Apr 14, 2017
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Analysing the contenders for PFA Player of the Year – and vote!

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The PFA Player of the Year nominations were recently announced and Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante are the bookies’ favourites to win the award, currently held by Riyad Mahrez for his achievements during Leicester City’s Premier League trophy winning campaign.

Alongside the two Chelsea players is Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has proved, even at 35, that he still has it. Tottenham and Everton forwards Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane are also up for the award, while Alexis Sanchez is the only nominee representing Arsenal.

Eden Hazard is amongst the best in the Premier League and deservedly finds himself up for the PFA Player of the Year. In Antonio Conte’s well-drilled Chelsea side, the Belgian is their most creative outlet. He has managed to fashion 64 chances so far this season and has five assists to his name. Hazard is the game-changer in Chelsea’s side as they close in on the title.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of three strikers to feature on the nomination list and the 35-year-old has really impressed during his first season in the Premier League. The Swedish striker’s 17 league goals have been crucial to United, keeping them within touching distance of a top-four spot.

Everton’s only nominee is Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who’s goal-scoring since arriving in the Premier League has been spectacular, but especially so this season. If strikers were solely judge based on their goal-scoring, then Lukaku is the best forward in the division. He is currently the league’s top goal-scorer with 23 goals and at just 23 years of age, he will only get better.

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Just behind Lukaku on the goal-scoring chart is Harry Kane, who currently has 19 goals. The Englishman has been excellent for Tottenham this season, and with a ‘goals per game rate’ of 0.83. With 19 in only 23 appearances, Kane finds the back of the net almost every time he takes to a football pitch and the 23-year-old has been key in firing Tottenham to second-place.

Both Kane and Lukaku are nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year as well, alongside the likes of Dele Alli and Leroy Sane.

The second representative from Chelsea is N’Golo Kante and, as the Frenchman looks set to become the first player to win consecutive Premier League titles, he more than deserves his nomination. Kante’s energy, aggressiveness, tackling and passing have been integral to Blues’ this season, Chelsea have only lost three times when he’s featured this season.

The final nominee is Alexis Sanchez, a shining light in what has been a rather disappointing season for Arsenal. The Gunners forward continues to impress, despite the negativity surrounding the club. The stats suggest the same as well, Sanchez has been involved in 44.4% of Arsenal’s goals this season. If the PFA Player of the Year was based on contribution to the team, the Chilean would have a strong chance of claiming the award.

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Journalism student at the University of Sheffield. Freelance for TheBootRoom.

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