Leicester trio Vardy, Mahrez, and Kante on PFA player shortlist

Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante have all been recognised for their role in Leicester’s Premier League title charge by being named on the shortlist for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.
Leicester trio Vardy, Mahrez, and Kante on PFA player shortlist

The Foxes trio make up half of the six-man shortlist for the award, which is voted for by their peers, with Tottenham’s 22-goal striker Harry Kane, Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil and West Ham’s Dimitri Payet the other names in the frame to succeed 2015 winner Eden Hazard.

Kane is also in contention to retain the Young Player of the Year gong he won 12 months ago and he features on a six-player shortlist alongside Spurs team-mate Dele Alli, Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, Stoke’s Jack Butland and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho.

The winners will be announced on Sunday, April 24 and the strong Leicester presence on the shortlist for the senior award is a reflection of the league leaders’ remarkable season.

Vardy is one goal behind England colleague Kane in the race for the division’s golden boot while Mahrez has chipped in with 16 goals and 11 assists and recent France cap Kante’s role in defensive midfield has earned widespread praise.

Like Kante, Payet has enjoyed a fine first campaign after arriving from France last summer while 27-year-old German international Ozil has contributed a league-leading 18 assists for the Gunners this term.

Eight times in the previous 11 seasons the Players’ Player of the Year has played for Chelsea, Manchester United or Liverpool yet, just one year from those clubs having four players on the half-a-dozen strong shortlist, there are no representatives from any of those clubs.

Reds forward Coutinho was up for the main award last year and he could yet win the Young Player of the Year award, a title which 20-year-old Alli will hope to earn just one year after he was named the Football League’s Young Player of the Year.

PFA Players’ Player of the Year:

Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), N’Golo Kante (Leicester), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester),

PFA Young Player of the Year:

Dele Alli (Tottenham), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jack Butland (Stoke), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Ross Barkley (Everton).

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