Europa League Team of the Season

James Shearman Updated: 19 May 2022 23:35 CEST 5 min read
Declan Rice, West Ham, 2021/22

An incredible Europa League campaign culminated in a penalty shootout victory for Frankfurt against Rangers in Seville on Wednesday.

The two sides could not be separated after 120 minutes of action, and so it came down to the dreaded penalty kicks.

The German outfit scored all five, with on-loan star Aaron Ramsey missing from the spot to deny Rangers a historic success.

Their campaign may have ended in defeat, but the run to the final, alongside West Ham's run to the semi-final, made it a tournament to remember for the British sides.

But who made FootballTransfers' Europa League team of the season.

Alphonse Areola - West Ham

With five clean sheets in the the tournament, the highest of any goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola's contribution to West Ham's semi-final run was immense.

The Frenchman has only played one Premier League game this season, so progressing through the knockout rounds was his way into regular gametime.

And, he made the most of the opportunity, as the Hammers narrowly missed out on a final place at the hands of eventual winners Frankfurt.

James Tavernier - Rangers

The Europa League top scorer, with seven goals, James Tavernier has a strong case to be the player of the tournament.

The marauding full-back inspired his team all the way to Seville, where he scored his shootout penalty in emphatic fashion.

And, even though it wasn't to be, he will go down in history as the captain that led a Scottish side to the brink of European glory.

Calvin Bassey - Rangers

Rangers teammate Connor Goldson could have also made this team, but the Englishman struggled in Wednesday's final.

Bassey, on the other hand, was immense at the back for Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side.

Indeed, the Nigerian's 1265 minutes of Europa League action has surely earned him a move to one of Europe's top five leagues.

Craig Dawson - West Ham

Another instrumental figure in the Hammers' European adventure, Craig Dawson excelled, as he has done in the Premier League over the past two seasons.

The 32-year-old, arriving from Watford, has exceeded expectations at the London stadium, and would be in contention for a place in the England squad had it not been for his age.

He also scored two goals in the competition to add to his defensive work and picked up just the one booking.

Evan Ndicka - Frankfurt

While attacking players such as Filip Kostic tend to steal the headlines, Ndicka has been just as important to the Europa League winners and deserves as much credit as anyone in this ambitious side.

In fact, the French central defender has reportedly courted the interest of a number of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United - potentially as a replacement for captain Harry Maguire.

This goes to show just how impressive a European campaign the 22-year-old enjoyed.

Filip Kostic - Frankfurt

The second Frankfurt player to make the team, Filip Kostic's three goals and five assists en route to winning the trophy cemented his place as a club legend.

And, having come close to success in 2019, losing on penalties to Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea at the semi-final stage, this success will have felt even sweeter for the Serbian.

The standout pick for player of the tournament, he performed tremendously well all season down the left side.

Declan Rice - West Ham

Likely to feature in the Premier League team of the season, Declan Rice has had a 2021-22 season for the ages.

Often wearing the armband in place of retiring captain Mark Noble, Rice's leadership of this squad has been equally impressive as his play.

But, it's his elite performances in the Europa League which have earned him a spot in this team of the season, and will likely see him in Gareth Southgate's England team for the 2022 World Cup too.

Florian Wirtz - Leverkusen

German wonderkid Florian Wirtz continued his rise to superstardom with some electric performances for Bayer Leverkusen.

The 19-year-old scored three goals and grabbed four assists but picked up a season-ending injury prior to his sides exit to Atalanta in the round of 16.

Wirtz is considered one of Europe’s brightest prospects and was amongst the top players for chances created in the tournament.

Ryan Kent - Rangers

Ryan Kent was an instrumental part in Rangers’ path to the final with the former Liverpool winger producing the most dribbles out of any player in the tournament.

The 25-year-old grabbed three assists and one goal for Rangers in 13 games but his work rate and direct play style was integral to the Gers’ run.

Kent was moments away from sealing the trophy for the Scottish side but his 119th minute chance in the final was wonderfully saved by Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp.

Karl Toko Ekambi - Lyon

Cameroonian forward Karl Toko Ekambi’s six goals for Lyon put him amongst the top scorers in the Europa League this season.

All of Toko Ekambi’s goals came in the group stage, with the Cameroonian failing to score as the French side were knocked out by West Ham in the quarter-finals.

The 27-year-old joined Lyon from Villarreal in January 2020 for €11.5 million and has scored 28 goals in 72 Ligue 1 games since.

Ricardo Horta - Braga

Winger Ricardo Horta has been in scintillating form this season and the 27-year-old was the focal point of Braga’s side as they reached the quarter-finals.

Horta was the joint second-most productive player in the tournament with four goals and four assists in 12 games before his team were knocked out by Rangers.

The captain – who has been capped once by Portugal – became Braga’s all-time top scorer this season, having scored 93 times in his six seasons with the club.