The PFA Player of the Year is the most prestigious individual award handed out in the Premier League at the end of the campaign. Here is a look at who is in contention this year following the opening half of the season.
Liverpool forward Mo Salah won the PFA Player of the Year prize in his opening season for the Merseyside club in the Premier League. He could be set to join an elite group of players who have lifted the trophy more than once.
Salah led the league in goals and assists at the halfway stage of the 2021/22 campaign. He scored 16 goals through those opening 20 games, an impressive return, even by his high standards. The Egypt international also has nine assists, matched only by teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The 29-year-old will miss some football in January, and possibly February, as he will be away on international duty for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations. If he returns fit from that competition and keeps up his excellent form, a second PFA Player of the Year award looks likely.
Manchester City are now strong favorites at 1.08 in the football odds for the Premier League trophy. The pick of the players this season for the defending champions is Bernardo Silva.
The Portuguese footballer has already matched his highest goal return in the league since moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2017 from Monaco. He is proving to be a player that manager Pep Guardiola is finding hard to leave out of the team.
Silva is full of confidence this season and if he can keep up that purple patch while Salah is away on international duty, he will strengthen his case for the player of the year award.
The 27-year-old has been named Manchester City’s Player of the Season before and was included in the PFA Team of the Year following the 2018/19 campaign. If successful in this individual award, he will be only the second Manchester City player in history to do so following Kevin De Bruyne.
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the six players who has won the PFA Player of the Year honour twice. He will be hoping to land the hat-trick at the end of the season on his first campaign back to the Premier League.
At the age of 36, Ronaldo remains one of the leading players in the world. He is United’s top goalscorer this season by some distance. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been one of his club’s few bright stars in the 2021/22 campaign.
United boss Ralf Rangnick will be doing all he can to try and help the service Ronaldo receives in the second half of the season. If the German is able to do that, the number nine could easily up his goal return very quickly.
De Bruyne and Phil Foden are other players who deserve a mention and are very capable of upping their form in the second half of the season. At this stage it looks like it is Salah who leads the race for the award.