Liverpool and Manchester City have dominated the shortlist for the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award, with Virgil Van Dijk and Raheem Sterling the leading contenders for the prize.
Liverpool defender Van Dijk joins team-mate Sadio Mane on the list, while City forward Sterling is included alongside team-mates Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard completes the nominees for the 2018-19 campaign, with the winner announced on April 28 at the PFA’s awards ceremony in London.
Van Dijk, signed from Southampton in January 2018, has been an ever-present rock at the heart of the Premier League’s tightest defence this campaign. He has helped Liverpool keep 18 clean sheets and concede only 20 times, while chipping in with three goals.
Senegal international Mane, included ahead of last year’s winner Mohamed Salah, has also enjoyed a stellar season for Jurgen Klopp’s side, hitting 18 league goals as the Anfield club attempt to end a 29-year wait to be champions.
Sterling, the bookmakers’ second favourite for the award behind 27-year-old Van Dijk, has been key for Pep Guardiola’s side with 17 goals and nine assists going into the weekend.
Sterling and Silva, both 24, are also on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Year award. They are joined in that category by Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, Bournemouth winger David Brooks and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford.