The nominees for the 2016/17 PFA Player of the Year have been announced and it's no surprise that the London clubs dominate the charts. Hazard and Kante’s significant influence in Chelsea’s title charge have made them firm favourites to claim the award. N’Golo Kante has been nominated for the second successive year in a row which justifies the impact he has had in the Premier League.
— PFA (@PFA) 13 April 2017
Tottenham are second in the Premier League table and are realistically the only club that could push Chelsea for the title. Harry Kane’s sumptuous goal-scoring form has seen the English striker nominated for the top prize as well. And needless to say, Arsenal’s carrier Alexis Sanchez also earns his place in the nominee category.
Apart from London clubs, Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United and Premier League’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku of Everton also feature on the six-man shortlist. Both strikers have provided goals in abundance for their respective clubs.
We quickly take an insight into the nominees' season so far:
Eden Hazard has been an influential figure for Chelsea’s successful title charge so far. The Belgian won the award two years ago under Jose Mourinho’s title-winning season at Stamford Bridge. And after a dreadful season last year, he is back with a bang having scored 14 goals and assisting 5 times in the 29 games played so far.
Kante pass, Hazard finish. Sheer class. And that's why #cfc will be worthy champions.
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) April 8, 2017
N’Golo Kante has been nominated for the second year in a row after a successful stint at Leicester City last year. He played a prodigious part in Leicester’s remarkable success last season but wasn’t able to make the top 3 for this award last time out. This time though, he is the favourite to claim this award considering his antics to change the dynamics for a club who were in shambles last season. He doesn’t have an attractive number of goals and assists under his belt, but his involvement on the pitch has been imperative to Chelsea’s title hunt.
Romelu Lukaku is the league’s top scorer this term with 23 goals already this season. He is also battling out for the Golden Boot with fellow nominees for this award. The Belgian forward also has 6 assists to his name and his presence has made Everton lethal in front of goal.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has yet again proven his worth on the big stage. The big Swede has racked up 17 goals in the league along with 5 assists this season and is Manchester United’s top scorer, thereby making his way into the nominee list. He is 4th in the Golden Boot standings behind fellow nominees Lukaku, Sanchez and Harry Kane.
2??8?? goals this season
2??5??0?? since turning 30
4?? on his last visit to Anderlecht
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 13, 2017
Harry Kane is the only English nominee in the list and has netted 19 goals already in the league, having played 23 games – a lot lesser than his fellow counterparts due to injury issues. He was also nominated last year and came third in the final standings. His goal-scoring tally has kept Spurs in the title race and way above the teams fighting for top four. He is also nominated for Young Player of the year award alongside his teammate Dele Alli.
Alexis Sanchez is the only positive in Arsenal’s league campaign this season. Though his side has imploded but he has kept his scoring run going and has been a dominant figure at Emirates. The Chilean has notched up 18 goals in the league and is also in contention for the Golden Boot. Sitting 3rd in the standings, the star forward also has 9 assists to his name just 2 behind the league’s top assist-maker Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The PFA awards will be held at the Grosvenor House in London on Sunday, 23rd April.