The PFA Players’ Player of the Year award is an award given annually to the football player who is adjudged as the best in English football during a particular term. The award is voted upon by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and the members of the player’s trade union.
The award has been handed out since the 1973-74 season and the first recipient of the award was Leeds United defender Norman Hunter. In 46 editions, a total of 41 different names have been declared as winners. So far, only Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Gareth Bale have won the award twice. Ronaldo and Henry are the only players to win in consecutive seasons. On the other hand, only Shearer has won the award while playing for two different teams. Only Andy Gray, Ronaldo, and Bale won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award while the PFA Young Player of the Year award in the same season.
When it comes to team affiliation, Manchester United has produced 11 winners while Liverpool has 8 PFA Player of the Year awardees. A total of 18 players from England have won the award while Wales has produced six winners. However, the last time a player from England won the award was Wayne Rooney in 2010 and the last time someone from Wales has won was in 2013 with Gareth Bale.
2018-19 Players’ Player of the Year Winner
Last year, Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk won the award, topping a short-listed group that included Raheem Sterling, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva. In the end, the award was narrowed down to Va Dijk and Sterling. Sterling was named as PFA Young Player of the Year in 2019-19.
The 6-4 center-half from the Netherlands is the first defender to win the award since former Chelsea captain John Terry won in 2004-05. Van Dijk was recognized for his standout season which helped Liverpool win the Champions League final in his first season at Anfield. It can be recalled than the Dutchman signed with Liverpool midway last term for £75m, a record fee paid for a defender.
The Dutch International was the key component in a defense that amassed a total of 20 clean slates and allowed a Premier League-best 20 goals during the last term. Likewise, Van Dijk also contributed three goals on the other end of the field.
For the upcoming term, Van Dijk is just 7th in the current odds board for the 2019-20 PFA Player of the Year winner. Four players from current Premier League champions Manchester City are in the Top 7, including Kevin de Bruyne who is the current soccer betting favorite.
Here are the odds to win the 2019-20 PFA Player of the Year award. These odds were taken from Bet365 as of 7/30/19:
|Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)||+600|
|Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)||+700|
|Mota Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)||+1000|
|Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)||+1000|
|Harry Kane (Tottenham)||+1200|
|David Silva (Manchester City)||+1200|
|Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)||+1400|
|Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)||+1400|
|Sadio Mane (Liverpool)||+2000|
|Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)||+3300|
|Paul Pogba (Manchester United)||+3300|
|Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (Arsenal)||+3300|
|Heung-Min Son (Tottenham)||+3300|
|Luis Fernandinho (Manchester City)||+3300|
|Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)||+3300|
|Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham)||+3300|
|Harry Maguire (Leicester)||+3300|
|Leroy Sane (Manchester City)||+4000|
|Anthony Martial (Manchester United)||+5000|
|Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)||+5000|
Kevin de Bruyne is the current favorite to win the 2019-20 PFA Player of the Year award but he is coming off a disappointing season where he was hampered with injuries. No question that when he is healthy, the Belgian star is one of the Top 5 best players in football. But de Brunye will face competition in the Manchester City midfield with the likes of Bernardo Silva and David Silva coming off great seasons as well. The addition of Rodri from Real Madrid and the development of Phil Foden could all put plenty of pressure on Kevin de Brunye
I like the value of Virgil Van Dijk who at +1400 took home the 2019 PFA Player of the Year award. The 6-4 Dutchman is one of soccer’s true superstars. Many were skeptical about the 75 million pounds that Liverpool paid for to get him but those doubts are now gone and his transfer fee feels like a bargain. Van Dijk plays a huge role in the heart of Liverpool’s defense. His presence and leadership were a key factor in their Champions League success, As his career progresses, he will be given more responsibility to do things better. That should be the case again during the next term. However, because Liverpool has not shored up its midfield with another center-half to complement Va Dijk, the Dutchman may encounter some problems doing it all over again. Still, given how he played last season, Van Dijk’s value cannot be underestimated.
When it comes to a winner though, I will pick Raheem Sterling of Manchester City. The 24-year old is coming off a spectacular season where he won the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2018-19 and the FWA Footballer of the Year award for 2018-19. I expect him to raise his game even further during the upcoming term and given that he is playing for the best manager in the world in Pep Guardiola, I think Sterling is going to shine next season and win the PFA Player of the Year award in 2019-20. Guardiola has spoken about his fondness for Sterling and because of that, Sterling should be on top of his mind when he makes his plays. There were some who felt Sterling should have won this award last year. But this time around, I would be disappointed if he wouldn’t. This kid is on the rise. Prediction: Raheem Sterling