Stats Zone Premier League Team of the Year 2014/15
Centre-back: Jose Fonte (Southampton)
Nobody could have foreseen just how successful Fonte has been at Southampton since joining from Crystal Palace in the Saints’ League One season of 2009/10. But the Portuguese’s stock has risen exponentially with his team's, helping them mount an unlikely assault for the Europa League thanks to a formidable backline that kept 15 clean sheets and shipped just 33 goals this season, behind only champions Chelsea (32). Fonte himself made more tackles (78) and interceptions (119) than any other Premier League centre-back this season. Unsurprisingly, Ronald Koeman’s skipper earned both the Fans’ and Players’ Player of the Year awards at Saints’ end-of-season bash – and now he can count FFT among his many admirers.
Centre-back: Ashley Williams (Swansea)
Finding a central defender you can rely on isn’t so easy these days, but Swansea have long been able to rest easy knowing the long-serving Williams is keeping guard for them. The 30-year-old Wales international has just completed his eighth season with the Welsh outfit having been with them since promotion from the third tier in 2007/08, captaining Monk’s men to an impressive league finish and record points haul.
Williams made the second-most clearances behind Burnley’s Jason Shackell – 204 more than his regular partner Federico Fernandez, who made only nine fewer appearances – and the second-most interceptions.
Left-back: Leighton Baines (Everton)
The most chances created by a defender in the Premier League (70), and with that the most assists (9) once again – suffice to say, creative excellence has come to be assumed from Baines for some time now. For large parts of the season it felt like the Everton left-back was the only player capable of making things happen for the Toffees, acting as a faux playmaker from deep with much of the play directed through him.
Only Gylfi Sigurdsson, Chris Brunt, Angel Di Maria (all 10), Santi Cazorla (11) and Cesc Fabregas (18) crafted more goals than Baines this season – which makes you wonder why this brilliant full-back isn’t anywhere near as influential in an England shirt.