It’s been over two weeks since the Premier League season ended, and in retrospect it was a rather memorable campaign.
Where the 2020/21 campaign was a miserable one behind closed doors for 95% of the year, the 2021/22 season kept tossing and turning and had several races run up until the last day.
But who were the players to impress above all else? 90min has picked every club’s best contributor from the 2021/22 season. Step right up…
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Bukayo Saka
Honourable mentions: Granit Xhaka, Martin Odegaard
While Bukayo Saka was the diamond in the Arsenal rough last season, he had a lot more help carrying the load this time around.
The Gunners had one of their best campaigns in the post-Arsene Wenger era, and Saka bounced back well from Euro 2020 heartache to continue being the poster boy for Mikel Arteta’s project.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Jack Grealish
Honourable mentions: Ollie Watkins, Matty Cash
A number of big money signings came through the Villa Park door last summer, but it was one of their own who stepped up and impressed above all following Jack Grealish’s move to Manchester City.
Jacob Ramsey announced himself as one of the Premier League’s best young players. With Steven Gerrard in the dugout, there are few coaches who could better help continue his development.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: N/A
Honourable mentions: Christian Eriksen, David Raya
Christian Eriksen’s January arrival all but saved Brentford from being dragged into a relegation battle. The Bees were a completely different side with David Raya in it compared to without. Ivan Toney scored some huge goals in the spring.
But Christian Norgaard was the consistent figure who helped Brentford compete in every single game, notably ending the season with more tackles than anyone else in the Premier League.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Yves Bissouma
Honourable mentions: Yves Bissouma, Leandro Trossard
Winger, wing-back, centre-back, you name it – Marc Cucurella was a revelation for Brighton no matter what position he played in.
Graham Potter finally got things clicking for the Seagulls as they recorded their highest ever finish and Cucurella more than played his part. It’s easy to see why Manchester City are so keen on signing him.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: James Tarkowski
Honourable mentions: Maxwel Cornet, Nick Pope
Maxwel Cornet grabbed the headlines with his goals but Nathan Collins stepped into the big defensive vacancy left by the largely injured Ben Mee and looked the part.
The Clarets have an almighty task on their hands to keep hold of the Ireland international following their relegation.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Mason Mount
Honourable mentions: Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger
Chelsea’s rollercoaster season just about ended on a high, with Todd Boehly finally completing his takeover of the club.
On the pitch, the Blues continued to look mean defensively, and the ageless Thiago Silva impressed above all. How Thomas Tuchel must wish he had a time machine to grab a younger version of the Brazilian.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Wilfried Zaha
Honourable mentions: Wilfried Zaha, Conor Gallagher
Most people had Crystal Palace down as relegation candidates at the start of the season – they were going through a transitional phase with a lot of young players.
But Marc Guehi played with a maturity beyond his 21 years of age, leading from the back as the Eagles became a more solid and progressive mid-table outfit.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Honourable mentions: Richarlison, Anthony Gordon
In another universe, Jordan Pickford would have returned to club duty with a knighthood following his outstanding Euro 2020 campaign with England.
But alas, the Three Lions lost the final on penalties and the country’s number one had to take his game to another level to stop Everton from being relegated.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Patrick Bamford
Honourable mentions: Jack Harrison, Kalvin Phillips
For the most part, the 2021/22 season was a pretty miserable one for Leeds, but at least they got their happy ending.
Along the way Raphinha was often the man to step up and drag them through the mud, warranting his interest from Barcelona.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Wesley Fofana
Honourable mentions: Harvey Barnes, Jamie Vardy
Gareth Southgate summarised James Maddison’s problem best – the only reason he’s not in the England squad is because he unfortunately plays in the same position as Phil Foden and Mason Mount.
The 25-year-old rounded off the year in a rich vein of form, ending the season with 12 goals and eight assists in the Premier League alone. Maddison also played a crucial role in Leicester’s run to the Europa Conference League semi-finals.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Mohamed Salah
Honourable mentions: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane
No player scored more Premier League goals than Mohamed Salah. No player registered more Premier League assists than Mohamed Salah.
Case open and closed.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Ruben Dias
Honourable mentions: Joao Cancelo, Rodri
Kevin De Bruyne returned to his frightening best as Manchester City saw off Liverpool to retain the Premier League title.
The question is no longer about how good De Bruyne is and how many assists he can get, but how many he will provide for the incoming Erling Haaland alone. Eek.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Bruno Fernandes
Honourable mentions: David de Gea, Fred
This was Manchester United’s worst season in the Premier League era. But at least Cristiano Ronaldo returned and scored a lot of goals, so, every cloud…
You’re still thinking about the bad news, aren’t you?
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Callum Wilson
Honourable mentions: Allan Saint-Maximin, Fabian Schar
He’s Brazilian, only cost £40m and the Geordies think he’s brilliant.
Joelinton completed his redemption arc with a fine campaign from midfield. He could yet play a crucial role in Newcastle’s project in years to come.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: N/A
Honourable mentions: Max Aarons, Josh Sargent
Well done to Teemu Pukki for being the only Norwich player to score more than twice on their way to another relegation.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: James Ward-Prowse
Honourable mentions: Armando Broja, Kyle Walker-Peters
Now firmly one of the world’s best free-kick takers and a useful piece in the England squad, Ward-Prowse’s stock continues to rise.
It’s a shame that the Saints tailed off in the final weeks of the season after looking like they could break into the top half.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Harry Kane
Honourable mentions: Harry Kane, Cristian Romero
23 goals, zero penalties.
Son Heung-min’s ludicrous season made him undeniably one of the world’s best forwards and has proven he can even outdo England’s soon-to-be greatest scorer in Harry Kane.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: N/A
Honourable mentions: Moussa Sissoko, Cucho Hernandez
Thank you to Norwich and Watford for being so rancid that we considered not giving you a standout player of the season at all.
Congratulations to Emmanuel Dennis for becoming a decent option of FPL.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Tomas Soucek
Honourable mentions: Declan Rice, Pablo Fornals
Everyone knew Declan Rice was one of the league’s leading midfielders heading into this season, but few expected Jarrod Bowen to end the year with 31 goal contributions in all competitions.
The former Hull man ended the campaign with a well-earned England call-up and looks a good bet to go to the World Cup.
90min’s 2020/21 pick: Pedro Neto
Honourable mentions: Conor Coady, Ruben Neves
Goalkeeping metrics and stats are hard to rate because it’s such an eye-test position, but almost all of them had Jose Sa leading the way and that has to mean something.
The Portugal stopper stepped into Rui Patricio’s big shoes and performed incredibly, saving Wolves from disaster on countless occasions.