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Sterling & Van Dijk headline PFA Players’ Player of the Year nominees

14:22 SAST 2019/04/20
Virgil van Dijk Raheem Sterling PS
The cream of the Premier League crop has been identified, but who will scoop the top prize?

Manchester City pair Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling headline the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) nominees for Players’ Player of the Year, with both being nominated for both Player and Young Player gongs.

The PFA released the nominees for their end of season awards on Saturday morning ahead of the ceremony at the end of April.

Manchester City have three of the six nominees for Players’ Player with Sergio Aguero joining Sterling and Silva.

Title rivals Liverpool provide two of the players on the list with Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane on the shortlist, while Chelsea’s Eden Hazard rounds out that category.

Five clubs see players shortlisted for the Young Players prize.

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, West Ham’s Declan Rice and Bournemouth’s David Brooks will battle the City duo.

Dutch central defender Van Dijk is odds-on favourite with the bookies to succeed team-mate Mohamed Salah as Players’ Player of the Year.

The Liverpool man would be the first defender to win the award since John Terry in 2005. His club could be the first team to return back-to-back winners of English football’s most prestigious individual title since Manchester United had four in a row between 2007 and 2010.

Sterling is tipped to win the Young Player award, also being odds-on favourite.

If either he or Silva were to win both awards, they’d be the first player to do so since Gareth Bale in 2013, and only the third of all-time, joining Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andy Gray.

Sterling’s team-mate Leroy Sane won last year, the first City player ever to claim the prize.

Of the more unfancied players, Brooks would represent his club's first ever winner of either award.

Rice would become the first West Ham player to win one of the prizes since Tony Cottee won the same prize Rice is nominated for in 1986.
Hazard in the only player on either list with a chance to win for a second time - he previously triumphed in 2015.

Earlier this week, Van Dijk said he had voted for Sterling.

"I voted for Raheem Sterling. I did what I thought [was right] and I thought he deserves it.

"He’s had a fantastic season. I think I could have voted for Bernardo Silva as well and another couple of players from Manchester City.

"But I am just being honest. I think he has improved a lot as a player. We will see if he wins it.”