Who are the favourites to become the Premier League Player of the Year?
Which of our top six do you think is the Premier League’s best?
We’re half-way through the 2020/21 Premier League season, and things haven’t gone the way many would have expected so far this campaign.
After Liverpool romped home to their first Premier League title in 30 years last season, things are much more unpredictable this year, with those at the bottom beating teams at the top as the name at the top of the table seems to change almost every week lately.
But still in the midst of one of the most unpredictable seasons ever, there are star names that are leading their side’s challenges almost single-handedly, showing their star quality and talent consistently.
As we focus on the second half of the season, we’re looking at the top six contenders at the mid-way point for this season’s Premier League Player of the Year award.
After the Portuguese midfielder’s arrival in January 2020, we saw an immediate upturn in the form of Manchester United, with his eight goals and seven assists in 14 appearances leading the Red Devils to a third-place finish.
Bruno Fernandes has picked up where he left off last season, becoming the one of the most influential players in the division.
In the Red Devils’ first 19 games of the season, Fernandes has found the back of the net 11 times, almost a third of the Manchester club’s goals, with a further seven assists, meaning he’s contributed to 50% of their league goals so far this campaign.
The Portuguese maestro has also managed to pick up four Player of the Month awards in his first 12 months in the Premier League, including back-to-back awards in November and December.
The Tottenham striker has flourished under Jose Mourinho so far this season, with the England captain adding a different dimension to his game.
Not only has Kane formed formidable understanding with strike partner Son Heung-min, his hold-up play has improved drastically, which is reflected in this season’s stats.
Kane has added 12 goals to his tally this season, now sitting on 155 Premier League goals in 228 appearances, the ninth-highest scorer in Premier League history.
But not only that, he’s racked up a staggering 11 assists already and remains well on course to challenge the Premier League record of 20 assists in a single season, set by Thierry Henry in 2002/03 and matched by Kevin De Bruyne just last season.
The prolific striker has been involved in 23 of Tottenham’s 33 league goals so far, which equates to just under 70%. It’s fair to say the Englishman is a crucial part of Mourinho’s puzzle.
Since losing 2-0 to Tottenham in November, Manchester City have gone 17 games unbeaten in all competitions, with Kevin De Bruyne one of many reasons for their improvement.
After the loss of Vincent Kompany a few season’s ago, the Cityzens have needed a focal point, a central figure to step up into the leadership role left void by his departure.
And it’s been Kompany’s Belgian compatriot that has stepped up, leading by example and driving Manchester City forward from the heart of midfield, while also helping those around him to improve.
While he may only have three goals and five assists to his name so far this season, that’s not from a lack of trying. De Bruyne has created 14 big chances so far, winning 82 duels and making 77 recoveries in defence.
Without the focal point of Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero in front of him for much of the season so far, with City only sixth in goals scored, a stat they’re typically in the top two for every season, De Bruyne still manages to make things happen.
After helping secure Aston Villa’s status in the top flight for another season, captain Jack Grealish is pushing the Villans to new heights in the Premier League.
Irreplaceable on the left wing for Dean Smith’s side, Grealish’s influence is there for all to see, making it no surprise he’s linked with a move to top-four club’s every summer.
This season, Grealish already has six goals to his name, just two shy of the tally he managed during his 36 appearances last season, while also managing to chalk up eight assists.
His direct approach, partnered with his lightning quick feet and vision, opens up opportunities to teammates that just don’t exist when he’s not in the side.
Though only officially recognised for being involved in 13 of Villa’s 31 goals this season, his influence off the ball opens up as many opportunities for teammates as he manages to with the ball at his feet.
The South Korean attacker has proven his importance in Jose Mourinho’s side this season as much as Harry Kane has, if not more.
What Kane lacks in pace, Son manages to make up for. And what Son lacks in hold-up play, he makes up for in clever runs between the lines.
He’s managed 12 goals in 18 games already this season, just two shy of his season-high tally he set back in the 2016/17 campaign.
Not only that, but the understanding he’s managed to build with Kane up front has allowed him to continue assisting the team too, with a further six to his name so far this season.
His shooting accuracy has improved drastically too, finding the target 19 times from 34 shots so far, whilst hitting the woodwork a further four times. That gives him a shooting accuracy of 56% so far, 9% better than his previous high of 47% from last season.
While we may not have seen the Egyptian hit the form and the heights so far that we’ve come to expect from him over the last few years, he’s still managed to be Liverpool’s most influential star on the pitch.
Leading the race for his third Golden Boot in four seasons, Mohamed Salah has 13 goals so far this campaign from just 27 shots on target.
He’s deadly from the spot too, stepping up to take five penalties in the Premier League this term, all of which he’s converted. In fact, he’s not missed a penalty in the Premier League since October 2017.
His electrifying pace still unnerves the best defences in the league, and his somewhat unorthodox dribbling style is as hard to stop now as it was when he first thrust his talents into the league in a Liverpool shirt.
At 28-years-old, he’s just coming into his peak, and with the players he’s got around him, there’s every chance we could see his influence grow even stronger as the season goes on.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.