Sunday, May 26, 2024

Meet the England internationals who are leading the chase to be crowned PFA Player of the Year

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 13 May 2024

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Along with this season’s Premier League title chase going down to the final weekend, the race for the 2023/24 PFA Player of the Year award is attracting plenty of interest.

With the Three Lions looking to get their hands on a first piece of international silverware since 1966 this summer when they arrive in Germany for the European Championships, a host of England internationals have stolen centre stage.

With both of Manchester City and Arsenal’s respective Premier League title battles spearhead by some of England’s hottest young starlets, Gareth Southgate’s squad are rightfully regarded as a leading contender this summer.

On a list that includes three of the Premier League’s new poster boys, we have taken a look at who the bookmakers have installed as the standout candidates to claim this season’s prestigious PFA award.

Phil Foden – Manchester City

While the record-breaking Erling Haaland might be breezing his way to another Premier League Golden Boot this season, it has been Manchester City’s homegrown superstar that has stolen plenty of their headlines.

Once again getting on the scoresheet at Craven Cottage last weekend as Pep Guardiola’s men stormed their way to a 4-0 romp away at Fulham, Phil Foden has played a crucial role in City’s charge for the history books.

With the Sky Blues sat in the driving seat to claim a stunning fourth consecutive Premier League crown this season, Foden has been at the heart of everything positive that they have produced in the blue half of Manchester.

With some even tipping the Stockport-born playmaker as a potential Ballon d’Or contender this season, the England international has recorded 25 goals across all competitions and has broken a string of personal records.

Already named as the Football Writers’ Player of the Year earlier in the month, Foden has also recorded 25 direct Premier League goal contributions and has certainly become the poster boy behind Man City’s charge for the history books.

Declan Rice – Arsenal

While Arsenal might have broken the bank last summer as they snapped up Declan Rice for a whopping fee of £105million, the former West Ham skipper has made a sensational immediate impact in north London.

With many billing the one-time Chelsea schoolboy as a key factor behind the Gunners’ title charge this season, Rice finds his stock at a red-hot high and has only further cemented his spot as one of Europe’s standout midfield stars.

Already stamping his spot as a fan favourite around the Emirates and forming what has become a stellar partnership with Arsenal skipper Martin Odegaard, the 25-year-old has been the backbone behind their success this year.

Wearing England’s captains armband during March’s international break, Rice has also been relishing the chance to play in a more advanced role under Mikel Arteta’s guidance.

Recording seven Premier League strikes this season and registering a further eight top-flight assists, the former West Ham talisman has already repaid a huge chunk of his hefty price tag.

Cole Palmer – Chelsea

While many of Chelsea’s big-money arrivals over the past two years might have drastically failed to live up to their astonishing price tags, it is almost impossible to argue that Cole Palmer has not been the Premier League’s Signing of the Season.

Although the 22-year-old might have only arrived in west London last summer following a late move away from Manchester City, Palmer has continued on a record-breaking romp at Stamford Bridge and has set England’s top-flight alight.

Notching 21 Premier League strikes this season and receiving a string of plaudits from across the continent, Palmer only sits behind former City teammate Haaland in the race for this season’s Golden Boot.

Becoming the first ever Chelsea player to score in seven successive Premier League appearances at Stamford Bridge last month, the 22-year-old has certainly cemented his spot as the new poster boy in SW6.

Almost single-handedly dragging Mauricio Pochettino’s side to a lucrative European return, it is now expected that Palmer will play a leading role for the Three Lions at this summer’s European Championships.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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