Premier League 2019-20: 5 early contenders for the PFA Player of the Year award
The battle for Premier League supremacy is well underway and it's already turning out to be a fascinating season. Liverpool and Manchester City were widely regarded as the pre-tournament favourites and the two sides have begun the season in scintillating fashion, as the title race looks set to go down to the wire once again.
Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City and Frank Lampard's young guns at Chelsea have taken the league by storm and have managed to capitalize on the shortcomings of the other big sides. Aside from the title race, there will also be a battle for the most prestigious personal accolade in the country. The PFA Player of the Year award is awarded in April to the most consistent individual performer of the season and the decorated award has been snapped up by Liverpool players in each of the last two Premier League seasons.
Virgil Van Dijk was crowned the PFA player of the year last season following his brilliant showings in the heart of the Liverpool defence, as they amassed a record-breaking haul of 97 points in the league. Before a hamstring injury derailed his season, it could be argued that Joel Matip was the unsung hero of the Liverpool side this season and the Cameroonian was just as influential as van Dijk, if not more.
Manchester City haven't hit top gear due to their long list of injuries but have still managed to amass 34 goals in the league and are spearheaded by their evergreen goal-scoring machine, Sergio Aguero who has racked up 9 goals already.
It's been a mixed season for the big London clubs so far. Tottenham Hotspur were expected to mount a title challenge but the Liliwhites are languishing in the bottom half of the table. Chelsea, on the other hand, looked doomed for failure after being slapped with a transfer ban but the Blues have exceeded expectations so far this season. Arsenal were piped to kick on under Unai Emery this season after an eventful transfer window, but the Gunners have been underwhelming, to say the least.
Aside from these aforementioned honourable mentions, we've shortlisted five players who are early contenders for the PFA Player of the Year award.
#5 Trent Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool
If last season was the breakout season for the 21-year-old from the Liverpool academy, this season he is starting to show signs as to why he is one of the best young players in the world. Named in the PFA Team of the Year and the PFA Young Player of the Year awards last season due to impressive showing in the league where he broke the PL assists record, he is well and truly on course to fare even better this time around.
His pinpoint crosses and defence-splitting passes set him apart from the rest and his set-piece technique coupled with his ability to either foot is astonishing. Liverpool are at their best when Alexander-Arnold is on song cause it can be argued he is their most creative player.
Aside from his attacking prowess, what has surprised everyone this season is his is major improvement defensively. His recoveries, clearances and interceptions are significantly better than last season and at the moment, he is one of the best players on and off the ball.