The Professional Footballer’s Association has revealed it’s six-man shortlist for player of the year, including Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, Manchester United’s Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick, Chelsea’s Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. Surprisingly, the shortlist does not include any defenders or goalkeepers, and is also short of any players for reigning Premier League champions Manchester City. Swansea’s Michu, who’s £2 million move from Rayo Vallecano over the summer many people’s signing of the season, is also not on the list despite being tied for third highest goalscorer in the Premier League and playing a crucial part in Swansea’s season.
The six players are shortlisted on the basis of the vote from fellow professionals, who voted in 2010/11 winner Gareth Bale, who’s seller performance has been key to Tottenham’s season. The twenty-three-year-old has scored an outstanding 30 goals for club and country so far this season, and has only lost two Premier League matches since late November making him faveorite to win the award. The Welsh international has started in 47 matches for club and country so far this season, and without Bale, Tottenham have not looked near as dangerous of a side as they look with him.
Manchester United’s unsung hero Michael Carrick has been voted into the side for the first time in his twelve year career, after a very solid season with the Red Devils. The midfielder along with Patrice Evra has appeared the most for United in all competitions, playing in thirty-eight matches so far this season. Carrick has played a massive part in United’s sometimes shaky midfield, and has been in his best form since joining United from Tottenham in 2006.
Carrick’s fellow teammate and current PFA Player of the Year Robin van Persie has been shortlisted after a stunning first half of the season, and although having a slight dip in form recently, has been proved the difference in the difference in the title race. United are set to win their 20th league title, largely due to Van Persie’s astounding 21 goals, and eight assists in the Premier League. The Dutchman’s £20 million move from Arsenal over the summer has been one of the very successful, and the twenty-nine-yea-old has been clinical for United this season, bagging a total twenty-five goals.
United’s bitter rivals Liverpool have one player shortlisted, Luis Suarez, and despite being one of the best players this season, some would argue Suarez barely deserves the award due to his reputation. The Uruguayan was given awarded an eight game ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra last season, and is unpopular with many Africans due to his handball that denied Ghana a place in the semifinals of the 2010 World Cup. Although also being known for diving, it is impossible to deny Suarez’s class, with the twenty-six-year-old topping the Premier League scoring charts and scoring an incredible 29 goals so far this season.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Juan Mata have both been shortlisted after playing key parts in Chelsea’s season, and Hazard, along with Gareth Bale will be looking to become only the third person to win the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year award in the same season. Hazard, 22, has been shortlisted for the Young Player of the Year award along with Bale, Christian Benteke, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, and Romelu Lukaku. Only Andy Gray and Cristiano Ronaldo have won both awards in the same year, but Hazard and Bale both have a strong chance of becoming the third person to achieve that record.
PFA Player of the Year award shortlist
Robin van Persie
PFA Young Player of the Year award shortlist