The shortlists for the PFA Premier League Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year have been revealed.
The Player of the Year shortlist is headed by three Leicester players, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez named after their goals have inspired the Foxes to the top of the table.
Vardy has scored 21 goals this season, and broke the record for goalscoring in consecutive games earlier this season. No player has more combined goals and assists than Mahrez’s 27.
N’Golo Kante is the third player from the Foxes to be named, the midfielder having helped the club open up a seven-point gap at the summit.
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The other three players represent three different clubs, with top scorer Harry Kane of Tottenham among them.
Dimitri Payet of West Ham and Arsenal’s assist-making Mesut Ozil complete the shortlist. Mahrez leads the current betting to win the award, which is currently held by Eden Hazard.
Tottenham are more prominent on the shortlist for the Young Player award, with Kane and Dele Alli named.
Everton also have two representatives, with 18-goal Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley shortlisted.
Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland and Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool round off the shortlist for Young Player of the Year.
Spurs forward Kane is in contention to retain the Young Player of the Year gong he won 12 months ago, and is the only player named on both shortlists.
The winners for each category will be announced on Sunday, April 24 and the strong Leicester presence on the shortlist for the men’s award is a reflection of the league leaders’ improbable season, which has already seen them secure Champions League qualification and could yet culminate in a championship title.
Eight times in the previous 11 seasons the Players’ Player of the Year has played for Chelsea, Manchester United or Liverpool yet, just one year from those clubs having four players on the half-a-dozen strong shortlist, there are no representatives from any of those clubs.
Reds forward Coutinho was up for the main award last year and he could yet win the Young Player of the Year award, a title which 20-year-old Alli will hope to earn just one year after he was named the Football League’s Young Player of the Year.
Last year’s Women’s Players’ Player of the Year Ji So-Yun is in the running for this year’s award along with Chelsea Ladies team-mates Hedvig Lindahl and Gemma Davison, Manchester City Women’s Izzy Christiansen and Sunderland Ladies’ Beth Mead, who is also up for the Women’s Young Player of the Year Award, for which she faces competition from City duo Nikita Parris and Keira Walsh, Chelsea’s Hannah Blundell and Arsenal Ladies’ Danielle Carter.