The PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year shortlists are out, and Robin Van Persie, Michael Carrick and Danny Welbeck have been nominated. The former two are just about older than the cut-off of 23 for the junior award, while Danny-boy will be hassling and harrying his way through the kiddies section. The full list is as follows...
PFA Player of the Year
Gareth Bale, Michael Carrick, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Luis Suárez and Robin van Persie
PFA Young Player of the Year
Gareth Bale, Christian Benteke, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere
Apologies to any from the fairer sex - I am not familiar with Women's football so didn't cover that shortlist...
Welbeck, for me, is a surprising choice. He has hardly been the most impressive youngster at the club - Rafael da Silva and David De Gea battle it out for that spot - while his overall game, though impressive, still lacks a certain quality that most forwards have - finishing.
Carrick, of course, has been phenomenal. As discussed on this forum in the first half of the season, he is arguably the most indispensable player on the squad. United teams over the last few years have been built around him while appearing to center around other people, which is the case again this year as we come to our next nominee...
Robin Van Persie. I could probably say his name and stop, and that would be enough. A goal drought this year has reduced his stock in the eyes of many, but his overall game never suffered. There are valid arguments that he fluffed his chances against Madrid and Chelsea in the cups, but that would have been him dragging us over the line when we weren't going to get past it. Great if it had happened, but this is still a phenomenal season for the Dutchman.
Personally, I wouldn't mind either Carrick or RvP winning it, but it would be hugely surprising if neither of them did. Which one of them do win depends on if the judges are in "Oh, we are beyond the average fan, we'll look at subtle Michael" or "Close your eyes and go Dutch" mode. What I am really interested in is who you guys think should win the young player award, and who has been our most impressive young player this year. Let your thoughts be heard!