5 early contenders for Premier League 2019/20 Young Player of the Year
The 2019/20 Premier League season is in its second half and leaders Liverpool have shown absolutely no signs of stopping. Jurgen Klopp’s side are a massive 14 points ahead of Manchester City with a game in hand. With the Premier League title now looking like a mere formality, we have a chance to discuss about best young performers in the league.
The PFA Young Player of the Year award is given annually to a Premier League player who, at the start of the season, was aged 23 or less. The winners of this prestigious award include the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabregas, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard and most recently Raheem Sterling last season. Here, we take a look at some of the most talented young players in England’s top-flight who have taken this season by storm.
5. Dean Henderson
22-year-old goalkeeper Dean Henderson has been one of the finds of this Premier League season after his inspiring performances for Sheffield United. The Manchester United loanee is one of the key reasons Sheffield boast such an incredible defensive record, having conceded only 21 goals this season. Only Liverpool (14) have let in fewer goals than Dean Henderson and the Blades.
The Englishman won Sheffield’s Young Player of the Year and the Championship’s Golden Glove award following his breakthrough season in England’s second division last year. Many have already touted him as David de Gea’s long-term successor at Old Trafford with some United fans wanting him to fight for the number 1 spot as early as next season. The 29-year-old Spaniard has not been at his prolific best in United's goal having made many uncharacteristic errors leading to goals.
However, still revered and respected as he should be, de Gea has won four out of the last six Manchester United Player of the Year awards and it would not be easy for Henderson to outshine his credentials. However, fans are calling for a huge overhaul in the summer after what has been another underwhelming season at the red half of Manchester. And Dean Henderson would be very much in Ed Woodward’s plans for next season given his age, nationality and world-class potential.
Henderson is not only an excellent shot-stopper but has an elite mentality and attitude even at the age of 22. His recent performance against Liverpool at Anfield and in the 1-0 win against Arsenal are testaments to his ability and mindset. In an interview with MUTV, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in high praise of Henderson, who joined the Manchester United academy at the age of 14. The Norwegian manager said,
“Sheffield United and Chris Wilder have had a big impact on him. He’s learning and growing as a human being and as a player. He'll come back one day and he'll have a good career at Man United. Dean's done really well for them and Sheffield United has been really good for him.”
Henderson currently has eight clean sheets to his name in the Premier League, more than anyone else and is already a shout for the prestigious Golden Glove. Come May, he will definitely be in the reckoning for the Premier League Young Player of the Year award.