Below are the PFA Young Player Of The Year nominations and my opinions on each one. Towards the end of another highly competitive season in the Premier League, it is great to see that all but one of the young player nominations are British, showing promising signs for the future of our national squads. One thing that is very evident is the benefit that loan spells have had on these young players, giving them invaluable experience and a platform to take their talent to the next level.
Sergio Aguero – Seems wrong to refer to Aguero as a ‘young’ player giving what he has
already achieved in the game, but the 23 year old is within the age boundary and therefore it is no surprise to see him amongst the nominees. Since his £38m move from Athletico Madrid in the summer he has adapted extremely quickly to English football, The Argentinean has also been nominated for the main award, but if results go as expected and Robin Van Persie wins the main award – subsequently I believe Aguero will win the young player of the year.
Gareth Bale – Despite being only 22, Bale is the current holder of the main PFA player of the year award after his exceptional form last season. This season he has already increased his goal contribution and has played a pivotal role in a Tottenham side that for a short while threatened to challenge for the title. His and his clubs dip in form towards the end of this season makes him unlikely to win the young players award this season.
Kyle Walker – This season has been very much a break-through one for the young English right back. Not only did he establish himself in Tottenham’s team but he also received a call up to the national squad with many people believing he should play a part in the European Championship’s this summer. For me he has not done enough to win the award this season, giving the tough competition, but the forward thinking back looks set to be a future star for both club and country.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Possibly the most surprising nomination for this season’s award. There is no doubt Chamberlain is hugely talented and will become a top player for Arsenal but after only 13 appearances in the league, over half of them coming on as a substitute, many would feel he has not done enough to merit a nomination this season. Expect big things from him next campaign and I hope a place in England’s squad for this summer.
Daniel Sturridge – Firstly, hats off to Daniel Sturridge – not many young English players in recent years have established themselves in Chelsea’s side but the young forward has done just that. Although he will say he has been playing out of position this season, his goal contribution has been higher than any other forward at the club. A worthy nominee and an exciting prospect for England.
Danny Welbeck – In my opinion the outstanding find of this season and once again Ferguson looks to have nurtured a top class player. His ability to finish clinically has come into question at times but his overall play and the relationship he has built with Wayne Rooney has been consistently excellent.England may have finally found the player to solve their out and out right forward problem. Has he done enough to win this season’s award? Unfortunately probably not with Aguero also up for nomination but for me a very worthy runner-up.
Follow @pitchsidetalk – Comments/Feedback Welcome!