Top 5 contenders for the PFA Player of the Year award | Premier League 2019-20
The 2019-20 edition of the Premier League is well underway and at the halfway mark, Liverpool have left the chasing pack well and truly behind as they seem to registered a virtually unassailable league in the summit. Jurgen Klopp's side lead second-placed Leicester City by a staggering 13 points with a game in hand and are unbeaten after 20 matchdays, with their 30 year wait for a Premier League title seemingly coming to an end.
Whilst the Reds have raced off the blocks and dominated proceedings right from the get-go, Brendan Rodgers' side have exceeded expectations and find themselves in second place, ahead of reigning Premier League champions Manchester City. Pep Guardiola and co have faced a handful of damaging defeats this season and look resigned to losing their domestic crown, after a series of injuries and inconsistencies have derailed their season.
The 28th edition of the Premier League has seen it's fair share of drama and controversy, with the implementation of the VAR adding to the drama this season. The English top-flight boasts some of the most gifted footballers in world football and handful of them have dazzled consistently this season, as they look to snap up the prized PFA Player of the Year award.
The prestigious accolade is handed to the standout player of the season and is adjudged by a vote amongst the members of the players' trade union and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA). Liverpool played have scalped the award in the last two editions, as Mohamed Salah was rewarded for his record-breaking exploits in front of goal in the 2017-18 season and Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk being recognized for his exemplary showing in the heart of the Liverpool defence last season.
After a gruelling festive period, teams have the small matter of the January transfer window to cater to in the coming weeks and they look to shore up their squads for the business end of the season. On that note, let's look at 5 players who are in contention to be crowned PFA Player of the Year in 2020.
5. Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool
Virgil van Dijk is the current holder of the PFA Player of the Year award and the Dutchman has carried on from where he left off last season with a series of impressive performances at the back for the Reds. The former Southampton man has revolutionized the Liverpool rearguard since joining the club just over two years ago and has picked up multiple personal accolades on his way to establishing himself as one of the biggest matchwinners in world football.
The Netherlands captain has been at his brilliant best at the back this season and has continued to impress regardless of who has partnered him in the centre of the park, the most startling example yet of the quality he possesses. van Dijk has been an ever-present for Liverpool in the Premier League this season and has also chipped in with 3 goals, with a match-winning brace against Brighton & Hove Albion last month in a 2-0 victory.
Liverpool have the best defensive record in the Premier League this season and have registered 4 shutouts domestically on the bounce for the first time since the days of Rafa Benitez in 2007, with the 28-year-old playing a pivotal role in their recent renaissance at the back.
With 3 goals, 7 clean sheets, 1 last man tackle, 22 interceptions, 101 recoveries and 129 duals won, van Dijk could well become the first player after Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the PFA POTY award in successive seasons.