As the Premier League 2018-19 is coming to an end, the finalists are beginning to become clear. With Liverpool on top of the table (85 points), they seem to have a chance to be the champions this year and what an achievement it would be. It has been 29 long years since they last won a Premier League title in the 1989-90 season and the Reds are striving to finally bag the title this year and bring it home to Anfield. Manchester City, the defending champions, are dangerously close behind and they will need to draw/lose a game in order for the Reds to win. Otherwise, a minor slip up from Liverpool can also cost them their title.
So far Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea are in the 3rd, 4th and 5th places and will all qualify for next year’s Champions League, however, things may change. Just as speculation is high as to who the champions will be this year, the same goes for possible candidates for this year’s Player of the Year. There are many world class worthy players and the decision will undoubtedly be difficult to make. Let’s look at four possible contenders to be Premier League’s Player of the year 2018-19.
1) Virgil van Dijk
On top of the list seems to be the world class defender for Liverpool, the legendary Virgil van Dijk. Although he joined Liverpool only 16 months ago, transferred from Southampton for a pricey 75 million pounds, no one is doubting that this has been a great decision indeed. Chris Sutton, pundit and commentator for BT Sport and former professional football player, claims “he is the best defender in the world”. He further goes on to saying, “no player in the Champions League or Premier League has dribbled past Virgil van Dijk this season”, which proves how essential van Dijk is to the Liverpool defence. Not only is Sutton of this opinion, but many other English football pundits such as Paul Merson who also states van Dijk is the best defender in the world and is “a shoo-in for the Premier Year Player of the Year award”. He also compares him to the most integral player of the meanest defence in Liverpool history, Alan Hansen. Clearly, van Dijk is a favourite and has the best chance of becoming this year’s Player of the Year.
2) Raheem Sterling
Sterling, who plays as a winger and attacking midfielder for Manchester City, is also Van Dijk’s closest pursuer and it’s still not too late to overtake the Dutchman, especially if his performances decide the course of the title over the final few games. Sterling has played a leading role as Manchester City have swept all before them so far this season, scoring 19 goals and creating 16 assists in all competitions. For this season he has made a compelling case he should win at least one of the player of the season awards; the PFA Player of the Year or the FWA Footballer of the Year. In the Premier League alone, Sterling has scored 15 goals and provided 9 assists to have the joint largest combined total of 24 alongside Sergio Aguero, Mohamed Salah and Eden Hazard. Sterling seems to be one of the more likely candidates to bag the title.
3) Mohamed Salah
Also belonging to the Liverpool team, “the Egyptian king” is in line for the Player of the Year award as well. Previously winning the PFA Player of the Year award, Salah is also likely to grab Premier League’s Player of the Year this year. With a record of 53 goals and 18 assists, not only is he in line for the Player of the Year award, but the Golden Boot award as well. Salah continues to prove again and again that he is indeed “no one season wonder” especially after his wonder-goal against Chelsea on the 14th of April securing Liverpool a 2-0 victory and three precious points.
4) David De Gea
Although the Spanish goalkeeper for Manchester United recently committed a huge blunder, which caused FC Barcelona to win 3-0 and advance in the Champions League, he is still being considered for Player of the Year. De Gea may have his cringe-worthy moments, but he is also capable of reaching tremendous heights. He has all the key attributes of being the ideal goalkeeper and also has incredible reflexes. Sir Alex in his biography states, “David De Gea has reflexes that he never thought were possible in football”. Thus the goalkeeper might have a chance of winning the title, if he manages to redeem himself after his most recent “Spanish Karius” moment.