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Who Should Win PFA Player of the Year?

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Which Players are in Contention to Win PFA Player of the Year?

 

Who Should Win PFA Player of the Year?

There is less than 1 week left of the 2019/20 Premier League season, and there are still vital positions to be decided. Chelsea, Manchester United and Leicester City are battling it out for the two remaining Champions League spots. Meanwhile at the other end of the table, two of Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Watford, and West Ham can still go down to the Championship.

As is customary at the end of the season, individual awards are also soon to be decided. Whilst France Football have revealed today that the Ballon d’Or will not be awarded this year due to coronavirus, the PFA Player of the Year will be announced this Friday. So let’s take a lot at the players in contention to win the award, as well as who I think will take the trophy home.

6. Trent Alexander-Arnold

Another strong season for Trent Alexander-Arnold has cemented his status as one of the best right-backs in the world at the moment. He has featured in every Premier League game this season as Liverpool have run away with the league. His 12 assists are the second most in the league, the most of any defender; his 3 goals added to that show that you are unlikely to find a better fullback in world football in terms of their attacking prowess.

He has become an irreplaceable member of Jurgen Klopp’s side this season, as his performances are so influential. He plays with such maturity for a 21-year-old. His vision and accuracy this season, coupled with the 12 clean sheets he has attained, means that he deserves to be in the conversation for POTY. While he hasn’t been as good as the remaining players on this list, his eyes should be firmly be set on the Young POTY award.

5. Jamie Vardy

Leicester have had a fantastic season by their standards. Despite their recent poor run of form, they remain in contention for a Champions League spot, and the goals of Jamie Vardy have been instrumental to their season. With 23 goals scored, he is currently the top scorer in the league. He is also 1 goal shy of his tally in Leicester’s title winning season in 2015/16, so he’s close to breaking his individual goals record.

His inclusion doesn’t stop with his goals though. He has also provided 5 assists, and when you watch him play, you see his that his work rate is phenomenal. He is constantly using his pace to latch onto through balls, or put pressure on defenders, which is even more impressive when you consider that he is now 33. There is no question that without his goals, Leicester would not be as high up in the table as they are.

4. Jordan Henderson

Whilst there used to be question marks over the ability of Jordan Henderson, over the past couple of season he has surely silenced his critics. Last season he led them to the Champions League, and this season he has led them to the Premier League, the trophy that they have been waiting 30 years to lift. Although he doesn’t lead the way in stats, there is no denying that he is one of the most important and reliable parts of this memorable Liverpool side.

He is the enforcer of Klopp’s side, often being the link between defence and attack. He holds everything together in the middle of the park, and is often the key to breaking through defences. Not to mention his leadership abilities. He is the man who drives his players on week-in week-out, which was instrumental during their run of 24 wins in 25 games. There is no surprise that the England midfielder is one of the favourites to win the award.

3. Virgil van Dijk

Last season’s winner, Virgil van Dijk, is once again a worthy contender to win the POTY award. You are unlikely to find a more composed and confident central-defender in the world right now. Although his stats don’t quick live up to last years high expectations, this does not take away from his commanding nature in the middle of the back four, which has been so important to Liverpool’s title winning campaign.

The 15 clean sheets that he has accumulated is more than any other defender this season, and when you watch Liverpool play, you can understand why. van Dijk’s towering presence is so hard to get the better of. He is seemingly impossible to shrug off due to his stature, seems to always out-strengthen his opponents, and has the pace to accompany that. His clinical performances mean that he has to be in contention for the POTY award.

2. Sadio Mane

Given how they have dominated this Premier League season, it should come as no surprise that 4 of my current 5 nominees are Liverpool players. Sadio Mane is one who seems to keep getting better as the years go on. Last seasons joint top goalscorer has bagged 17 goals so far this season, as well as 7 assists, a massive improvement on the solitary 1 he managed last term.

Much like the aforementioned Henderson, Mane is such a hard worker, and consistently gives his all every week. He is very comfortable on the ball, and his link up play with the likes of Salah, Firmino and Robertson this season has greatly contributed to Liverpool’s success. He also possesses great pace, which makes him a nightmare to mark, and very difficult to dispossess. Mane continues to go from strength to strength; his performances this season make him a very worthy contender for POTY.

Honourable Mentions

Danny Ings – The Saints forward has shown what he can do when he stays injury-free. His 21 goals have put him in contention for an England call-up, as he has bolstered Southampton to a mid-table side.

Mohamed Salah – The Egyptian will likely never live up to his incredible debut season, but his 19 goals and 9 assists is a fantastic return, and he has still had a remarkable campaign.

Nick Pope – His 15 clean sheets are the most in the league, and he has also made 118 saves, the 4th most this season. Pope’s remarkable performances have led fans begging Southgate to make him England’s no.1.

1. Kevin De Bruyne

It is often the case that the winner of the PFA Player of the Year doesn’t come from the title winning side, and I predict this year to follow suit. For me, Kevin De Bruyne has firmly established himself as the Premier League’s best player currently. After an injury hit 18/19 season, he has bounced back stronger than ever, bagging an astonishing 11 goals and 18 assists. With remaining games against Watford and Norwich to come, there’s a solid chance of him breaking Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a single Premier League season.

His 29 goal contributions this season is the most in the league. Whilst Man City interchange their match-day squads regularly, De Bruyne is arguably one of the few guaranteed starters. He has made the second most crosses in the league this season, as well as the most through balls, and created the most chances. Whenever he gets on the ball, you expect him to do something magical. His performances this season have been on another level, and should the Ballon d’Or not have been cancelled, I would have expected him to be one of the favourites to win that award too.

 

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Charles graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in Psychology with Sport and Exercise Science. He has been a football fan his entire life, playing Sunday league football for many years and also 7-a-side whilst at university. Charles is now following his passion by writing football related content. You can contact Charles at: cf.garinet8@hotmail.co.uk

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