Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk could become the first Premier League player since Cristiano Ronaldo to retain the PFA Player of the Year award. The winner is chosen by a vote amongst members of the players’ trade union, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), and is one of the most prestigious individual awards a Premier League player can win. So who are the favorites to win the 2020 PFA Player of the Year award?
Six candidates to win the 2020 PFA Player of the Year award
Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool
As mentioned above, if the Dutch international wins the 2020 PFA Player of the Year award, he would be the first footballer since Cristiano Ronaldo to win it back-to-back.
Van Dijk probably won’t win it again though, as he faces far stiffer competition than last year. Winning the Premier League title with Liverpool will certainly score him some extra points but the same can be said of several of his teammates, such as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson.
The Dutchman is widely recognised as the best defender in the world at the moment but he is expected to win the award again this year.
Mohamed Salah – Liverpool
Mo Salah is another outsider to win PFA Player of the Year award. It would be the second time in three years for the Egyptian who claimed the award two years ago after his record-breaking 32 Premier League goals in a single season.
The Egypt international has been one of the best players for Jurgen Klopp since moving to Liverpool from AS Roma for £37m in 2017. Previously, the right-winger failed to impress during his time at Chelsea before moving to the Italian peninsula.
However, Salah has been way more important for Liverpool than he ever was at Chelsea and has scored a substantial amount of match winners for his team since arriving in Liverpool in 2017.
Sadio Mane – Liverpool
The Liverpool forward has scored 15 goals in 29 appearances to date this season and has played a huge role in Liverpool winning the Premier League title.
Mane has already won the African Footballer of the Year award after a phenomenally good season and his incredible speed plays a pivotal role in Jurgen Klopp’s attacking approach.
The Senegal star has abundant talent and seems to get better every season. Mane is the embodiment of the Jurgen Klopp side in that he is rarely selfish and extremely hard-working. The 28-year-old is rumoured to be leaving the Premier League this summer which could make the 2020 PFA Player of the Year award his last opportunity to win.
Jamie Vardy – Leicester City
Jamie Vardy is an underdog to win the 2020 PFA Player of the Year award but he, more than any other player, has thrived in the role of underdog.
Although the Premier League has an abundance of world-class strikers such as Sergio Agüero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Harry Kane, it is the former-England striker who is currently the in pole position in the Premier League top scorer charts with 22, two ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
With Leicester’s form nose-diving at the end of the season, Vardy would be a surprise winner even if he does win the Golden Boot. Underrated throughout his career, is it time to give credit where it is due and present Vardy with the Player of the Year award?
Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City
Man City star Kevin De Bruyne has registered an incredible 18 assists so far in the league this season, contributing a further 11 goals. If he manages to break Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a season in the remaining four games, there would be an extraordinarily strong case to give him the 2020 Player of the Year award.
When Manchester City won the title in 2017/18, it was Mohamed Salah who won the Player of the Year award despite Liverpool failing to win the title. Perhaps two years later the Belgium international can do the same thing after a wonderful individual season.
Having produced 63 assists in his first 150 appearances for Manchester City, he is undoubtedly the most creative player in the league at the moment and probably the world. If the 29-year-old wins the award, he would be the second Belgian to do so after Eden Hazard picked won in 2015.
Jordan Henderson – Liverpool
Although De Bruyne will receive many votes, it is Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson who is the favorite to be crowned Player of the Year for his outstanding season and winning the title with The Reds for the first time since 1990.
Henderson is an authentic leader on and off the pitch and you Liverpool aren’t the same side without him in the team. The former Sunderland man may not be the best most talented player in the Premier League but he could be considered the most influential and that is why the 55-capped England international would be a deserved winner.
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