With the Premier League now approaching its end, many turn their attention and focus to the most prestigious award of the season: the PFA Player of the Year award. The award has been presented since the 1973–74 season and the winner is chosen by a vote amongst the members of the players’ trade union, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).
The current holder is Virgil van Dijk, who won the award on 28 April 2019. In the current 2019/20 season, the list doesn’t seem to be much different than last season. We can see many familiar names such as Raheem Sterling, who was the runner-up for last year’s award, Sadio Mane, Bernardo Silva, and Sergio Aguero. Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne were initially the frontrunners after blistering starts to the campaign. Let’s look at the top ten players for this season and get an insight into who could potentially win the PFA Player of the Year award 2023!
1. Kevin De Bruyne – 7.90 (Manchester City)
De Bruyne is at the top of the list, so far, in this season and his numbers are just silly. With 15 assists, he’s on course to shatter the record for the most assists in a Premier League campaign. He’s also scored seven goals. It might not be long before Liverpool are crowned Premier League champions, but it is De Bruyne who deserves the PFA award this season. His numbers are staggering and are concrete proof of his brilliance. De Bruyne is the highest-scoring midfielder in the league right now.
2. Adama Traore – 7.75 (Wolves)
Already winning the PFA Player of the month award for January, Traore could go on to winning the even more prestigious PFA Player of the Year. In a vote run by fan engagement experts, Snack Media, the Wolves man won the Premier League prize by a landslide, receiving 45 per cent of the vote with Liverpool’s number one Alisson taking second place. In 2017-18, Adama Traore completed 30 more dribbles than the entire Burnley squad. Recently, in Wolves’ defeat to Watford, Traore completed 16 whopping dribbles. Traore has added end product to his game this season. He’s one of the most dangerous wingers in the world at the moment.
3. Riyad Mahrez – 7.59 (Manchester City)
Mahrez already won the honorable award back in 2016, however, now Mahrez isn’t even a guaranteed starter at Manchester City. This season he has already clocked up 17 starts and six sub appearances – and has eight goals and 11 assists. With a goal or assist every 90 minutes this season, Pep Guardiola might be convinced to give him even more game time.
4. Ricardo Pereira – 7.54 (Leicester City)
The most well-rounded full-back in the league. The 26-year-old has an inexhaustible engine and stretches opposition with his relentless shuttles up and down the right flank. Anybody who has taken even a vague interest in Leicester’s campaign can’t have failed to note Pereira’s unerringly willingness to get forward. The Portuguese full-back has excelled both in defense and attack and has achieved a better rating than the infamous Trent Alexander-Arnold – which is saying a lot.
5. Sadio Mane – 7.51 (Liverpool)
The African Footballer of the Year, Sadio Mane has enjoyed a phenomenal couple of years at Anfield, lifting the Champions League last summer and scoring 15 goals so far this season for Liverpool, including two in the European Super Cup against Chelsea. With 11 goals and six assists and one of the winners of the Golden Boot last season, Mane is a real contender for the PFA Player of the Year award.
6. Mohamed Salah – 7.50 (Liverpool)
Although Salah has had a tough start to the season, he has still managed 14 goals and six assists in 22 Premier League games – nothing compared to previous standards but still impressive stats. According to Sportingbet.com, Salah was also represented in the list of Top 10 goalscoring rates of players with at least 50 Premier League goals with 0.73 goals per minute. Also winning the Golden Boot consecutively for the past two years, he may as well be in the running to win it for the third time. It is a compliment to suggest that Salah is perceived to be off form yet is still in consideration for the PFA Player of the Year award.
7. Virgil van Dijk – 7.42 (Liverpool)
Winner of last season’s PFA Player of the Year award, van Dijk has been a rock at the back again this season. He’s helped Liverpool to 11 clean sheets and the best defensive record in the Premier League. Only five footballers have ever won two PFA Players’ Player of the Year trophies, with only Henry and Ronaldo retaining the award in consecutive season. Virgil van Dijk could join them this season.
8. James Maddison – 7.41 (Leceister City)
Leicester City has formed the story of the season so far by rising to third place in the table, leaving their players with plenty of praise. And James Maddison has been at the heart of a Leicester side looking to make a return to the Champions League. He has impressed the most in the Leicester midfield this season, scoring 9 goals and assisting a further 3 for the Foxes so far. And, it’s been in the important games where Maddison has made the biggest impact with goals against Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal and an assist against Chelsea highlighting the fact that the Leicester man is a big game player.
9. Roberto Firmino – 7.37 (Liverpool)
Firmino is having another steady season, having directly contributed to 15 Premier League goals. Although he hasn’t exactly lit the EPL up this year, he is clearly seen as one of the top ten players that could go on to win the award.
10. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.37 (Liverpool)
The Liverpool right-back has been the ideal modern-day fullback this season with a mixture of defensive awareness and attacking initiative – both key attributes to an unstoppable Liverpool side so far this season. Alexander-Arnold has 10 assists in England’s top tier this season, the second-most of anyone in the league.