With Chelsea soaring above the competition at the summit of the Premier League table, it seems fair to assume that they will be able to go the distance now and claim their second title in three seasons. In doing so, it would also be a reasonable assessment to say that the PFA Player of the Year award should go to one of their supreme stars. But with so many members of the team worthy of claiming it, who should the accolade go to? Here we examine the three favourites to win the prestigious trophy at the end of the season.
Diego Costa has been having his best season in a Chelsea shirt, and his goals have been crucial to the Blues’ title challenge. Costa’s strike against West Ham to seal the win in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory at the London Stadium took his tally to 17 for the season, and just two goals behind Harry Kane in pole position. As such, the Spaniard can be backed at 4/1 with bet365 to win the Golden Boot in May. With other goal-getters such as Zlatan Ibrahimović, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and Kane also flourishing this term, Costa has a lot of competition, and if the Player of the Year award goes to a striker he may not be the standout option.
Chelsea’s summer signing is currently leading the way among all Premier League players to win the PFA award at the end of the season, and has already been named Player of the Year at the London Football Awards 2017. Antonio Conte’s early business as Blues boss looks to be the best transfer of the season, and Kante has transformed the underperforming side of the last campaign into a hardworking, relentless machine. It seems that every player at Stamford Bridge is trying to keep up with the levels of the dominant midfielder and the overall intensity is through the roof.
Kante was a crucial component of the Leicester City side that shocked the world by winning the title last season. Without him the Foxes are languishing dangerously close to the relegation spots, and it is now obvious just how much the Frenchman does for his team. Kante would become the first player in Premier League history to win back-to-back titles with different clubs, and that achievement alone may be enough to deem him worthy of the Player of the Year award.
The other main candidate is obviously Hazard. The Belgian was the standout star of Chelsea’s previous title-winning campaign and he has been equally special during this term’s rise to the top. The 26-year-old has 11 goals and 4 assists to his name after 27 games, so could easily go on to smash the 14 goals and 9 assists he claimed in the 2014-15 season when he was named Player of the Year. He has terrorised opposition defences and scored an absolute goal of the season contender (see above) against Arsenal. He could easily be deemed best of the best come the end of the campaign.
Of course, there have been some other great players this season including the likes of Dele Alli, Sadio Mane, and Kane. But the PFA award has often gone to a player in the winning team, so therefore one of these Chelsea stars looks to be the most likely recipient.