We look at the players who are likely to be on the Player of the Year shortlist later on this season
We’re a few weeks into the 2017-18 Premier League season and the usual suspects are forming an orderly queue at the top of the table.
Indeed, it would already be a major surprise if one of Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea failed to land the title this season, although it’s much harder to predict who will land the coveted Player of the Year award.
Eden Hazard, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante have been the past three winners, with the latter available at odds of 80/1 near the start of the 2016-17 season before his odds came tumbling down as the Frenchman helped Chelsea win the Premier League a year after achieving the same thing with Leicester City.
This season, there is likely to be a new name on the trophy and we look at five players who could be voted the outstanding performer in the Premier League.
Player: Kevin de Bruyne
Club: Manchester City
Current Odds: 9/2
Kevin de Bruyne is the apple of Pep Guardiola’s eye, with the Belgian effectively the heartbeat of a vibrant Manchester City side who are scoring bundles of goals as they sweep aside all manner of opposition.
“I am so happy with his performance,” said Guardiola after KDB ran the show against Liverpool. “He is good on balls on the feet. He is good running, attacking the space. He is a complete player, one of our captains.”
If City win the title, De Bruyne will almost certainly be on the shortlist and it’s easy to see why the midfielder is favourite in this betting market.
Player: Eden Hazard
Current Odds: 25/1
Hazard is De Bruyne’s international team-mate and it’s easy to get excited about Belgium’s World Cup prospects next year. The Chelsea midfielder had a delayed start to the season due to injury although he returned with a bang recently when producing a dream performance against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
The nimble-footed playmaker terrorised an Atleti defence so accustomed to having watertight qualities and we should now expect Hazard to rediscover the sort of form that saw him scoop the Player of the Year award in 2015. Those big odds might not last for long…
Player: Harry Kane
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Current Odds: 9/1
He’s a lean mean scoring machine! Harry Kane was a relative unknown three years ago, although he has taken the football world by storm and has top scored in the Premier League for the past couple of seasons.
Despite an August hoodoo, the Spurs forward has wasted little time in racking up the goals and the only drawback for him is that Tottenham are unlikely to win the Premier League title, with the champions often containing the Player of the Year.
Player: Romelu Lukaku
Club: Manchester United
Current Odds: 8/1
The third Belgian on our list and one that’s hard to ignore, with Lukaku in a goals race with Harry Kane which could see both players topple the thirty-mark come the end of the season.
The former Everton forward scored twice against West Ham on his debut and invariably finds the net when the Red Devils take to the pitch, with big Rom also putting Basel and CSKA Moscow to the sword in the Champions League.
Player: Sadio Mane
Current Odds: 10/1
Mane was recently faced with a three-match ban after a red card against Manchester City, although he’s worth his weight in gold for a Liverpool side who regularly come out of the traps flying and plunder plenty of goals.
The Reds winger has an abundance of pace in his locker along with a deadly shot and he’s also got the capability to score goals from tight angles, with defenders struggling to contain this real jack-in-a-box who could yet help his team challenge for the title.
So, there are the betting odds for the five contenders for this year’s Premier League Player of the year. We still have a long season ahead of us, but these five are definitely our favourites for the honour.