Football News

2021/22 Men’s PFA Young Player of the Year nominees announced, with Foden, Saka and James all on the shortlist

By Ben Green

Published: 15:00, 1 June 2022

The 2021/22 Men’s PFA Young Player of the Year nominees have been announced, with current holder Phil Foden among the candidates.

The Manchester City star has already scooped 2021/22’s Premier League Young Player of the Season award for the second year in a row and will now be eyeing up back-to-back gongs for the PFA Young Player of the Year.

Joining the Premier League title winner is Chelsea wing-back Reece James, as well as Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, Conor Gallagher of Crystal Palace (on loan from Chelsea) and Aston Villa midfielder Jacob Ramsey, making it an all-English cast.

Foden enjoyed a stellar campaign at the Etihad this season as Pep Guardiola’s men sealed the Premier League title and made it to the Champions League semi-finals, appearing 45 times across all competitions while scoring 14 goals and assisting 11.

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Reece James was once again instrumental at right-wing-back for Thomas Tuchel as Chelsea comfortably secured a Premier League top-four finish and made it to two domestic cup finals, losing to Liverpool on penalties in both the FA Cup and League Cup.

Conor Gallagher had a real breakthrough season at Crystal Palace as he forced his way into the England team and scooped the club’s Player of the Year award, scoring eight goals in the Premier League and helping the Eagles reach the FA Cup semi-final.

Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe were equally as impressive this term even if their season ended in disappointment as they missed out on a top-four finish on the final day of the Premier League season.

Among English players in the Premier League, only Harry Kane (26), Jarrod Bowen (22), Mason Mount (21) and James Maddison (20) had a direct hand in more goals than Saka (18), who struck 11 times and registered a further seven assists, enough to make him Arsenal’s top scorer for the campaign.

In fact, just two players notched double digits in the Premier League for the Gunners in 2021/22, with Smith Rowe joining Saka in that department as the elegant playmaker racked up an impressive 10-goal haul as he also picked up his first caps for England back in autumn.

Jacob Ramsey completes the list. The Villa midfielder was a consistent fixture in Steven Gerrard’s first team this campaign, racking up 34 appearances in the Premier League, where he managed to bag six goals for the club and earn a call up to England U21s.