The eight-man shortlist for the Premier League Player of the Season award has been announced.
The Premier League holders Manchester City are rather unsurprisingly, the most represented team in the shortlist, boasting two nominees. One player from rivals Manchester United features, as well as one each from Liverpool, Chelsea, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Aston Villa. Three Englishmen have been selected in the final eight, as well as two from Portugal.
Meanwhile the fan vote is open on the Premier League’s website, with the announcement expected to be in about a week’s time.
The players that are on the shortlist include Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne who won the award last season and if he manage to scoop the award again he will become the fourth player to win the award on two occasions.
The Belgian was at his brilliant best for large parts of the season, registering 12 assists – only Harry Kane set up more goals. In addition, he bagged six for himself, helping his side to the league title.
However, he did miss a decent chunk of the campaign, making just 25 appearances. This could hinder his chances.
Furthermore Manchester City has also Ruben Dias on the list, the Manchester City defender has enjoyed his debut season at the Etihad alongside John Stones, the Portuguese has been a huge contributor to a backline that has kept the most clean sheets and conceded the fewest goals all season.
He’s attracted widespread praise for his performances at the heart of defense, and is even in the running for the Ballon d’Or as things stand.
Manchester United is represented by Portugal star Bruno Fernandes who has wasted no time in adjusting to life in a new country, arriving and making an instant impact at Old Trafford.
In his first full season as a Man U player, he scored 18 league goals and assisted a further 12, putting him in the top three for both charts. In addition, he won the Player of the Month award twice this season, and four times since his arrival at the start of 2020.
This has come as a huge boost to the Red Devils, who finished in second place.
Had the season ended a couple of months earlier, Fernandes may well have won it. He’s still one of the favorites, but a slow end to the season may cost him.
Moreso, Aston Villa is represented by Jack Grealish who is their main man.
Aston Villa finished the season in 11th place, and yet Grealish has still earned a nomination for Player of the Season and that only speaks itself that the midfielder was impressive all the season.
The Villans will have to work incredibly hard to keep the England international at the club, given his standout performances this term. He scored six and assisted ten in the league.
However, much like De Bruyne, his lack of appearances could be a problem. Grealish featured 26 times, missing a large part of the season after an injury sustained in February. In the 12 games that he missed, Aston Villa picked up just 12 points.
Tottenham Hotspur excellent striker Harry Kane is also rubbing shoulders with others on the nomination list.
Kane ended the season with the most goals and the most assists, he has always been an excellent goal scorer, so it was no surprise to see him win the Golden Boot for the third time in his career.
What would have come as a shock is his development as a playmaker. Incredibly, he not only added the Golden Boot to his shelf, but also the Playmaker Award, having accumulated 14 assists.
Only two players in Premier League history have topped both charts in the same season: Andy Cole (93/94) and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (98/99)
Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has kept the doubters quiet this season, not long ago, there was some hostility towards Mason Mount, with many not understanding why he was starting for England. The midfielder responded in the perfect way by putting in several impressive displays.
His six goals and five assists have already earned him Chelsea’s Player of the Season award, and he could be in line for more.
More so Egyptian star Mohamed Salah is representing Liverpool on the nominees list.
The 28 year old striker is closing in on 100 Premier League goals, It may not have been the season that Liverpool fans were hoping for, but Mohamed Salah has maintained his exceptional standards.
The Egyptian scored 22 goals, leaving him just one behind Kane in the race for the Golden Boot. He added a further five assists, making him one of the most productive players in the league.
Even when the Reds were going through a rough patch, Salah was always looking like the one most likely to win games for them.
West Ham United which displayed some fantastic performances this season is represented by Tomas Soucek who has been a surprise package this season.
Despite playing as a central midfielder, Soucek has been the Hammers’ top scorer, netting ten while assisting five. The Czech Republic international was a huge contributor to David Moyes’ side, who shocked the league by qualifying for the Europa League.
The nominees list came after the completion of Premiere league which saw Manchester City retaining the trophy from Liverpool.