Whenever the nominees for Young Player of the Year award I end up thinking the same thing, why are players who are 24 still being nominated for young player of the year? Yes the mind boggles when for some reasons a 24 year old is consider a young player despite the fact that many of them have been playing in the league for four plus years. Anyway despite the fact that I think that half of the players who were nominated shouldn’t be because they are too old, here are the nominees.
Ramsey had a remarkable season which sadly was blighted by an injury which took him out of action for over four months. There was no player who played better than Ramsey (Suarez was similar) up till he was injured and you can see how Ramsey was sorely missed as Arsenal’s form slowly fell away. I have no doubts that Ramsey would walk this if he had played the whole season, but only playing half a season makes it harder to give him the award.
It is incredible to think that Luke Shaw is still only 18 because he already looks like he is one of the best left backs in the league. He has played almost every game this season for Southampton, which is laudable in its own right, it is made even better that he does so performing at a high level. Shaw is a constant force down the left and is solid going forward and more importantly a good defender. He has a bright future ahead of him and is likely to move to a big club this summer as well as play in the World Cup for England (well be part of the squad). If age was taken into considerations when the winner was decided then I think Shaw would walk it being easily the youngest on the list.
Something that always confuses me is when players who are nominated for player of the year and also young player of the year get beat out by someone who was only nominated for young player of the year, it doesn’t make sense (like when Ronaldo won player of the year and didn’t win the young player of the year despite being nominated). Anyway Hazard has had another solid season as Chelsea’s best attacking player. It is hard to think of him as a young player though because he has played first team football in France and England now for the past six years. Personally I think that Hazard has been the best player over the season of the players who were nominated, but it kind of doesn’t make sense that he is nominated in this category when he is already so established.
I can make an argument for five out of the six players who were nominated in this category, the one who I can’t is Sturridge. The reason for that is much like Hazard he seems too established and has been nominated for the player of the year, and Hazard has also been much better than him. So the point is that of the two players who are definitely too established to be considered a young player Hazard has had a better season, so in theory Sturridge shouldn’t be able to win this award.
Sterling has been like a man possessed in the title run in, to the extent that you could argue that he has been Liverpool’s best player when it really mattered. Clearly Sterling has ability but his poor attitude has always held him back, this season that has not been the case, he has been a model professional. Arguably Liverpool’s second best player this season, Sterling at only 19 thoroughly deserves to be included on this list and I think has a real chance of winning it. The only thing I can have against him is that he wasn’t the best in the first half of the season and the voting is usually done fairly early (god knows why when we’re in the digital age).
At 20 years old Ross Barkley is already being proclaimed as the future of English football, and although the English have a tendency to get excited after a player has had a few good games and proclaim he is the saviour (remember Ravel Morrison?), you can really see why, Barkley looks that damn good. He has a whole game; goals, dribbling, passing and desire. Barkley has been a major contributor to the Everton team and at times he looks like he is their best player.
Personally I don’t think Sturridge belongs on the list because although he has had a decent season, he is too old to really be considered a young player for me. I was very surprised that Adnan Januzaj was not nominated and he really deserves to be on the list much more than Sturridge.
And The Winner Is…
I honestly think that you could make valid cases for five out of the six nominees and each has something different to offer. I would have given the award to Ramsey if he had played more this season, but because he hasn’t I think I have to give it to Ross Barkley. The reason for that is that he is what I’d actually consider a young player (sorry Hazard) and he has been consistently good throughout the season (sorry Sterling) as a vital part of an Everton team.
So leave a comment about who you think should be awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year award, and don’t forget that you can find all the latest bm23sportsreviews updates on Facebook and Twitter.