With the PFA 2015/16 Awards less than a month away and the PFA representatives are making the rounds of the 92 clubs to deliver ballot forms. I thought I would try and predict who will win the awards and make it into the team of the year.
Looking at last season’s winners Eden Hazard deservedly won Player of the Year after recording 14 goals and 9 assists. But will be nowhere near the awards this year scoring 0 goals and only assisting 3. Harry Kane scooped young player of the year after scoring 21 premier league goals, which he has already surpassed this season.
The PFA Team of the Year last year included 6 Chelsea players who were crowned champions. The full team is shown below:
For this year’s PFA Player of the Year, my prediction is Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City. It really is hard to believe he was signed from Le Havre for a measly £400,000 in today’s market. Without his 16 goals and 11 assists this season, Leicester would be 35 points worse off and scrapping to avoid relegation as he is involved in half of the goals they score*. But instead, they are 7 points clear at the summit despite being 5000/1 odds to win the league at the start of the season – which a few lucky punters are waiting cash in on.
*Calculated by taking his goals and assists away and seeing how they affect the results.
So for me the PFA Player of the Year is a no brainer, and if the Foxes lose him in the summer, he will be a very tough man to replace.
This year’s PFA Young Player of the Year is also a no-brainer. Wave to my blog readers, Mr Dele Alli. The 19-year-old featured in the PFA League One Team of the Year last year and now he is 1/6 favourite to win the award this month. The maturity he has shown for such a young player has been fantastic to observe. His link-up play with Harry Kane, who funnily enough won it last year, has been telepathic at times this season and he will certainly be one of the first names on Roy Hodgson’s 23-man Euro 2016 England squad when it is announced on the 12th May.
Joey Barton agreed with me on my predictions after posting his votes on Twitter. Does that mean I’ve got it all wrong?
For my PFA Team of The Year, I have used a line-up builder tool, which I can create an all-star Premier League team from. Typically, the PFA use a 4-4-2 formation, so I have had to take that into consideration.
Butland – A tough decision between him and Petr Cech. Butland has been very impressive this season and has saved Stoke on many occasions. Cech has also had a blinding season but has an arguably better defence in front of him and that is why Butland claims the spot for me. It is a shame that injury will prevent him from the Euros this summer, but I am sure he will come back better than ever.
Walker – One of the easier decisions in this starting XI as Kyle Walker beats his North-London rival to the right-back spot in my team.
Alderweireld – A no brainer. The Belgian international has been a wall for Spurs this season and it is of no coincidence that they have conceded the least goals this season.
Huth – It is hard to look past the big German after being instrumental for Leicester, leading them to where they are today. He has helped insure Leicester’s leaky defence especially in the last few months and has been a great leader for them this season.
Fuchs – For his debut season in the Premier League he couldn’t have asked for a better one. His ability to get forward and overlap has been impressive to watch, his pinpoint crossing is a trait that goes seriously underrated and defensively he has been solid.
Mahrez – The easiest decision of the lot. There is no doubt that the Algerian will be in the PFA Team of the Year.
Alli – My pick for YPOTY and as a result earns a place in my XI. You can try and argue his absence from the team, but 7 goals and 9 assists are a better argument.
Kante – I Kante think of anyone in his position who deserves it more than him. Gary Lineker argued that he was the 'signing of the season' and he deserves all the plaudits he is receiving. His performances this season has earned him a place in the France squad and a lot of top clubs will have him on their radars this summer.
Payet – This was the hardest decision of them all and one that will divide opinion and that I will probably get wrong. “He’s better than Zidane” is the chant of the West Ham fans this season. A bit too far… but without him, the Hammers certainly wouldn’t still be challenging for Champions League football in April. His 9 goals and 8 assists is fewer than Ozil’s 5 goals and 18 assists, however Payet was injured for over 2 months and I believe he deserves it more simply because he has been more consistent this season. The simple factor of having a player who can make free kicks look like penalties is a player worthy for my PFA team. Whether or not he gets a spot is up to the professionals.
Kane – An easy decision, scoring over twenty goals in consecutive seasons is no mean feat and he certainly deserved a place in my XI.
Vardy – It was a tough decision between Jamie Vardy and Romelu Lukaku for the last space in my XI. I had to compare their statistics on Squawka to help sway my decision. It certainly comes down to personal preference and my choice of Vardy was also influenced by the fact he scored in 11 consecutive Premier League games breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record. He’s also almost fired Leicester City to a Premier League title, which is kind of important.