Yesterday, the nominees for the 2016 PFA Player of the Year were announced and there weren’t too many surprises. All the usual suspects were nominated for the prestigious prize… but who will win?
Dimitri Payet: The French playmaker has arguably been signing of the season this term after a stunning season last year with Marseille. Slaven Bilic finally got his man after targeting him throughout his time at Besiktas. Payet moved to London for a ridiculously low fee of around £10 million.
This season, Payet has scored 12 goals and got 8 assists for West Ham including a handful of top quality free-kicks. He definitely deserves to be on this list.
Harry Kane: Tottenham Hotspur’s number 10 has silenced his critics who regarded him as a ‘one season wonder’. After breaking onto the scenes last season with 31 goals in 51 matches, Kane traveled with the England U21 squad to Czech Republic and failed to score as the Young Lions crashed out in the group stage.
Fast forward to now – Spurs are having the best season that anyone can remember and Kane has scored 25 goals in 45 matches. He has even beaten his Premier League goal tally from last season already with 22 in the league. It’s a no-brainer that he’s on this list.
N’golo Kanté: The man who is rivalling Dimitri Payet for signing of the season. Signed for a mere £5.6 million from French side Caen, Kanté is rumoured to have not stopped running since he signed. I think Kanté will be overlooked as Player of the Year as he is not an attacking player, but he has at least been acknowledged with a nomination.
For me, he has been vital in Leicester’s title bid and has deserved all his plaudits. This summer he will travel to his homeland to represent France in Euro 2016 and could even get into the starting XI ahead of his idol, Lassana Diarra.
Mesut Özil: With 6 goals and 18 assists this season in the Premier League, Mesut Özil has finally looked like the player we saw at Real Madrid. Despite dropping off recently, Özil has had a brilliant season for Arsenal which could see him break Thierry Henry’s assist record in the Premier League.
The German has provided some sensational assists for his teammates this season and has finally won over football pundits and critics in England. His movement off the ball and creativity and vision on the ball is world-class, which has seen him deservedly nominated for this term’s Player of the Year award.
Jamie Vardy: Leicester’s fairytale story is personified through Jamie Vardy. Playing for Fleetwood Town in the Conference Premier in 2012, Vardy’s rise to the top has been so quick but so brilliant. Vardy has 21 goals in 33 appearances in the Premier League this season and is now involved in the England set-up as a certain member of the Euro 2016 squad.
Everything Vardy has touched this season has turned to gold and the highlights of his season so far have been his well-taken goal against Liverpool and his deft flick against Germany for England.
Riyad Mahrez: The Leicester midfielder is the favourite to win the PFA Player of the Year award and it’s no surprise if you’ve watched him at all this season. Mahrez has shown immense quality through the whole year and his partnership with Jamie Vardy has been vital to Leicester’s title challenge.
Bought from Ligue 2 side Le Havre for around £400k, Mahrez was a steal. The Algerian has 16 goals and 11 assists in 32 appearances for Leicester this season and will be a top transfer target for plenty of European giants this summer.
Who do you think WILL win the prize?
Who do you think SHOULD win the prize?
(Image via theguardian / Videos via streamable)