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15th May 2024

Fans baffled by shock inclusion in Rio Ferdinand’s Premier League team of the season


Rio’s chosen back four has sparked a lot of debate.

Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed his Premier League team of the season to FootballJOE, and there is a shock inclusion.

Ferdinand appeared on six PFA Premier League Team of the Years during his career and, just days before the season comes to an end, has delivered his eleven of the year.

Starting off with goalkeeper, Rio went for the Aston Villa shot-stopper and World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez.

Speaking on the choice, the 45-year-old said: “You have to be a solid goalkeeper to be able to do what they’ve done.”

When it comes to his back four, Rio went for Chelsea’s Malo Gusto at right back, saying: “I think, for a young kid, the way he has come out of nowhere and adjusted to the league immediately is impressive.”

Many fans questioned the former United number 5’s decision to leave Manchester City’s Kyle Walker or Arsenal’s Ben White out, to which Rio said: “Ben White is a close second.”

The two centre backs were Virgil Van Dijk and Arsenal’s Gabriel. Again, lots of fans argued that William Saliba or Sergio Romero should have been included.

At left-back, Rio went for Tottenham’s Destiny Udogie, with the other obvious option being City’s Josko Gvardiol after he scored four goals in the last few weeks.

Nobody would argue with the Peckham-born footballer’s midfield two of Declan Rice and Rodri. The pair have been like brick walls in the centre of the park all season, and have even contributed their fare share of goals and assists.

To finish, Rio placed the Mancunian starlets Cole Palmer and Phil Foden just behind a front two of Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins and Newcastle United’s Swedish striker Aleksander Isak.

Watkins has scored 19 goals and contributed 13 assists across this season while Isak has scored a whopping 20 in 28 matches.

Interestingly, the league’s top goalscorer Erling Haaland was left out, despite bagging 27 goals in 30 matches.

The Premier League season will come to an end on Sunday, with all fixtures kicking off at 4pm.

Manchester City are two points ahead of Arsenal going into the final day, meaning they need to lose against West Ham United and Arsenal need to win against Everton in order to be beaten to the title.

Aston Villa have firmly secured the fourth Champions League spot, while Spurs still have a chance of qualifying for the competition through the proposed new ‘5th place rule’.

Meanwhile, last week’s results confirmed that Luton Town, Burnley and Sheffield United will return to the Championship, after just one season spent in the top flight of English football.

Ferdinand was speaking to JOE as part of a collaboration with McDonald’s ahead of mental health awareness week, which takes place from May 13-May 19.

To mark the occasion, McDonald’s have removed the iconic smile from their boxes to encourage families to talk and allow children to know that it’s okay to not always feel happy, after 48 per cent of children admitted they feel pressure to be happy all of the time.

Alongside the Happy Meal box, sheets of stickers will be included showing a variety of emotions that children can stick on their box to display how they are feeling.

For more information on the resources available, visit the McDonald’s Family Hub:

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