PFA Player of the Year Award Nominees Announced

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The most prestigious FA award for individual players at the end of ever season is the PFA player and team of the year. Last year Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez collected the coveted award following his team’s unbelievable rise from relegation candidates to Premier League champions.

This season of course Leicester haven’t managed to reach the high bar they set themselves last year, currently sitting 11th. They are however, still in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. However, it’s their individual shining stars from last season that have seemingly let them down and thus not been nominated in the shortlist for the main prize.

Following an indifferent season last year, where Chelsea finished 10th in the Premier League and José Mourinho was fired, no Chelsea players made the shortlist or the team of the year. This year has been vastly different under Italian coach Antonio Conte. Chelsea sit top of the league, 7 points clear of 2nd with 7 games to play. Consequently, N’Golo Kanté and Eden Hazard have both been nominated.

Kanté was acquired from the champions, Leicester over the summer. He was also nominated last year but failed to make the top three. With him closing in on back-to-back champions medals he is the bookies favourite to claim the award on Sunday 23rd April.

Hazard is the bookies second favourite, who won this award two years ago after Chelsea won the Premier League at a canter under Mourinho. After only scoring 5 and assisting 4 last season, Hazard has already managed to score 14 and assist a further 8 in the league so far with 7 games remaining.

The remaining four players are made up of the other top scorers in the league this term: Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez.

23 year-old Lukaku is currently the leading goal-scorer in the league with 23 goals, which is particularly impressive both due to his age as well as considering Everton only sit down in 7th place.

Also 23-year-old, Harry Kane is the second top-scorer this year with 19 in the league. The only English representative in the shortlist’s season has been particularly impressive considering he’s had two stints on the sidelines this season with injuries, missing 8 matches. Kane was voted 3rd last season, however, isn’t currently expected to win the main award this time around due to his repetitive injuries.

Ibrahimovic has managed 17 goals for a low-scoring Manchester United team in his first season in English football. Whilst Sánchez has managed 18 for an underwhelming Arsenal side, that he’s often found himself out wide for opposed to in front of goal like some of his fellow nominees.

The PFA also announced the young player of the year award nominees today too. A similarly prestigious award, it has been awarded to some of the biggest names in English football in the past such as Ryan Giggs, Robbie Fowler, David Beckham, Michael Owen Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and others.

Kane and Lukaku are deemed young enough to be nominated in both catagories this year. Along side them is Kane’s England and Tottenham team-mate 21-year-old Dele Alli. Alli has notched an impressive 16 goals from midfield in the league for Tottenham and has help boost Tottenham to back-to-back title challenges.

England debutant in March, Burnely centre-back Micael Keane has also been nominated. Along side them there is also Sunderland’s young keeper Jordan Pickford and Manchester City’s summer signing Leroy Sané.

The PFA women’s prize nominations for both the senior and ‘young’ award has been dominated by Manchester City and Chelsea players. City who won last season’s Women’s Super League unbeaten is represented by Lucy Bronze (the 2014 winner), club top scorer Jane Ross and England midfielder Jill Scott. They are joined by Ellen White, Karen Carney and Caroline Weir.

Both set to feature for England in the summer’s EURO tournament, Chelsea’s Millie Bright and City’s Nikia Parris have been nominated for the young player of the year award. Just like the senior award, the young award is made up of three City players with Parris joined by Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh. Liverpool’s Caroline Weir has been nominated for both awards and is joined by Birmingham’s Jess Carter.

Men’s PFA Players’ Player of the Year
Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd), Harry Kane (Tottenham), N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal)

Men’s PFA Young Player of the Year
Harry Kane (Tottenham), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Michael Keane (Burnley), Jordan Pickford (Sunderland), Leroy Sané (Manchester City).

Women’s PFA Players’ Player of the Year
Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Karen Carney (Chelsea), Jane Ross (Manchester City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Caroline Weir (Liverpool), Ellen White (Birmingham)

Women’s PFA Young Player of the Year

Millie Bright (Chelsea), Jess Carter (Birmingham), Nikita Parris (Manchester City), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Caroline Weir (Liverpool)

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