It has been another superb season of football in the Premier League and it will soon be coming to an end, but who has been the league’s best player? We look at the PFA Player of the Year nominations, and see who deserves the award.
Diego Costa (Chelsea)
Last season, Chelsea were regularly criticised for their lack of goals and it was often said that they didn’t have the world-class striker. Enter Diego Costa. The 26-year-old Spaniard has scored 19 goals in just 23 league games. He has consistently scored goals and there is no doubt that without him, Chelsea would not be where they are now. With Costa, it is not only the goals that are crucial. He is a menace for defenders, and is the perfect striker for a typical Jose Mourinho side. If it hadn’t been for his dodgy hamstring, he would undoubtedly have scored a lot more goals.
David De Gea (Man Utd)
After his nomination, David De Gea thanked his team mates for their role in his performances this season. He is right to thank them, if they had defended well he would have absolutely no chance of winning the award. During the first half of the season, De Gea won Man Utd points single-handedly with some superb saves. It was a crucial period for De Gea, who was able to finally silence some of the doubters who had questioned the performances in his early days at Man Utd. It also allowed De Gea to put to bed any doubts as to whether he would still be Man Utd number one since the signing of Victor Valdes. There is no doubt that he deserves his nomination, but because the defence in front of him has looked a little more assured since the turn of the year, it looks unlikely that he will win the award.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Coutinho is the one name on the list that could be contested. Coutinho has scored just four goals this season and has provided only four assists in the Premier League. In the early part of the season, Liverpool struggled and many of the new signings couldn’t fit in. This is when they needed their top players to stand up and win them the points. Coutinho didn’t. All of his good work has come recently, when it was almost too late for Liverpool to make him into the top 4. While all of the other nominees have helped drag their club out of a poor run of form, Coutinho hasn’t. It will be a huge shock if he wins.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
The bookies’ favourite for the award, and quite rightly. Hazard has led Chelsea to what will probably end up being the Premier League with some brilliant performances. In recent weeks, while Chelsea haven’t been playing particularly well, Hazard has been superb and has won them games single-handedly, most notably with his brilliant goal against Manchester United. Hazard has scored 13 goals this season and made 8 assists. By leading his side to the Premier League title, Hazard is probably the most deserving of the award.
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
What can be said that hasn’t already been said? Before the season, Kane was unknown to a vast majority of Premier League fans. Now this has all changed. Kane burst on to the scene in Spurs’ Europa League campaign early in the season, and earned his spot in the Premier League starting XI after the poor form of big money signing Roberto Soldado, and the apparent disinterested Emmanuel Adebayor continued to struggle. He now has 20 goals in the league, more than a third of Tottenham’s 53 goals. But are we all going slightly over the top because Kane is English? Would we be saying the same if he was Spanish or French? It seems unlikely.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
A lot of pressure was placed on Sanchez at the start of the season. He was Arsenal’s big money signing at £35m and was the key man with injuries to Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil. He hasn’t let them down. Sanchez has scored 14 goals and made 8 assists in his 29 Premier League games. His form has dipped however in the second half of the season and Arsenal have had to begin to rely on others. But without him it’s unlikely that Arsenal would be second in the table, which should not be forgotten. He has definitely got a good chance of winning the award, but his dip in form could put off some voters.
So Hazard is rightly the favourite to win the PFA Player of the Year award, but there is no reason why he couldn’t be beaten by either Alexis Sanchez or Harry Kane.