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Premier League: Unofficial 2022/23 season awards

Following another Premier League season packed full of stories, incidents and surprises, here are the winners of our unofficial 2022/23 awards.

The traditional end of season awards will once again cover Player of the Year, Team of the Year, Manager of the Year and Goal of the Season.

But with bargains, shocks, shrewd managerial appointments and rising stars, we think there are more moments worth celebrating.

Here are the unofficial 2022/23 Premier League award-winners…

Moment of the season - Reiss Nelson

The conclusion of Arsenal’s home game with Bournemouth will live long in the memory, even if the title does remain in Manchester this season.

Mikel Arteta’s side found themselves 2-0 down to a side who were bottom of the Premier League at that time. Goals from Thomas Partey and Ben White levelled proceedings, but Arsenal desperately needed a winner to avoid dropping two points in the final race.

Step forward home-grown product Reiss Nelson, who had played just 64 minutes of Premier League football this season.

He collected a half-cleared corner on the edge of the area and curled a sensational effort past Neto to give Arsenal a 3-2 victory and spark wild scenes at the Emirates.

Most improved player - Miguel Almiron

It turns out that playing like Almiron is a good thing.

The Paraguayan attacking midfielder’s form has been a key part of Newcastle’s Champions League bid in 2022/23.

After netting just once last season, Almiron has found the net 11 times including a sublime volley in a 4-1 victory at Fulham back in October.

Unearthed gem - Kaoru Mitoma

The Brighton recruitment team deserve a lot of credit, as yet another top-class player has been unearthed in Kaoru Mitoma.

The Japanese international was signed from Kawasaki Frontale in the summer of 2021 and was immediately sent on loan to Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium, where he scored seven times in 27 appearances.

Mitoma has been the standout player for Brighton this season and has spearheaded their European charge, with seven goals and four assists.

Incredibly, he cost just £2.7 million and his potential resale value is likely to see him follow the likes of Marc Cucurella, Ben White and Yves Bissouma in commanding a high transfer fee in the future.

Star of the future - Rico Lewis

Pep Guardiola has already compared the 18-year-old academy graduate to Bayern Munich and Germany legend Philip Lahm.

Like Lahm, Lewis is equally adept at right-back and left-back, whilst often fulfilling the pivot role in the centre of midfield when Man City have possession.

He has featured 20 times in all competitions this season and he became the youngest player in Champions League history to score on their first start back in November.

His stock is continuing to rise and he looks set to be a key part of Guardiola’s plans over the next few years. England honours will surely follow, especially given his versatility to play in a number of positions.

Best managerial appointment - Unai Emery

This is the award that arguably causes the most debate and strong cases can be made for Roberto De Zerbi and Gary O’Neil.

But Unai Emery, who has completely transformed the fortunes of Aston Villa since the dismissal of Steven Gerrard, gets the nod for this one.

The former Villarreal, Sevilla, PSG and Arsenal manager arrived at Villa Park to a squad in disarray and a team set for a relegation battle.

Fast forward six months and Villa are chasing a European place, with the likes of Ollie Watkins, Tyrone Mings and John McGinn all having a new lease of life.

Bargain of the season - Manuel Akanji

The Switzerland defender cost just £15 million after Pep Guardiola swooped to secure his services from Borussia Dortmund.

Guardiola stressed the need for another centre-back to challenge on all fronts, and he’s more than got his money worth with the classy centre-back.

Comfortable in a number of systems, Akanji has also been deployed as left-back on occasions due to injuries and the departure of Joao Cancelo on loan. 

He has featured 44 times in all competitions and looks set to get his hands on plenty of silverware come the end of the season.

Unsung hero - Gary O'Neil

When Gary O’Neil took charge of Bournemouth on an interim basis following a 9-0 mauling at Anfield, few people gave the Cherries much hope of survival.

13 points from 11 games helped to steady the ship and O’Neil was rewarded with the job on a permanent basis.

A run of four wins from six matches across March and April, including a 1-0 victory over Liverpool and a 3-2 win at Tottenham, have helped guide Bournemouth to safety.

Understated, down-to-earth and clearly a talented coach, O’Neil has worked wonders on the South Coast and his achievements shouldn’t be underestimated.

Overachievers - Newcastle United

They are starting to flex their financial muscles, but Eddie Howe has worked wonders in his first full season on Tyneside.

Instead of facing up to a relegation battle, Newcastle have secured Champions League football.

Nick Pope and Sven Botman have proved to be shrewd acquisitions at the back, while Alexander Isak has the potential to be world-class after shining in a season which has been hampered by injury.

However, the squad is still largely made up of last season’s players with the likes of Dan Burn, Sean Longstaff, Fabian Schar, Joelinton and Jacob Murphy all enjoying fine seasons.

Save of the season - Aaron Ramsdale

Arsenal ‘keeper Aaron Ramsdale produced a stunning save to deny Liverpool a winner in April’s 2-2 draw at Anfield.

Arsenal, who had led 2-0 through goals from Brazilian duo Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus, were fighting to hold onto a point after goals from Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino.

The game was deep into added time when Salah curled a left-footed effort towards the top corner, only for Ramsdale to deny him with an outstretched right-hand.

Ramsdale was also on hand to deny Ibrahima Konate in the closing moments of what was a fantastic performance from the England stopper.

Shock of the season - Liverpool 7-0 Man Utd

It was a result that nobody saw coming as Man Utd, still with an outside chance of challenging for the title, were put to the sword by their rivals.

The Red Devils had recently won the EFL Cup and were in buoyant mood in the midst of an Erik ten Hag renaissance, yet they were handed the cruellest of reality checks at Anfield.

Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah all scored twice before Roberto Firmino added a seventh late on, as United capitulated after trailing 1-0 at half-time.

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