Mahrez and Alli front runners for 2016 PFA Player of the Year Awards
Lee Gormley | April 13, 2016
PFA Player of the Year contenders
Nominations for the 2016 PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year are in, and it’s no surprise that Leicester City and Tottenham players dominate this latest instalment of the annual awards.
Given to the best player and most outstanding youngster of the past Premier League campaign, shock top-flight leaders Leicester see stars such as Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy go for the accolade, while Spurs starlet Dele Alli looks set to be crowned.
The awards, which are voted by the nominees’ peers, will be officially handed out on Sunday, April 24th, and Coral break down the six players in each category, as well as their odds on lifting their respective section…
PFA Player of the Year Nominees
Algeria international Mahrez leads the way for this year’s top prize, having been pivotal in Leicester’s incredible Premier League title charge, contributing with a simply sublime 16 goals and 11 assists up to matchweek 33.
Claudio Ranieri’s midfield ace is odds-on 2/5 favourite to scoop the PFA award after an amazing campaign to date, with the French-born attacker on the verge of helping the East Midlanders clinch a historic feat.
Foxes frontman Vardy has netted a superb 20 times domestically this season, with his scoring exploits seeing him earn caps for England, in which he also showcased his talents by dispatching past the Netherlands and Germany.
The clinical marksman is set for a big summer at Euro 2016, something that would have been a distant dream at the beginning of this captivating campaign, but will he go to France crowned as PFA Player of the Year? Odds of 12/5 can be had on him taking the trophy which Chelsea’s Eden Hazard won last year.
Leicester’s third and final nomination comes in the form of midfield enforcer Kante, after the Frenchman earned widespread praise for his central performances, having made more tackles (146) and interceptions (134) than any other player this term.
The Paris-born midfielder earned his senior France debut this year and is 10/1 to take home the PFA accolade, with his mere £5.6m switch from Caen last summer looking like one of the best ever Premier League bargains.
Tottenham forward Kane is as greedy with nominations as he is with goals scored this magnificent campaign, as he features in both six-player lists, but he is 12/1 to scoop the main prize ahead of any of Leicester’s main men.
The England striker is the leading marksman in the top tier as of matchweek 33 and claimed last season’s Young Player of the Year when bursting onto the scene. If Kane were to reign supreme, he would become only the third Spurs player to do so in the PL era, after David Ginola (1998/99) and Gareth Bale (2010/11 and 2012/13).
Arsenal previously looked on course for a first title triumph for over a decade, but their season hit a slump midway through proceedings. Although, German playmaker Ozil has been their star man nevertheless, racking up a league-leading 18 assists for the Gunners.
The World Cup winning attacker is an outside 33/1 to win this coveted award, as he closes in on the record for most assist made in a single campaign, currently held by Gunners legend Thierry Henry during 2002/03.
West Ham United’s success this term has slipped somewhat under the radar with Leicester’s incredible achievements to date, but Slaven Bilic’s east Londoners have been sensational and are on the verge of a deserved European position.
France international attacker Payet has been key to such a strong campaign, with nine goals and eight assists in 25 appearances as of matchweek 33, and he is 33/1 to succeed Hazard as PFA Player of the Year.
PFA Young Player of the Year
Now on to the Young Player of the Year, and it’s another Spurs starlet Alli who is attempting to dethrone teammate Kane for the 2016 accolade.
The 20-year-old has shone during Tottenham’s impressive campaign in the heart of midfield, firing in goals and notching up a decisive 12 assists up to matchweek 33, making him odds-on 1/4 favourite for success.
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney was the last player to win this award back-to-back, joining former Liverpool poacher Robbie Fowler as double winners, and Kane is 11/4 to add to his trophy from last season.
The Premier League’s leading marksman with 22 strikes, along with three assists, Kane has proved many doubters wrong this term, having rampantly brushed off claims he was a one-season wonder and another PFA accolade would add to his rise to prominence.
Everton’s campaign may not have gone according to plan for Roberto Martinez, with the Merseysiders battling at the depths of the table rather than for a European place.
One positive note has been the impressive showings from brilliant Belgian frontman Lukaku though, with the bulldozing striker’s 18 goals and six assists making him a 25/1 shot for PFA success.
The other star performer from the Toffees’ stuttering roster is England international Barkley, having racked up eight goals and the same number of assist so far this term.
His club performances will be a boost to his national boss Roy Hodgson, who will be expecting big things at Euro 2016 this upcoming summer.
Brazilian attacker Coutinho has proved he can be Liverpool’s newest consistent match-winner after the departure of long-serving skipper Steven Gerrard, with his seven goals and six assists a testimony to that.
Jurgen Klopp has endured an indifferent maiden campaign on the red half of Merseyside, but his Samba starlet is sure to be pivotal to any success next season, after his talents have made him 50/1 for this personal feat during this term.
Stoke City and England shot stopper Butland is another 50/1 outsider for the PFA Young Player of the Year after his heroic displays in net for Mark Hughes’ Potters.
The solid goal guard has kept an impressive 10 clean sheets for Stoke this term during 31 appearances and his presence has helped them edge closer towards cementing a top half finish.