PFA Player of the year announced: Salah and De Bruyne to go head to head for award
The nominees for the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) Premier League Player of the Year will soon be announced, with usual suspects Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne leading the nominations.
Salah has already won the Football Writers Association (FWA) award this season and is looking to win another individual accolade with the PFA award. However, with Manchester City on their way to the title, their standout player De Bruyne, is looking like the only option for the award.
The official nominees list will be announced in June but both players have just been announced as nominees for the Premier League Player of the Year award. They have been nominated alongside Bukayo Saka, Jarrod Bowen, Trent Alexander-Arnold, João Cancelo, James Ward-Prowse and Heung-Min Son.
Last season's award was picked up by Ruben Dias of Manchester City, who beat the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Jack Grealish, Mason Mount and Tomas Soucek.
Here's a look at the chances of all the nominees on the Premier League's eight-man shortlist for the player of the year
Salah has won the award once in the 2017/18 season, and picked up the PFA Fans player of the year award. He will be looking to add a third major individual Premier League award that is not a golden boot to his cabinet when the results are announced.
His cause will be greatly helped if Liverpool manage to win the Premier League this season, as they are still in the running for the title. He has scored 22 goals and 13 assists in the league, which places him in pole position for both the playmaker of the year and the golden boot awards, mimicking Harry Kane's achievement from last season.
Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian won the award for the first time in the 2019/20 season, beating Mohamed Salah to the award. It was a controversial win as Salah was an important player in the Liverpool side that won the Premier League that season.
However, he is on course to win another one as he has been the Cityzens most important player this year, and his 15 goals and seven assists have been key to the club staying on top of the Premier League table ahead of the final lap of the league.
The Arsenal youngster has performed so well that despite being only 20, he is considered a level above his peers who are in the Premier League young player of the year category.
Arsenal have had a topsy-turvy season but Saka's involvement in 17 goals (11 goals, six assists) have been key to their hopes of a first UEFA Champions League appearance since 2017 and a first top four finish since that season.
He is a wildcard to win the award.
West Ham United's most impressive attacker this season has been Bowen. With 10 goals and 12 assists, he is also among the most prolific attackers in the Premier League this season.
In a season of uncertainty for the Hammers, the 25-year-old has performed very well. His performances have helped West Ham get out of sticky situations throughout the season and he is a deserved nominee for the award.
However, it is unlikely that he finishes as the winner.
The South Korean has been one of Spurs' best performers for a number of years but he has taken it to another level this season.
His performances typify the rise of Tottenham Hotspur from the ashes this season after a terrible start to the campaign under Nuno Espirito Santo. Following the appointment of Antonio Conte, Son became the club's most dangerous player.
He linked up with Harry Kane to rip opponents apart, and is chasing the top scorer award. He is only one goal behind Salah and five goal contributions behind Salah to become the Premier League's most impressive attacker this season.
He stands a better chance of winning the award ahead of the others, but with Salah and De Bruyne nominated, it will be a tall dream. He can settle for the small victory of piping Salah to the top scorer award, however, as only one goal separates them both.
The Liverpool fullback has been one of the most lethal creators in the Premier League since his debut. His vision and passing range is one of the best in the world, and Salah has him to thank for a lot of it.
He is one assist behind teammate Salah and could beat him to the Playmaker award, however. He is also a good shout for the award, having witnessed teammate Virgil Van Dijk and Man City defender Ruben Dias win it before.
The Manchester City midfielder has been amazing for the largest part of the season. His defensive ability has helped the club out in several situations and his attacking ability has also created a number of chances which have been buried to give him assists, or led to a goal.
Alongside De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, he has been City's standout performer this season, but it will be difficult to pip his teammate to the award.
Southampton's golden boy has dazzled the Premier League this season. He scored his 14th direct free kick this season, four less than the legendary David Beckham who has 18 and sits atop the Premier League standings.
His ability in the centre of the park for the Saints is also one of the best in the league, and it has helped them seal some famous wins and wring out some famous results this season.
Still, it may not be enough to win the award ahead of all the names on the current list.
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