Who is Chelsea’s Player of the Season?

Goal.com names the top three stand-out performers for the Blues in 2011-12 and then declares the overall winner. Have your say below!
This season was supposed to be the start of a new era at Stamford Bridge under the guidance of Andre Villas-Boas, who arrived fresh from guiding Porto to Europa League success and was handed the chance to overhaul an ageing Chelsea side. Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku, Oriol Romeu and Raul Meireles all arrived at the club with fans hopeful of challenging for silverware.

But the Blues stuttered their way through the first half of the season, losing a number of matches and finding themselves well off the blistering pace set by the two Manchester clubs at the top of the table.

However, unlike both United and City, they scraped through to the knock-out stages of the Champions League. Gary Cahill arrived in January with the aim of shoring up a leaky defence seemingly struggling to come to terms with the high line adopted under Villas-Boas. A disappointing 3-1 loss to Napoli was shortly followed by a 1-0 defeat at West Brom which led to the Portuguese tactician getting the sack.

Roberto Di Matteo was chosen as interim boss until the end of season in the hope of securing a top-four spot as well as securing silverware. Results instantly improved, with the inclusion of Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba giving way to a much more spirited feeling amongst the squad, and in turn seeing the Blues reach both the FA Cup and Champions League final.

Below, in alphabetical order, are Goal.com's three nominees for Chelsea’s player of the season, based on their club performances in all competitions. We then cast our vote at the bottom before leaving it up to you, the readers, to have your say.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 22 5 1 1 1
Cup 2 1 0 1 0
Europe 7 5 2 1 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0
Total 31
3 3

The veteran striker has once again proved his worth to the club after being written off by some sections of fans and pundits. Despite not enjoying his most prolific season in England, the Ivorian has netted some vital strikes to help his side reach the FA Cup and Champions League finals.

He has recovered well from a sluggish start to the season when it seemed that Villas-Boas preferred to play Fernando Torres up front. He gradually made his way back into the side before heading off to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations in January, and while speculation grew of a mid-season exit, the 34-year-old remained at Stamford Bridge and has established himself as a key player at the club again.

Drogba scored the opening goal in Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final win over Spurs and followed this up by grabbing the only goal in their first-leg Champions League semi-final win over Barcelona.

This vital winner was pivotal in helping to give the club the confidence they needed to beat Barcelona and despite not scoring at Camp Nou, he played his part in helping the team to reach the final. With his contract expiring in the summer, if this turns out to be his swansong season with the Blues, he can be happy with his efforts.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 33 6 13
2 0
Cup 7
0 0 0
Europe 11 2 2 1 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0
Total 51
15 3 0

The Spaniard arrived for a fee in the region of £24 million from Valencia last summer and has fully justified this substantial outlay with a number of sparkling performances both domestically and in Europe.

He has looked equally comfortable playing wide in a forward three as he has just off the striker, and has provided some fresh legs to a side which needed them. The 24-year-old has scored a number of important goals including what turned out to be a vital away strike in Chelsea's 3-1 loss to Napoli in the Champions League.

Mata netted a screamer in Chelsea's dramatic 3-3 draw at home to Manchester United in the league, applying a scorching volleyed finish to Fernando Torres' cross. Arguably his stand-out display came against Spurs in the Blues' 5-1 win in the FA Cup, where he scored one and assisted two more. Chelsea will be hoping he can avoid second season syndrome and build on his superb debut campaign in England.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 27 4 2 4 0
Cup 6 3 0 1 0
Europe 10 3 2 3 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0
Total 43 10 4 8

The 25-year-old enjoyed a solid if unspectacular first season in English football last year following his big-money move from Benfica. However, the 25-year-old has now established himself as a regular in Chelsea's starting line-up with a number of commanding displays.

The Brazilian was one of the few players who performed under Villas-Boas before the Portuguese tactician was sacked midway through the season, and has carried on his displays under Di Matteo. He has already scored five times as many goals than last season, with four of these coming in the Premier League.

However, the Champions League is arguably the competition where he has shone the most, scoring a number of vital goals to help the Blues set up a mouth-watering final against Bayern Munich. The midfielder was instrumental in helping his side overcome Barcelona in the semi-finals, scoring one of the goals of the season with a delightful chip at Camp Nou in the return leg.

Unfortunately for him, he will miss the final through suspension but his team-mates will be well aware of the part he has played in getting them there.

WINNER: Juan Mata

Manchester United (h) D 3-3
Birmingham (a) W 2-0
Spurs (n) W 5-1

Despite stiff competition from a number of his team-mates, the Spaniard just pips Ramires to the award thanks to his consistently high performances for the club.

His doubters have waned as the season progressed, and with a staggering 15 assists in 51 games in all competitions, he has well and truly established himself as one of the finest creative players around. If he can replicate his form in Chelsea's upcoming finals, the club could well end up with two trophies.