Coral’s Premier League awards 2014/15: Player of the Season
It’s awards season, and we at Coral are holding our own as the Premier League campaign approaches the run-in.
We’ve seen superb signings shine and homegrown heroes hailed this term, and there will be several categories, though players can only be nominated in a maximum of two to ensure everyone a fair crack.
This is the top gong, awarded to the Player of the Season, and is arguably the toughest choice our judging panel of football experts have had to make. Seven stars are short-listed, and the nominees are…
A persistent hamstring problem may keep Brazilian-born Spain striker Costa out for what remains of Chelsea’s run-in, but cannot detract from his awesome debut season stats in the Premier League.
Netting 19 times in 24 top-flight outings is a great goals to games ratio of almost 80 per cent. Clinical Costa’s contribution to a Blues title tilt is clear; his tally amounts to almost a third of all goals scored. Relive some of his best in England so far:
Like Chelsea’s Costa, main Manchester City man Aguero has endured injuries this term, but is joint-top scorer in the Premier League. His 19 strikes have come in 27 outings, and he may be one of only a couple of stellar names at the Etihad to come out of this campaign with any credit.
While midfield powerhouse Yaya Toure’s all-action performances from last term looks to have been a fluke, and City club captain Vincent Kompany has struggled for form, Aguero has more than kept up his end of the bargain in attack. If only more players had performed for Manuel Pellegrini this season, then they would be more than 11/2 chances in the betting without Mourinho’s men.
David de Gea
Only Spurs skipper Hugo Lloris (94) has made more saves for a top seven Premier League side than Manchester United number one De Gea (80), who has played as big a part as anyone as Louis van Gaal has sought to stamp his mark on Old Trafford this term.
This Spanish stopper should not suffer the indignity of being behind over-the-hill Real Madrid counterpart Iker Casillas in the pecking order for playing for their country.
La Roja boss Vicente del Bosque clearly has a soft spot for this Los Blancos legend, but his time has come and gone. De Gea’s continuing improvement make his candidature for our top gong more than worthy against six outfield options, and he are some of his most superb stops:
Proven Premier League performers are few and far between, so Chelsea signing ex-Arsenal midfield maestro and captain Fabregas was arguably as big a coup as capturing Costa. How has the Spaniard rewarded Jose Mourinho’s desire to get him? With a superb 17 top-flight assists in 28 appearances, which you can see below.
Silky skills, an eye for a pass and all-round box-to-box brilliance are just some of the attributes fantastic Fabregas has displayed since switching to Stamford Bridge. His big money move to boyhood club Barcelona may not have worked out, but he is back in a league tailor-made for him.
Like Fabregas above, Chile star Sanchez was another kicked to the curb by Barca last summer, only it’s Arsenal not Chelsea that have profited on this occasion. Could this nimble South American forward cut it amid the physicality of the Premier League? You bet.
Sanchez has scored 14 times, and made eight other goals in league action this term. That is some start to life in England, and it could get better as the Gunners are odds-on 4/5 favourites to win the FA Cup. He just wants to run defences ragged, and looks to be the perfect foil for Olivier Giroud, coming in from the flank in support. Here’s a reminder of Sanchez’s scoring efforts:
It doesn’t bear thinking about, but where would Tottenham be without one of their own? Spurs striker Kane is arguably the find of the season. Thrust centre stage by Mauricio Pochettino to spare the blushes of expensive flops Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado, the England cap has taken full advantage of this opportunity.
Aguero and Costa above are established footballers of international renown, yet Kane sits level with them on top of the Premier League scoring charts (10/11 joint-favourite to be there at the end of this season) at the time of writing. Scoring 29 across all competitions for Tottenham and on his Three Lions debut are major achievement.
Is Kane more like Teddy Sheringham or Alan Shearer? That’s an argument for another day, but he has plenty of brilliant attributes that are catapulting him close to stardom and not just at Spurs either. Like the below video, Kane is becoming the golden boy of English football:
Belgium sensation Hazard completes our candidates, and is the third nominee from Chelsea. We’re talking about most-fouled Premier League player here. His dazzling dribbles have resulted in a dozen top-flight strikes.
Mourinho has worked wonders on Hazard’s all-round game, so he even does some of the dirty work tracking back now! Some say a Ballon d’Or beckons when the galactic star of Cristiano Ronaldo burns out and the magic of Lionel Messi fades. For now, Hazard must content himself with making our awards shortlist.