The 2017-18 English season is drawing to a close and many of the nation's titles have already been decided.
With events coming to a conclusion on the pitch it is tradition to reflect on the campaign that was and acknowledge the performances of individual players who have excelled.
The Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year is one such accolade and it is widely considered to be the pinnacle when it comes to individual recognition in England.
The nominees have been announced and the winner will soon be confirmed, so Goal brings you everything you need to know about the prestigious award.
What is PFA Player of the Year?
The PFA Player of the Year is an annual award given to the footballer who is deemed to have played the best during the English season.
As the name suggests, the award is given by the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), which is a trade union for footballers in England, and involves a ballot of its members.
Because it is voted for by players themselves it is sometimes known as the 'PFA Players' Player of the Year' and it is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious individual awards in English football.
The award was first introduced in 1974 and among those to win it include Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona, Thierry Henry and Gary Lineker. Former Leeds United defender Norman Hunter was the first ever PFA Player of the Year.
Who votes & how does it work?
Members of the PFA vote for the PFA awards, including Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Team of the Year.
Every year representatives from the association visit each of the 92 league clubs, as well as the 10 WSL clubs, to deliver ballot forms to their members.
Section A of the form relates to the Player of the Year, Section B deals with the Young Player of the Year and Section C is for the Team of the Year.
One of the rules of the ballot is that a player cannot vote for a player who is at the same club as them and a player cannot win the award if his club has not taken part.
Once a member has completed their ballot form, they must return it to a PFA representative, who will seal the vote.
An independent company is used to count and verify the votes.
PFA Player of the Year 2017-18 nominees
The six-player shortlist for the 2017-18 PFA Player of the Year award was revealed on April 14 and their names are listed below.
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
- David De Gea (Manchester United)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
- Leroy Sane (Manchester City)
- David Silva (Manchester City)
There are three players from Manchester City (De Bruyne, Sane and Silva), while Manchester United (De Gea), Tottenham (Kane) and Liverpool (Salah) all have one player each.
Every nominee for the accolade, with the exception of Sane, is also part of the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.
PFA Player of the Year nominee stats
To give you an idea of how each player has performed during the course of the season, we have listed their stats for all competitions below.
|Kevin De Bruyne||49||3940||12||20||N/A|
|David De Gea||42||3780||0||0||21|
*As of April 22, 2018.
When is the 2017-18 PFA Player of the Year announced?
The winner of the PFA Player of the Year award will be announced at a ceremony in London on Sunday April 22.
The event - the 45th edition - will be attended by players and a variety of figures from across the English game as they come together to recognise the performances of their peers.
As well as the PFA Player of the Year, the PFA Young Player of the Year will also be confirmed, while the divisional teams of the year for the top five English divisions will be announced.
Furthermore, the PFA Merit Award will honour a footballing achievement. Previous winners include Pele, Eusebio and David Beckham.
Who was PFA Player of the Year last year?
The 2016-17 PFA Player of the Year was N'Golo Kante, who received the award for his performances in Chelsea's title-winning campaign under Antonio Conte.
Kante saw off competition from his Blues team-mate Eden Hazard and then-Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to win the accolade.
The midfielder became just the third Chelsea player to receive the award and the fourth French player, following in the footsteps of David Ginola, Cantona and Henry (who won it twice).