Young Player of the Year
— PFA (@PFA) April 14, 2018
Mark Brus – Leroy Sane
It’s hard to look past Leroy Sane, who has been an absolute joy to watch for City this season and shown glimpses of what looks a very bright future at the top level of the game. Not many 22-year-olds make themselves one of the main driving forces behind a team’s emphatic title charge, but in a squad of players signed mainly as established superstars, Sane is a reminder that City are also committed to expert scouting and building a team for the future.
Robert Summerscales – Raheem Sterling
Kevin de Bruyne voted for Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez, but I’d like to give my endorsement to one of his Spurs team-mates who has come in for a ridiculous amount of unfair criticism this season and bizarrely failed to even make the final six nominees.
Brilliant shift by Dele Alli, who – despite what people who don’t watch Spurs every week keep telling you – has been FAR from awful lately.
Sadly, it becomes trendy (lazy) for journos to dig out certain players & Dele-bashing is in vogue right now. He’s rising above it superbly.
— Robert Summerscales (@robsummerscales) April 1, 2018
Dele Alli, who just turned 22 earlier this month, has picked up the Young Player of the Year prize in each of the past two seasons and, despite what you are often told, is continuing to improve. He may be unlikely to hit 18 Premier League goals like last term, but his assist stats are higher than ever and his temperament has improved tenfold.
But hold on… Raheem Sterling is only 23, is he? In that case give it to him! Twenty goals and nine assists in 36 PL and Champions League games for another apparent bad boy who is answering his many foolish critics on the pitch. Sterling has been transformed under Pep Guardiola. If he sharpens up his shooting he could go close to posting Salah-sized stats next season.
Ron Carne – Harry Kane
It’s ridiculous that a 24-year-old Harry Kane is up there for YPOTY as well as POTY, but rules are rules and he therefore wipes the floor with his opponents here.
The England international has taken his game up another level this season (even scoring goals without touching the ball!), hitting 25 in just 31 appearances in the Premier League, a tally you’d think would be considerably higher if not for his injury problems. The Golden Boot is still in sight and his remarkable consistency deserves some kind of recognition, with the senior players’ prize perhaps out of sight.
Sam Wilkins – Leroy Sane
Billy Hodder – Ryan Sessegnon
Technically, Harry Kane deserves it. But I refuse to give the young player of the year award to an individual who looks closer to 44 than to 24. For me, the young player of the year award is about an individual who has had a breakthrough season rather than a standout season. Therefore, record-breaker Ryan Sessegnon gets my pick. Sessegnon is the first player outside of the Premier League to have been nominated for the award and the Fulham winger has registered an outstanding 14 goals in the Championship this season. What were you doing at 17-years-old? Certainly not registering regular goals in the Championship before you’re even legally allowed to drink alcohol. Get him on the plane, Gareth!