—Kane, Alli, Lukaku Up For Young Player Of The Year
Leicester City stars Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kanté have all been named on the shortlist for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.
The nominations were announced on Wednesday by the Professional Footballers Association.
The other players nominated are Tottenham’s 22-goal striker Harry Kane, the Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil and West Ham’s Dimitri Payet.
Kane is also in contention to retain the Young Player of the Year award he won 12 months ago and he features on a six-player shortlist alongside Spurs team-mate Dele Alli, the Everton pair Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, Stoke’s Jack Butland and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho.
Last year’s Women’s Players’ Player of the Year Ji So-yun is in the running for this year’s award along with Chelsea Ladies team-mates Hedvig Lindahl and Gemma Davison, Manchester City Women’s Izzy Christiansen and Sunderland Ladies’ Beth Mead, who is also up for the Women’s Young Player of the Year Award. Mead faces competition from the City duo Nikita Parris and Keira Walsh, Chelsea’s Hannah Blundell and Arsenal Ladies’ Danielle Carter.
The winners for each category will be announced on Sunday 24 April, and the strong Leicester presence on the shortlist for the men’s award is a reflection of the league leaders’ improbable season, which has already seen them secure Champions League qualification.
Vardy is one goal behind his England colleague Kane in the race for the division’s golden boot while Mahrez has chipped in with 16 goals and 11 assists. Kanté’s role in defensive midfield, meanwhile, has earned widespread praise.
Like Kanté, Payet has enjoyed a fine first campaign, while the 27-year-old German international Özil has contributed a league-leading 18 assists this season.
Eight times in the previous 11 seasons the Players’ Player of the Year has played for Chelsea, Manchester United or Liverpool yet, just one year from those clubs having four players on the six-man shortlist, there are no representatives from any of those clubs.