Here are our top five...
Simply put, Bale has been a phenomenon this season, with 21 league goals very nearly firing his side into the top four despite the lack of a clinical striker. His final day strike to win the game against Sunderland was remarkable, and yet also typical, which is remarkable in itself. Bale won Spurs over 20 points singlehandedly this year, and whoever they sign this summer, transfer priority number one is keeping the brilliant Welshman.
The other Spurs player to make the Premier League Team of the Year, Vertonghen’s debut season has been excellent, either in the centre of the defence or at left back. Finding a replacement for the colossal Ledley King seemed a near impossible task for Spurs in the summer, but Vertonghen has become a leader in defence and in the Spurs side in general this year, and he could easily end up a future captain at White Hart Lane.
The other Belgian Spurs brought in last summer, and another key figure in the team, Dembele has become the heart of the side after Luka Modric’s departure for Real Madrid. Equally important driving the attack forward as helping to screen the defence, Dembele’s influence was only limited by a troublesome hip injury, and when he is reunited with Sandro at the start of next year, Spurs will have one of the best central midfields in the Premier League.
The third player who was in his debut season in the Premier League on the list, Lloris has been a revelation between the sticks for Spurs. His pace off his line has enabled Villas-Boas to play his favoured high defensive line, and Frenchman has bailed out Spurs on plenty of occasions since displacing Brad Friedel.
Injuries have perhaps prevented Sandro and Aaron Lennon from battling it out for the final spot on this list, but Dawson deserves his place not only for impressing on the pitch, but also his tenacity in forcing his way back into the team after seeming certain to leave last summer. With Lloris, Vertonghen, Dawson, Sandro and Dembele forming the spine of Spurs’ team, they look a more formidable prospect than ever at the back.
image: © Jan S0L0