N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard’s efforts in Chelsea’s Premier League title tilt have been recognised with nominations for the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award.
Kante, who was shortlisted last year for his part in Leicester’s remarkable season but did not make the top three, is the bookmakers’ favourite for the 2016-17 accolade, with Alexis Sanchez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane also on the six-man shortlist.
While Tottenham’s Kane does feature, there is no place on the shortlist for team-mate Dele Alli, despite the young England international’s stunning season, although he does lead the nominations for the Young Player of the Year prize.
Another player who may feel unfortunate to miss out is Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe who, despite now being 34, has struck 14 times for a Black Cats side who would be completely dead and buried were it not for his goals. He has scored nearly 60 per cent of their goals this season.
Hazard picked up this award two years ago, when the Blues won the league at a canter under Jose Mourinho and could be in line for his second gong when the winners are announced at Grosvenor House in London on Sunday, April 23.
Everton forward Lukaku, the top flight’s leading scorer this term with 23 goals, is battling it out with a number of his fellow nominees for the Golden Boot.
Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic has scored 17 goals in his first season in English football, while Sanchez has notched 18 times to brighten up what has been a disappointing campaign for Arsenal.
Kane – the only English nominee in this category – has netted 19 goals despite two spells out with ankle problems. He was third in the voting last year and has also been shortlisted for the Young Player of the Year gong alongside Spurs team-mate Alli.
Alli, who turned 21 on Tuesday, won this award last year and has enjoyed another brilliant season, scoring 16 goals to help Mauricio Pochettino’s side emerge as Chelsea’s nearest challengers.
The Tottenham duo are joined by Lukaku, Burnley defender Michael Keane, Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.
This post has already been read 528 times!