It’s coming round to that time of the year when the personal accolades are handed out to the best players of the season, but who will end up the prize guy in the Premier League?
It’s awards season soon with players up and down the country casting their vote for who should be in the team of the season and it always causes great debate among football fans of all clubs.
Chelsea look set to dominate the awards just like they have dominated the Premier League this season and they have at least four players in contention for the top prize of player of the season.
Summer signing N’Golo Kante is a deserved favourite to scoop the prize following the impact he has made at Chelsea since his arrival from Leicester City. The Frenchman was in contention for the award last season as he played an instrumental role in Leicester’s surprise title success and he could and should go one better this term.
Kante may not be the most eye-catching players in contention for the award, but he is arguably the most effective and there has been a growing clamour for the tireless midfielder to be recognised by his peers.
The problem for Kante and the other Chelsea stars is that because of their success it could split the voting with people unsure who to vote for in the Chelsea team.
Eden Hazard is back to the form which saw him named double player of the year in the 2014/15 season as he inspired Chelsea to their last Premier League title success and he will have his supporters again for the top prize this year.
Like Hazard, Diego Costa has recaptured the form which made him such a standout performer in 2014/15 and his goals have been vital for Chelsea’s quest to regain the title.
The final Chelsea player who should be in the running is David Luiz as the defender has silenced his critics since his return to the club last summer. The Brazilian defender was often ridiculed during his first spell at Chelsea, but he has come back from Paris Saint Germain more mature and Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 system has brought the best out of him meaning Chelsea have not even missed captain John Terry this season.
Outside of the Chelsea quartet it is hard to look beyond Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has been a revelation during his debut season for Manchester United.
Pundits doubted the Swede could cope with the demands of the Premier League, but Ibrahimovic has proved to be United’s talisman this season.
Ibrahimovic at the age of 35 has scored 15 Premier League goals and 26 goals in all competitions, including two in the Capital One Cup win over Southampton to make him an instant hero with the United fans.
Tottenham are Chelsea’s closest challengers in the title race and Dele Ali has shown that he has suffered no second season syndrome with another outstanding campaign.
Alli claimed the Premier League Young Player of the Year crown last season as well as being in the team of the season and he is well placed to at least repeat that if the top prize evades him.
The England international has scored 14 Premier League goals and 18 in all competitions and he seems like he will be a regular when it comes to the awards being handed out at the end of the season.
Another young player deserving of recognition is Everton’s Romelu Lukaku who has enjoyed his best season to date in front of goal. The big Belgian is currently the Premier League’s top scorer and he is the first Everton player to hit 20 goals in a Premier League season. Lukaku is only the fourth player to rack up 80 Premier League goals before turning 24 and still only 23 he qualifies for the Young Player of the Year award.
Whoever scoops the top awards when the prizes are handed out there will be no better feeling for the winner than being recognised by the peers.