LONDON, England ● Leicester City trio Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez, Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane and West Ham United’s Dimitri Payet are the nominees for the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Players’ player of the year.
Leicester’s unexpected Premier League title charge this season has been led by 21-goal striker Vardy, while Mahrez has chipped in with 16 goals and 11 assists and Kante has gained plaudits for his defensive midfield role.
Despite Arsenal looking unlikely to end their 12-year wait for the title, Ozil has almost single-handedly kept alive their faint hopes by scoring six goals and leading the assists chart with 18, two behind the all-time Premier League record.
Kane leads the race for the golden boot with 22 goals and has inspired Spurs’ surprising bid for their first title since 1961, while Payet, with nine goals and nine assists, has been pivotal to the Hammers’ Champions League dreams.
Kane is in contention to retain his Young Player of the Year award and he is joined by team mate Dele Alli, Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, Stoke City’s Jack Butland and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho.
Alli, 20, joined from second-tier side Milton Keynes Dons in 2015 and his eight goals and 12 assists have been instrumental to Spurs’ title hopes, while goalkeeper Butland made 102 saves, the second most, before injury ruled him out of the season.
Despite Everton’s lacklustre campaign, Lukaku is in contention for the golden boot, having notched up 18 goals, and Barkley has shrugged off injury concerns to put in dominating displays.
Coutinho has shone under manager Juergen Klopp’s stewardship, netting seven goals and claiming six assists, while playing a key role in Liverpool’s League Cup run.
The winners of the awards will be announced on April 24.