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David de Gea named in PFA Premier League Team of the Year

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And quite right too. He’s the best.

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Always contentious, the Professional Football Association’s Team of the Year business. Do you have to look for a proper balance that would actually work, or can you just stick three attacking midfielders in the middle and hope for the best? Is it a greater achievement to place centre-half for the runaway title-winners, or for Burnley? Why do they never play a back three?

However, the PFA had one (ironically) open goal, and they didn’t miss it. David de Gea has been named as the best goalkeeper in the league. This is because he is the best goalkeeper in the league.

Those of you that like your football chopped up into numbers may be impressed to learn that De Gea, based on Opta’s xG calculations, should have conceded 38 league goals. He’s only conceded 24. This is, apparently, very good indeed. Everybody else, well, just close your eyes and let your mind drift back to your favourite what-the-how-the-hell-did-he-wow save. This correspondent is currently favouring the whiplash slap over the bar against Manchester City, though that might be recency bias.

Anyway, De Gea perhaps deserves particular praise because his performances have been consistently excellent in a team that has been anything but. And he’s had to perform behind a defensive unit that has changed constantly throughout the season, according to the whim of the manager and the injury gods. Indeed, this is his fourth such honour in a row, through four weird seasons of Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

All that remains to be said is: please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave —

takes breath

— please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave please don’t leave.