Premier League Player Of The Year

Who Should Win The Player Of The Year Awards? Here’s What The Stats Say

I’m sure when professional footballers are casting their votes for the end of season player of the year awards, they consult our analytics site to see who has performed best in 2018/19. But just in case they don’t for some reason, I thought I’d take a look myself.

We’ll start with the PFA’s young player of the year award. As Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling have been nominated for both this and the main award, we’ll ignore them here. And as they both have well over 200 appearances in top level football already, it seems odd that they’re included in the young player award at all. But then we don’t make the rules. Yet.

(In cheesy awards show voice) Here are the six nominees, and some examples of their best work:

It’s an interesting collection of players, as they have differing skills. Marcus Rashford leads the way on shots and goals, Trent Alexander-Arnold offers the most in attack, while David Brooks is something of a jack of all trades.

But the volume of defensive work put in by Ireland’s England’s Declan Rice sees him top our leader board of the four young players not included in the main award. He has only appeared in our team of the week once (in week 22), when he scored the winner against Arsenal. Rice’s consistency of performance means he’s a worthy winner though.

PFA Young Player Of The Year Stats

You can see how all six young player nominees compare here, if you want to see how the Manchester City duo fare against their less heralded bretheren. On to the main award; here are the nominees:

There’s a case to be made that Sadio Mané should get the award simply for not lowering himself to bother with Twitter. But we’d better take a proper look at the numbers.

Sadly for Sadio, they’re not on his side. He does take the bronze medal though. As with the young player award, our algorithm has highlighted the contribution of certain nominees in different areas; Sergio surged ahead in shots, while Hazard has the lead in attack.

The bookmakers’ favourite for the award is Virgil van Dijk. They must appreciate defending and off ball work as much as we do, as the Liverpool centre-back is top of our chart too.

PFA Premier League Player Of The Year Stats

Congratulations, Virgil. Rumour has it you’ll be announced as the winner later today too. At the time of writing, only five players can top his haul of seven team of the week caps, but we’ll talk about that more when we select our team of the season in due course.

The Reds’ centre-back also tops the leader board of all players for the season, and (ahead of the semi-finals) is #7 in our Champions League rankings. Big Virgil is a more than worthy winner as far as we’re concerned. But who would you choose?

Download our free app on Android or iOS. Disagree with who our algorithm has selected to be the player of the year? Let us know in the comments below who you think should win the award.

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