Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has been voted the Premier League’s Player of the Season.
De Bruyne has enjoyed his most productive Premier League campaign, scoring 15 goals and providing seven assists.
The Belgian previously won the accolade in 2020, while Mohamad Salah claimed it in 2018. It is the third successive season that a City player has received the prize after defender Ruben Dias claimed the award 12 months ago.
Mohamed Salah and Heung-Min Son were on the eight-man shortlist with both players still in contention for the Golden Boot, with the Liverpool forward one goal ahead of Tottenham’s South Korean.
Full-backs Joao Cancelo and Trent Alexander-Arnold also represented the title-tussling titans, with Jarrod Bowen, Bukayo Saka and James Ward-Prowse completing the star-studded list of nominees.
The winner was based on votes from the public on the Premier League website, combined with those of the 20 Premier League club captains and a panel of football experts.
De Bruyne’s four-goal haul to overwhelm Wolves earlier this month might have swung the balance in his favour. The expected-goals total for City’s seven shots in the first half at Molineux was just 0.52 – in other words, attempts from those positions would usually yield one goal every other game. De Bruyne scored three inside 24 minutes.
Speaking after the game, Guardiola said: “Kevin always had the ability to create the special things.
“Always we push him to say he is an incredible player, generous with assists, but he has to score goals and this season is the most prolific he has had since we are together.
“We spoke to him about running into the box and being closer to the box and this season he has done it better and better.”
Meanwhile, Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden has been named the Premier League’s Young Player of the Season for the second year running.
Foden, who won the award in 2020/21, has already matched his return of the previous campaign, registering nine goals and five assists while growing in importance for the team under manager Pep Guardiola.
Still only 21, Foden missed the opening month of the campaign with a foot injury but he returned to underline his huge potential to beat off competition from Chelsea’s Mason Mount and West Ham’s Declan Rice.
“I am very proud to have won this award for a second season in a row. There are so many talented young players in the Premier League and it is a real honour to win it again,” said Foden.
Guardiola spoke earlier this month about how there was no reason why his playmaker couldn’t continue improving in the coming years.
“For Phil, responsibility is not a problem. Since day one going to bigger stages, bigger scenarios and important games, it’s not a problem (for him). He loves to play.
“He can play in all five positions up front: winger on both sides, striker through the middle and in the pockets like an attacking midfielder.
“I think in time he will be more capable to play in positions in the middle, he still has all the actions, the high speed, so maybe now the wide positions suit him better.
“In the Academy when I started to see him at 16/17-years-old when I arrived here, he played in a position like Kevin De Bruyne and wow, he played really good but all the actions are so, so quick.
“You remember David Silva, sometimes he slowed the rhythm to increase the rhythm, (but Phil’s) rhythm is always high.
“It’s good as he is so aggressive and we need it but sometimes he needs a little bit, but that is a question of time. He can do it no problem, it’s just a question of time.”
PL Manager of the Season nominees
Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are on a five-man shortlist for Barclays Manager of the Season.
They are joined by Patrick Vieira, Eddie Howe and Thomas Frank in contention for the prize, which is decided by an online vote and a panel of football experts.
Guardiola and Klopp are battling it out for the Premier League again this season, as City and Liverpool look set to take the title race to the final day of the season for a second time in just four years.
Manager stats, Premier League, 2021/22
If City are successful, they will become the first team to win three consecutive league titles since Manchester United in 2006/07, 2007/08 and 2008/09.
Frank has enjoyed a successful debut Premier League season with Brentford, defeating the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea to comfortably avoid relegation.
Vieira has overseen a summer of change at Crystal Palace following the departure of Roy Hodgson last summer, introducing an exciting new core of players to his squad, while ensuring the south London club maintain their Premier League status.
Howe has had a transformative effect on Newcastle since replacing Steve Bruce in November, becoming the first side to avoid relegation in the Premier League era after failing to win any of their first 14 matches.
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