The PFA Player of the Year shortlist has been revealed and it is dominated by players from both Liverpool and Manchester City.
Perhaps understandably, five of the six nominees come from either Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola’s title-chasing squads.
Player of the Year: Five things you need to know…
- The first recipient of the award in the Premier League era was former Aston Villa footballer Paul McGrath.
- There have been 18 English winners of the award.
- Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have all won the award twice.
- Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah won the award last season.
- Manchester United are the most represented club, with their players past and present winning the award 11 out of 45 times.
With Liverpool and Manchester City performing consistently above every other side in the Premier League this season, it wasn’t surprising to discover that the list of nominees was dominated by those in red and light blue.
Reds centre-back Virgil van Dijk is one of the favourites to land the award but faces stiff competition from former Liverpool youngster turned City superstar Raheem Sterling.
Van Dijk has helped Klopp’s side limit their goals conceded, with the Reds letting in just 20 goals in 34 games, two less than City.
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However, Sterling has been majestic in front of goal this campaign and has been directly involved in a goal for City on 26 occasions in just 30 matches, scoring 17 goals and assisting nine times.
Two of Sterling’s teammates – Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva – have been put forward too, with Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane earning his place among the nominees after a terrific year at Anfield.
Rounding off the list is Chelsea star Eden Hazard, who despite scoring 16 goals and assisting 12 times in 33 matches for the Blues this season, isn’t considered a frontrunner for the award this time around.
‘Young Player of the Year’
An award to recognise the efforts of some of the Premier League’s most promising youngsters, the nominees for the ‘Young Player of the Year’ have also been released.
Both Sterling and Bernardo Silva have been listed for both awards, with both players aged 23 – the cut-off point to qualify for the award – at the start of the season.
Alongside the City pair, Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold makes the cut, as does Manchester United and England international Marcus Rashford.
Representing sides outside of the ‘big six’, both West Ham United midfielder and AFC Bournemouth playmaker David Brooks have been deservedly recognised for their efforts for their respective sides this season.