As the season is approaching an end, we are all looking forward to the final outcome of the season and the eventual winners. But there are also some other attractions that the whole footballing world looks up to as the English Premier League ends. One of them is the PFA Young player of the year award, which evaluates the performance of the most promising youngsters throughout the season and selects one winner.
While Luis Suarez with 29 goals and 11 assists is sure to run away with the PFA player of the year award, we will take a look at three possible candidates for the young PFA award and hope to come to conclusion in selecting one of them.
Raheem Sterling of Liverpool has to find a place in our list after all he has done for the club and helped them take a shot at the title. Ross Barkley has been pretty impressive for another Merseyside club Everton and the final name on our list is Southampton youngster Luke Shaw, who has also made his national team debut this season and is being linked with a summer move to heavyweights.
19 year old Sterling had been over-burnt towards the end of last season, but this season he has been a rejuvenated man. He has made regular appearances for the club and has scored 6 goals from 28 appearances thus far. He has played in different positions, sometimes in the wings and at times as the tip of the diamond. Most importantly, he has not let himself been overshadowed by Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. He has created 38 chances so far, out of which 3 has been put to goal by others. He has had an impressive passing range with 81% of his passes being successful. For a man as frail as Sterling, winning 52% of the duels is no mean feat and it is the physical aspect of the game that he has developed immensely this term.
Everton are having a tremendous season and Barkley has been their bright spot this term. The midfielder, all of 20, has played in an attacking midfield position and been effective as well. Scoring 5 goals and creating 22 chances, he has been an able teammate to Lukaku, who has exploited a versatile Everton midfield. His passing range has been astonishing with 85% of his passes completed, out of which 61 passes are long balls, which is a high figure at his age. The one aspect of his game that could be improved is his shot accuracy of 40%, a tad uncomfortable for a player of his position.
This has been a make or break season for Luke Shaw and he has made the most of it. The Southampton left-back has come to the fore and now clubs like United and Chelsea are lining up for the 18 year old. He has made 6 defensive actions on an average this year with almost 80% of his actions being clearances. Creating 26 chances for his team, he has been a threat moving forward and that has made him an apt replace of Cole or Evra at the aforementioned clubs. One can be sure of that his percentage of average duels won, which now stands at 56%, would improve with his age and with a better team. He is one of the most hot prospects of the future and would be a very important player in years to come.
All stats compiled via squawka
Honorable mention to Adnan Januzaj of Manchester united for his moments of brilliance.
So who according to you has been the stand out performer this season? Who has helped their team the most?