PFA Player of the Year
With the PFA announcing the final shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year Award in the Premier League, there looks to be a strong outright favourite to get their hands on the title. 2011 winner Gareth Bale is back in the picture, not only as the PFA Player of the Year, but as the PFA Young Player of the Year award as well. The last man to claim both in the same year, was Cristiano Ronaldo when he was at Manchester United. Will the Welsh Wonder follow in such highly regarded footsteps?
The Welsh winger has impressed so highly again for Tottenham Hotspur again this season. At the time that the shortlist was announced, Bale had netted 22 goals in 38 appearances for his club across the season. The major European clubs are sitting up and taking notice one of the best young talents in the Premier League. The 23 year old has at times, carried his club forward on both the domestic and European fronts. Some sparkling Europa League performances took Spurs to the quater finals where they lost on penalties to FC Basel, while his contribution up front in the Premier League has kept Spurs as a genuine top four contender. The big prize of that of course is a place in the Champions League next season. Bale has the ability to turn a game on its head with a piece of magic. Almost unstoppable when running at defenders with pace, the eye he has for goal as well, pretty much makes him the all round package. A worthy front runner for both of the PFA Awards this season, as voted for by his playing peers.
Robin Van Persie
The Dutchman won the PFA Player of the Year Award last year thanks to his massive haul of 37 goals for Premier League side Arsenal. That was in his final season with Arsenal before his high profile move to Old Trafford to join up with Manchester United. The striker has pretty much carried on in the same goal scoring vein, even overshadowing Wayne Rooney, and putting the England striker’s position at the club in question. In his 43 games played when the shortlist for this year’s award was announced, Van Persie had netted 25 goals in 43 matches for the Red Devils. One of the best strikers in the world, he has found the back of the next every 127 minutes this season in the Premier League. Him being a Manchester United player could give him favouritism, with three United players winning the award in the last five years.
The sometimes controversial striker has been nominated for the award based on his footballing ability alone. He has really shone for Liverpool this season, increasing his strike rate immensely from last season. He is the sole reason up front that the Reds have started to grow in stature under boss Brendan Rodgers. He has the pace and trickery to fool defenders and is superb with the ball at his feet. He is at the heart of everything that Liverpool does as an attacking force, and without him, they would probably be nothing more than a mid table side. At the time of the shortlist announcement, the Uruguayan striker had netted 29 goals in 46 appearances for Liverpool across the season in all competitions.
Juan Mata, Michael Carrick and Eden Hazard
The two Chelsea players here, Mata and Hazard have had impressive seasons for the London club. Mata is the Premier League leader for assists and after a slow start following his high profile move, Eden Hazard has established himself as a world class talent and finisher. Two young players who have the world at their feet, seem to be in contrast to Manchester United’s Michael Carrick. The midfielder has played a lot of minutes for the Red Devils this season, often seen as doing a lot of understated work, but holding the midfield together with immense passing accuracy.
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