Who is Chelsea's Player of the Season?

Goal.com nominates the top three performers from a difficult and disappointing season for the Blues - have your say in the comments section below!
As Chelsea approach the climax of a season as disappointing and chaotic as this, deciding on the club’s player of the year seems a trivial and rather desperate attempt to find a positive.

Less than six months after finally winning the Champions League in miraculous circumstances in Munich, the Blues became the first ever holders to crash out at the group stage in the modern tournament format, leading to the brutal dismissal of a club legend and the imposition of one of its chief antagonists.

The Club World Cup brought only jetlag and frustration, while the Premier League trophy disappeared over the horizon in December, and hopes of a domestic cup to ease the pain were twice dashed at the semi-final stage. Now only a top four place and, perhaps, a Europa League triumph, can save what was once a promising campaign being remembered as an unmitigated disaster.

Yet, through all the setbacks, there have been joyful moments, scattered reminders in the form of individual performances that while this is a team in transition, it is also one with great potential.

David Luiz has excelled in defence and midfield, while Frank Lampard has more than justified calls for a contract extension with his trademark goalscoring exploits.

Yet when Goal.com came to decide the three brightest sparks in Chelsea’s season, neither made the grade. Let us know whether you agree or disagree with our choices in the comments below.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 30 10 12 3 0
FA Cup 6 1 5 1 0
Capital One Cup 5 2 4 0 0
Europe 11 4 6 0 0
Total 52 17 27 4 0

Perhaps the biggest injustice of all about the PFA Player of the Year nominations is that Juan Mata is not being mentioned in the same breath as favourites Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez.

Mata has been nothing short of brilliant in his second full season in England, shining consistently even as Chelsea’s hopes of significant success have withered around him.

He is the leading assister in the Premier League, having laid on 12 goals for his team-mates – no mean feat when you consider he has been providing for the hapless Fernando Torres.

The Spaniard has also scored 10 goals himself – eight of which have come away from home – and netted at crucial times against Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United.

His brilliance has conjured memories of Gianfranco Zola at Stamford Bridge and, if Chelsea are to have any chance of winning the Premier League next season, he will be key again.

Competition Games
Goals Conceded Clean Sheets Booked
Sent off
League 31 32 12 2 0
FA Cup 5 4 3 0 0
Capital One Cup 3 5 1 0 0
Europe 12 17 4 0 0
Total 51 58 20 2 0

The PFA Player of the Year shortlist does not generally look kindly on goalkeepers, so it was no surprise Petr Cech missed out, even if no one has been better between the sticks.

David De Gea and Hugo Lloris are up there too, but Cech has avoided almost any costly rickets in spite of the constantly rotating cast of central defenders in front of him.

Only Joe Hart (15) has kept more clean sheets in the Premier League than Cech (12) this season, and the 30-year-old holds the record for the most shut-outs (141) for a single club.

His enduring quality and consistency is also the sole reason why Thibaut Courtois, one of the finest young goalkeepers in Europe, will remain in loan exile for some time yet.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 31 9 9 2 0
FA Cup 6 1 2 1 0
Capital One Cup 5 2 2 0 1
Europe 11 1 5 0 0
Total 53 13 18 3 1

Strangely, there still seems to be some debate as to whether Eden Hazard has lived up to the hype since his £32 million move from Lille in the summer.

But a place on the PFA Player of the Year shortlist is a fitting reward for what has been a remarkable adjustment season in English football.

The classy Belgian has frequently dazzled Chelsea fans and neutrals alike with his pace, vision and flawless technique – but there has been an end product too.

His first Premier League campaign has yielded nine goals and nine assists – 12, if you include the three converted penalties he has won. In all competitions his vital statistics are 13 and 18.

A regrettable altercation with a ball-boy aside, Hazard’s temperament has also been excellent – he has been booked just three times in 57 matches for the Blues.

Stunning strikes against Stoke, Manchester United, West Ham and Sparta Prague will live long in the memory and, at just 22, it is frightening to realise there is much, much more to come.

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