The FWA Footballer of the Year is just around the corner, where the Football Writers’ Association vote for the best Premier League star this season.
This is an award unlike most others. While the PFA awards are voted by fellow professionals, this is determined by the journalists and writers who have followed these players across the country all season long: there might be an unsung hero or a particularly encapturing story that swings the gong one way or another.
While there are no odds for this award at current, here’s who you can expect to be among the favourites…
1. Mohamed Salah
Simply the outstanding player of the season. Mohamed Salah is top scorer in the league and not even a midseason break to take Egypt to an AFCON final could prevent that.
Salah has provided sparks of genius all season, scored wonder goals and has helped drag Liverpool into contention for the title. OK, so he’s dropped off a little lately: could that potentially count against him?
2. Bernardo Silva
In Bernardo Silva’s outstanding campaign in a Manchester City shirt, his teammate, Raheem Sterling, picked up the FWA award. That was 2018/19, when the Portuguese stepped in for Kevin De Bruyne and helped City retain the title.
This season he’s been just as good, if not better, while KDB has had a season littered with slight injury niggles. Can Bernardo really be overlooked again? Or will the FWA recognise the impact this unsung hero has had in a midfield that has led the table all season?
3. Kevin De Bruyne
The aforementioned De Bruyne has only really found his rhythm since Christmas – but with goals against Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool at the Etihad, that’s some rhythm to find.
De Bruyne has added more strikes to his absurd assist rates to become the most complete midfielder in the league (if he wasn’t already). He’s the man for the big occasion and bizarrely has never won this award. Surely that has to change…
4. Joao Cancelo
Joao Cancelo is the hipster’s choice. While Trent Alexander-Arnold is reinventing the full-back, Cancelo is focusing on the inverted version and has been utterly superb all season long for Manchester City.
The Portuguese might be a long shot to get the award but the FWA prize doesn’t always go to the obvious: see Jordan Henderson’s win when Liverpool won the league. Still, Cancelo seems a bit of a leftfield choice: one for the chin scratchers.
5. Harry Kane
If Tottenham finish in the top four this season, there’s a strong argument that Harry Kane – who had a woeful start to the campaign by his standards – has had more of an impact than any other player in the league.
The soon-to-be record England scorer has been utterly magnificent since the turn of the year, contributing goals and assists to get Tottenham into contention for Champions League football. He’s a player on the very top of his game right now.
This season has been the best that Rodri has performed in a Manchester City shirt. The controller at the base of the midfield has been in fantastic form and Pep Guardiola owes much of his team’s success to the midfielder.
While Rodri isn’t exactly the first player you’d associate this season’s dominance with, he’s been one of the first names on the team sheet and ultra reliable. He’d be a worthy recipient of this award, however unlikely it may feel.
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