PFA Player of the Season:The Nominees
Posted by Aaron C-Reid | Published on March 14, 2016
Exciting, Enthralling and Astonishing. These are three words to describe what has so far been a remarkable Premier League season. There have been a few surprise packages, with a handful of unknown players becoming world beaters. Soon six players will be nominated for the PFA player of the season award and here are my picks.
Dimitri Payet signed for West Ham in June for a fee believed to be in the region of £10.7 million from Marseille. After being top class in recent years in Ligue 1, the Frenchman’s signing seemed to go under the radar. Payet had a stellar season last year, grabbing 16 assists and 7 goals, an unbelievable tally. The West Ham faithful were hopeful he could re-create this sublime form in the Premier League. And he has. Payet made his debut at the Emirates and played the Gunners off the park. His pin-point cross found Cheikou Kouyate who guided a header past a helpless Petr Cech. This assist set a tone for Payet’s performances after that. The French international has been fantastic to watch and seems to carry West Ham at times. The signing of Payet has proved to be a huge success for the Hammers, scoring 8 times and collecting 7 assists for the London club. Payet will hope to guide his team to a top 4 finish and possibly even an FA Cup trophy. He clearly deserves to be mentioned among the best players this season.
Mahrez signed for Leicester in January 2014, for just half a million pounds. At this point in the season, that looks to be the bargain of the century. After a decent season in the last term Mahrez has set the Premier League alight, contributing to the most goals this season, grabbing 15 goals and 11 assists. The Algerian has been brilliant to watch, with his tricks, dribbling, and pace combining to showcase his immense talent. He has been one of the key aspects of Leicester’s title challenge. His rise to the top has been incredible and extremely unexpected. No one would have predicted the mercurial Algerian having such a good season. He is my player of the year and it would be a crime for him not to be on this list.
Arsenal’s record signing had a difficult couple of years in North London. However, he seems to have finally found his feet this campaign. His incredible vision, accompanied by exquisite ball control and unselfishness has seen him assist his teammates 18 times this term. The German is on his way to getting the assist record that is currently held by Thierry Henry, at 20. Not only has the 27-year-old been supplying his teammates but he has also chipped in with 5 Premier League goals as well as creating the most chances in Europe. Özil will hope to beat the record this season, with Arsenal dead and buried in the title race and knocked out of the FA Cup. The German has proved all the critics wrong this season and has been splendid to watch.
Jamie Vardy’s rise to fame has been unbelievable. Having been playing in the Conference just a few seasons ago, he is now the Premier League’s top scorer. His goals have fired Leicester to the league summit, as well as breaking Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record for goals in successive games. After having a mediocre season last year, the Englishman has established himself as a cool finisher and will hope to start for England in the European Championships. Scoring 19 Premier League goals he has been amazing for the Foxes. His rapid speed and calmness in front of goal has helped cement him as one of the best players this season and comfortably makes this list.
Romelu Lukaku arrived at Everton for a fee just shy of £30 million in 2014. His first season at the Merseyside club was decent but it has been in this campaign that he has shown his potential. The big Belgian has impressed everyone, scoring 18 Premier league goals, a feat only bettered by Vardy and Kane, not to mention he is only 22 years old. His ability to create something from nothing was showcased as he dumped Chelsea out of the FA Cup, scoring 2 brilliant solo goals. The big clubs will be sniffing around in the Summer and I can see Lukaku joining one of the top 4. His pace, power and drive makes him unplayable at times and has been top quality this season.
The so-called one season wonder has produced another remarkable season for Spurs, scoring another 19 goals. After having a difficult start to this campaign the English hitman has been pivotal to Spurs’ great season. Scoring against Man City in a great 4-1 win and producing a wonder goal in the North London derby at White Hart Lane. After winning the Young Player of the Season award in the last campaign Kane has produced some top class performances. He should win the Young Player of the Season award in my opinion. People forget that Kane is only 22 years old and his goalscoring exploits are ridiculous for his age.
These are my nominees. Who are yours? Let me know via my twitter – @ReidTheGame