PFA POTY: Does Özil have a shot?

With the PFA Players’ Player of the Year nominations announced on Wednesday, do the six players up for the award deserve their nomination and who has the best chance of winning?

Well, it’s likely to be a close one. Leicester City have captured all the headlines this season and look set to clinch the Premier League title but have three players nominated, which could see votes for them split. That would open the door for Mesut Özil, Harry Kane, or Dimitri Payet.

I’d be tempted to put my money on one of Leicester trio: Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez or N’Golo Kanté to claim the award. Like one of those three, you can be a winner by heading over to

But what’s the likelihood they will come out on top and do each of these six players truly deserve to be nominated?

Harry Kane

Currently the Premier League’s top goalscorer, Kane has led the line excellently for Tottenham Hotspur. The striker has scored 22 of Spurs’ 60 goals, firing them right into the title race.

Those goals have often come in big games too and, after winning the young player award last season, Kane certainly has a chance of adding another trophy to his personal cabinet.

N’Golo Kanté

The true driving force in the Leicester City midfield, Kanté is a superb athlete and has won the most tackles and made the most interceptions in the Premier League so far this season. Along with an astute reading of the game and a tenacious attitude, Kanté’s incredible energy sees him reclaim loose possession constantly.

Should he pick up player of the year, there wouldn’t be many arguments.

Riyad Mahrez

Leicester City’s most creative player, Mahrez has 27 goals and assists in the league so far this season. Only teammate Jamie Vardy can equal that tally.

There have been many times Leicester have defended well and been functional, relying on Mahrez’ ability to unlock tight defences. Not only exciting to watch, the Algerian winger is efficient as well. Probably the favourite for the award.

Mesut Özil

Arsenal’s title challenge has died out, but it went on so long because of the form of Mesut Özil. The German playmaker orchestrated Arsenal’s rise to the top of the table in 2015 and continued his form in 2016, only to be let down by those around him.

18 assists so far this season is the most in any major European league but Arsenal’s timid collapse and the ridiculous notion that Özil doesn’t work hard enough will probably rule him out of contention this year.

Dimitri Payet

Payet catches the eye with his skills and long-range free-kicks. Above all else, his ability to create magic out of nothing has thrown West Ham United into the mix for European football next season.

Unfortunately, Payet’s form has been good punctuated by spectacular moments. It’s incredibly fun to watch and his best form has come at the right time to garner votes, but he certainly isn’t the best player in the Premier League.

Jamie Vardy

Hard-working, written off, clinical. Vardy more or less embodies Leicester City’s title challenge. Only Harry Kane has more than Vardy’s 21 Premier League goals this season, a tally which was strengthened by a record streak of consecutive Premier League matches scored in.

Though his form has dipped since Christmas, the striker has forced himself into the England team and will never give anything short of his best. At his best he looks unplayable, at his worst he’s an absolute nuisance. It’s hard to look past the 29-year-old.

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