As usual with these awards and accolades, there will be different people who have different criteria and with different motivations to decide who the best player is.
The award should be fairly obvious; i.e. the ‘player of the year’ should be the ‘best’ player we have seen in the league this year. No points are awarded to lesser players just for their effort!
So, with this in mind we could mention Scott Brown, Kieran Tierney and Stuart Armstrong of Celtic, Jamie Walker of Hearts, Louis Moult of Motherwell or Adam Rooney of Aberdeen (the fact we find it hard to name a Rangers player here may well be an indicator of their plight, by the way). There are undoubtedly others, whose names people will be screaming at the screen when they read this!
Two players really stand out though, but the better of the two may well be a surprise to some. Moussa Dembele is the star man at Celtic and has attracted attention from European biggies already. Big Bids are likely to come in and to many, that makes him stand out immediately as the best player in Scotland right now.
However, with awards like this, we need to think about the present versus potential. Dembele has had an excellent season and will go on to be better than anyone else playing currently in Scotland by quite some distance.
Right now, we can make an argument that Scott Sinclair has contributed more to Celtic’s cause than Dembele over the course of the season so far. Dembele has smashed in 17 goals in 28 Premiership appearances. Great stuff for a 20-year-old, but potential doesn’t win more games and so Sinclair’s 20 in 29 from wider positions reads quite impressive.
Sinclair is charged with supplying a killer pass as well as goals, a lot more than Dembele is, and yet is still outscoring him right now. If Dembele gets another year here, he’ll comfortably outscore Sinclair and will be worth an absolute fortune but for now, Sinclair gets the vote.
23 goals and 10 assists across 35 domestic games from a slightly wider and deeper position than Dembele, is remarkable. Yes, he has stepped down a level, but then so has Dembele in theory and so it is better that we deal with what we see. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a forward player who wins this award. We simply cannot get away from the fact that regardless of how good a defence is, a team will not win trophies without finishing power and Sinclair’s end product has been better than anyone else’s in Scotland this season.
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