PFA | Player of the year

The Premier League has undergone a significant facelift this season. Departures of some of the league’s biggest stars have coincided with the emerging Saudi Pro League, rendering the transfer market uncharted waters for some sides throughout the latest windows. Add to that the dominance of Manchester City both domestically in and Europe, and the other 19 teams in England’s topflight are left to keep up.

Indeed, the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal ensured a title race is still on the cards as we reach the twilight of the 2023/24 season, and while the country’s most coveted trophy is still up for grabs, there is greater debate as to who will snatch the plethora of individual awards – most notably the PFA Player of the Year.

Last season saw Erling Haaland decimate those in his path for the award handed to the best men’s player of the season within the circumference of English football. The Norwegian arrived from Borussia Dortmund and broke the Premier League’s scoring record with 36 goals in 35 games. However, this year’s competition looks much tighter.

With that in mind let's assess some of the other candidates for this year’s PFA Player of the Year.


The frontrunner in this year’s discussions is City’s midfield maestro Rodri Hernandez. Overshadowed by stellar performances from Kevin de Bruyne throughout the majority of his tenure in the North West, injuries to the Belgian have allowed Rodri to stamp his authority as one of the best players in the world in his position and finally get some deserved recognition, at 9/4 to pick up the award.

Alongside picking up a treble, Rodri has achieved the longest winning streak in Premier League history, surpassing Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho to make it 59 games in a row without defeat. Capable of stepping up to the big occasion – as demonstrated by his furious strike in the Champions League final against Inter Milan – the 27-year-old initially took time to transition to Pep Guardiola’s style of play. But since stepping up as the natural replacement for Fernandinho, Rodri has firmly established himself as one of the best in the business.

An ever-present in a team that wins the majority of their games, Rodri is the engine that drives a talented City team forward, and with 91% pass accuracy so far this season to add to double figures in goal contributions, it seems like the Spaniard’s time has finally come.

Mohamed Salah

Liverpool’s Egyptian King Mohamed Salah is justifying his crown at Anfield once again this season. Amid rumours of a £165 million bid from Al-Ettifaq, and with a contract that expires in 2025, many Liverpool fans feared the 31-year-old was heading for the exit door. Instead, Salah has supercharged a new-look Liverpool – dubbed Liverpool 2.0 by Jurgen Klopp – and looks on course to make it a hat-trick of Golden Boots.

The winger won the PFA Player of the Year award when he scored 32 goals in the 2017/18 season, and Salah has been a figure of consistency since. Despite the Reds’ campaign plagued by injury, of which the Egyptian himself has missed a handful of games after the Africa Cup of Nations, they still look a force to be reckoned with in the title race, managing to pick up points from challenging positions and always possessing a late goal.

The Reds are slowly getting their key players back, but even the best betting sites in India would find it hard to suggest that Klopp's side can compete on all fronts, with big fixtures in the Premier League alongside an FA Cup clash with Manchester United and frequent Europa League games. 

If this is to be Salah’s swansong, aligning with Klopp’s departure, he moves on as a Premier League legend and one of the best players to grace the turf at Anfield. With multiple records broken and already 20-plus goals across all competitions this term, it will be interesting to see how many more trophies ‘the King’ can add to his collection before his Merseyside journey is complete.

Bukayo Saka

An outside shot at odds of 6/1 for the award is last season’s PFA Young Player of the Year, Bukayo Saka. The diminutive winger has come on leaps and bounds over the last two years and is now the focal point of Mikel Arteta’s attack, enjoying the best scoring season of his career to date.

Saka’s good form leaves a selection headache for England manager Gareth Southgate too, as he has proved to be untrappable since the turn of the year as Arsenal pursue their first league title in 20 years.

His chemistry spearheading Arsenal’s frontline has made the Gunners genuine challengers for consecutive seasons, and Saka’s ability to combine in the final third as well as work back and help the team in transition has made him one of the best players in the league despite being just 22 years old.

After celebrating its 50th anniversary last year, the PFA Awards usually take place towards the end of the Premier League campaign, with plenty of entertainment on the cards between now and then. 

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