As one of the most exciting Premier League seasons in recent memory comes to a thrilling climax, it’s almost time to recognise the players who have lit up England’s elite throughout 2018/19. This year, football fans have been treated to some stunning individual performances and there’s some truly talented footballers who are in the reckoning for the PFA Player of the Year award.
Before we have a look at the frontrunners, don’t forget to bet on Premier League winner as Manchester City and Liverpool engage in a two-horse race for the title, with the Citizens leading the way at 4/5 currently. If you think the Reds will end their Premier League hoodoo, you can back Jurgen Klopp’s men at evens.
Virgil van Dijk @1/4
If Liverpool are to secure their first ever Premier League success, much will be owed to the herculean displays of Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch centre-back has been nothing short of class throughout the whole campaign, and is yet to be successfully dribbled past in the last 12 months. The Reds paid a world-record fee for Van Dijk in January 2018 and he has absolutely revolutionised a previously leaky defence. The former Southampton star has transformed the Merseysiders into genuine title contenders and it’ll be something of a surprise if he doesn’t win.
Raheem Sterling @11/4
If Van Dijk is unsuccessful, then it’ll likely be due to the continued excellence of City’s Raheem Sterling. The 24-year-old has enjoyed a stellar campaign to date and has 17 goals and 11 assists to his name, and his vast improvement hasn’t gone unnoticed. Sterling’s end product over the past two years has seen him become one of the league’s best players, and he’s certainly one of City’s most valuable assets. Manager Pep Guardiola has really transformed the England star and it would be hard to begrudge Sterling of the win.
Sergio Aguero @16/1
It still seems a travesty that City’s all-time record goal scorer hasn’t picked up the award, but Sergio Aguero continues to exercise his right as one of world football’s most exciting strikers. Since signing in 2011, the Argentine superstar has recorded 162 Premier League goals of which 19 were scored this season. In February, Aguero broke the record for most league hat-tricks when he scored consecutive trebles against Arsenal and Chelsea – bringing his total to 11. It’ll be hard for Aguero to pip the two favourites but if he continues to bang in the goals, his 16/1 price provides plenty of value.
Sadio Mane @25/1
Although much of the focus would have been on Mohammed Salah this season, Sadio Mane has taken over the reins and has proven himself as Liverpool’s main goal threat. The Senegalese winger-come-attacker has demonstrated his importance to Klopp’s men time and time again, and his goal and assist return this year has seen him listed as one of the main contenders. Mane’s slick style of play and brilliant attacking prowess have made him a nightmare for Premier League defenders, and he’s averaged a goal every 151 minutes this season.
Bernardo Silva @50/1
Statistics-wise, Bernardo Silva looks a questionable frontrunner for the PFA Player of the Year award but watching him strut his stuff at the Etihad suggests otherwise. Six goals and eight assists is hardly poor, but it isn’t on the same level as some of the other nominees but Silva’s all-round play is something to admire. Cool, calm and collected, Silva has proven to be a very important cog in the City juggernaut and he has gained a whole host of admirers this season and rightfully so; and could even be a natural replacement for namesake David. At 24, Silva has his best years ahead of him and he has certainly cemented a place in Guardiola’s starting XI.
Eden Hazard @ 50/1
It’s hard to believe that Eden Hazard is all the way out at 50/1 after the season he has had, but he’ll provide excellent value for money for those who may be tempted. The Belgian winger has 16 goals to his name currently, the joint best since he signed for Chelsea in 2012. Alongside his 12 Premier League assists, it really has been Hazard’s strongest campaign and it’s no surprise that Real Madrid have demonstrated a keen interest. More often than not, Hazard is the main attacking threat and his sheer pace and close-knit dribbling make him one of the best players in the world. It’s hard to see Hazard winning but if he does, it’ll be his second award after winning in 2015.
Fernandinho and Mo Salah also at 50/1.