first_img 6 This feature appears in the current edition of Sport magazine, which you can download for FREE here. They are also on Facebook and Twitter @SportMagUKFew could quibble with this month’s PFA Player of the Year shortlist of Harry Kane, N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez, Mesut Ozil, Dimitri Payet and Jamie Vardy. Admittedly, Anthony Martial and Eric Dier might have scratched their heads at their absence from the nominations for young player of the year (though Dele Alli will likely win the award anyway). Yet the list for the full award is strong.In this craziest of Premier League seasons, however, there are – at least – six more players worthy of recognition.REVEALED: PFA ANNOUNCE SHORTLIST FOR TEAM OF YEAR 6 6 Danny Drinkwater: Leicester – Pretty much any of Leicester City’s starting XI could make a case for being in the Premier League team of the season, but 26-year-old Drinkwater has been the man keeping their midfield ticking. Less eye-catching than the hyper-industrious N’Golo Kante, but no less important, Drinkwater has established himself as an own-brand Sergio Busquets (Sergio Digestive Biscuits, perhaps). His passing is accurate, he’s seemingly always in space to receive the ball, he breaks up play and he’s a tireless runner. Fully deserves a place in England’s Euro 2016 squad for this summer. David De Gea: Man United – click the arrow above, right, to see five other players Sport magazine consider very unlucky to have missed out on the PFA awards – Retaining the Spaniard for this season has been Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s best piece of business, although admittedly the competition isn’t exactly fierce. The 25-year-old has saved United’s skin many times this season. Four Premier League keepers have made more saves, but it’s the manner of some of De Gea’s stops that draws the eye: impossibly quick reactions, aided by that unique feet-first style that often sees him kicking away close-range efforts. The one member of the squad fans can trust. Until he goes to Madrid. Kevin De Bruyne: Man City – The Belgian might look better suited to the lead role in a live-action Tintin film than the hustle and bustle of Premier League football, but he’s brought a fresh touch of class to a settled, weary Manchester City side. De Bruyne’s season has been interrupted by injury, but he’s still scored 17 goals for club and country since his arrival from Wolfsburg, with six goals and nine assists in the Premier League. At his best, the Belgian can dismantle teams with Velcro-control and perfectly weighted passes. If De Bruyne is the shape of things to come at City, the future is bright. 6 6 Virgil van Dijk: Southampton – The imposing Dutch centre-back is only a couple of months too old for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award. That this comes as a surprise is testament to the maturity and leadership the 24-yearold has displayed since joining Ronald Koeman’s side from Celtic in a £13m deal. Van Dijk has won 143 aerial duels this season, according to Squawka – more than any other defender in the league. He’s bolstered a mean Southampton defence – the sixth best in the division – and has scored three goals, including a last-minute equaliser against Sunderland. Toby Alderweireld: Tottenham – Defending is a lost art. A cry heard not just in this league, but around the world. A decade or so ago, names such as ‘Maldini’, ‘Cannavaro’ or ‘Bramble’ sprang instantly to mind when thinking of the world’s best players (let alone defenders). Now? Not so much. Yet with Alderweireld, Tottenham have been able to rely on a rock-solid, ever-present this season. The Belgian defender is a central reason why Spurs have by far the meanest defence in the league. Fine with the ball at his feet too, this is the kind of footballer you want to build your whole defence around. 6 Odion Igahlo: Watford – There are a few strikers we could pick here. It says everything about the superhuman standards Sergio Aguero sets that he has 20-plus league goals this season and it’s considered par. Jermain Defoe’s 13 league strikes have kept Sunderland afloat. However, we give Watford’s Nigeria forward Igahlo the edge. Not for his 14 league goals, nor his crack partnership with Troy Deeney. No, he’s here for ‘the scoop’ – the trick that sees his fleet footwork fool defenders and thrill fans. As Sport says to Mr Whippy in our dealings with him: one more scoop please, maestro.last_img