standing out

6 players who deserve to be nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award

Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and other stars who have excelled this season.

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard File Photo PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

WITH 14 GOALS and five assists, Hazard has been a key part of Chelsea’s title challenge. Having already been named PFA Player of the Year in 2015, the Belgian international suffered a loss of form last season, but has thrived with Antonio Conte giving him an extra degree of freedom and a lack of defensive responsibility.

N’Golo Kante

Chelsea v Manchester City - Premier League - Stamford Bridge Mike Egerton Mike Egerton

The bookies’ favourite to take home the prize, it’s no coincidence that Kante looks set to win a second Premier League title after last season’s triumph with Leicester. It’s hard to think of another player in the Premier League with the energy and tenacity of the Frenchman. In the big games in particular, he has dominated the midfield and stood out — scoring in respective wins over Man United in the league and FA Cup. His stats, meanwhile, are frequently on a different planet to everyone else, and it’s no surprise to see him being linked with a big-money move to Real Madrid.

Romelu Lukaku

Everton v Leicester City - Premier League - Goodison Park Nick Potts Nick Potts

Aside from Chelsea, there is arguably no more improved Premier League team this season than Everton. A big reason for their positive campaign has been the prolific form of Lukaku. With 23 goals, no one has scored more in the Premier League, and this is doubly impressive for a striker playing for a side outside the top six.

Harry Kane

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton - Premier League - White Hart Lane PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

It’s hard to think of a more consistently brilliant Premier League player over the past three seasons than Kane. Still only 23, the England international has already made over 100 appearances for second-place Tottenham, scoring 68 Premier League goals in total and 19 this season.

Dele Alli

Tottenham Hotspur v Watford - Premier League - White Hart Lane Victoria Jones Victoria Jones

At 20, it’s scary to think how good Alli could become given how well he is playing at the moment. He has been involved in 40 Premier League goals before turning 21 — more than Frank Lampard (15), Steven Gerrard (13) and David Beckham (12) combined at that age. This season, he has been key to Tottenham’s excellent campaign, with 16 goals and five assists. He is expected to win the PFA Young Player Award for the second year running — if he does, it would mean a Spurs player will have taken the award home in five of the past six seasons.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Manchester United v Southampton - EFL Cup - Final - Wembley Stadium Mike Egerton Mike Egerton

It’s difficult to recall another 35-year-old having quite the same impact on the Premier League as Ibrahimovic has managed in his first season with Man United. With 17 goals and five assists, it’s probably safe to say that without him, the Red Devils would be trophyless and out of contention for a Champions League place. In fact, he is directly responsible for 37% of United’s goals this season — Jose Mourinho’s men consequently owe a considerable debt of gratitude to the influential Swede, and they’ll certainly be hoping he decides to stick around for another season or two.

Honourable mentions: David Luiz, Sadio Mane, Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld, Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez.

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