one. Pickford is a commanding keeper who is also excellent with his distribution.
George Baldock (RB) – Sheffield United
Baldock has had a fantastic season alongside the team this year. He has been a great defender, but also has created plenty of opportunities going forward. He usually plays in a back five but has also played at right back in a back four a few times this season so that is why I have put him in.
James Tarkowski (CB) – Burnley
James Tarkowski is a top-quality defender. He is quick, strong centre-back, who is also decent with the ball at his feet. His consistency in the Premier League has even seen him gain a few caps for England.
Jamaal Lascelles (CB) – Newcastle United
Another quick, strong defender, who is a brilliant leader for Newcastle, being their club captain. Purely because of his strength and his height, he’d be able to defend.
Ben Chilwell (LB) – Leicester City
Ben Chilwell is someone who I consider to probably be the best left back in the country. Consistently getting a call up into the England squad and is a player who has stood out in his position for a few seasons now.
Abdolaye Doucouré (CM) – Watford
A fantastic midfielder, with lots of energy getting up and down the pitch for 90 minutes every week. He creates chances, he defends, and Doucouré is one of the few remaining all action box-to-box midfield players in the league. As a result, he is being linked for a transfer with some big clubs, with the main interest coming from PSG.
Ruben Neves (CM) – Wolves
Ruben Neves is a fantastic player, surrounded by a fantastic team. What Wolves have done over the last few seasons has been brilliant, massively helped by the role that Neves has played. He is very good on the ball, he is young, energetic and has a great eye for goal.
John Fleck (CM) – Sheffield United
One of the standout British players in the Premier League season. Sheffield United have had an exceptional season, with John Fleck as one of the key men. Having popped up with five goals from midfield has contributed to how the Blades have done this season.
Richarlison (AM) – Everton
Since Everton signed Richarlison from Watford, he has been playing at a high level. In terms of the chances he creates, the goals he scores, his all-round work rate and the fact that he can make things happen out of nothing.
James Maddison (AM) – Leicester City
For me, James Maddison is the best number 10 in England at the moment. When he first signed for Leicester from Norwich, a lot was expected from him with the big transfer fee, but he has handled it well. The reason why Jamie Vardy has scored so many goals over the last few seasons is purely down to the creativity of Maddison.
Raúl Jiménez (ST) – Wolves
One of the outstanding strikers in the Premier League since he joined Wolves in 2018. He is a constant threat to defenders, he is strong, quick and is a great finisher in front of goal.
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