Monday, April 24, 2017

Kante named PFA player of the Year

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has won the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award for 2016-17.

Kante edged out stiff competition from from teammate Eden Hazard, Tottenham Hotspur's forward Harry Kane, Everton goal poacher Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez in the vote by his fellow players.

Accepting the award at Grosvenor House, Kante said: "It's a huge honour to be chosen by the other players. It's really special to get this award.

My first two seasons have been very beautiful. We have to finish well but so far it's a very good season."

He is hoping to become the first player to achieve the distinction of winning successive Premier League titles with different clubs if Chelsea can hold off Tottenham in this season's championship race.

Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer did it the other way around with Chelsea and then Leicester last season.

However, his win with the Foxes doesn't really count as he didn't qualify for a medal after making no appearances.

Nigerian born Dele Alli of Tottenham won the young player prize for the second straight year while Manchester City's
Lucy Bronze won the Women's Player of the Year award.

The PFA young player of the Year is prize is some sort of consolation for Alli's controversial omission from the six-man shortlist for the PFA player of the Year award which pundits say he should have been among.

He has being instrumental to Spurs' title push and heading into the weekend was the highest-scoring player in the league not recognised as a forward, with 16 goals.

Bronze who also is England women national team full back, won the Women's Player of the Year award for the second time, after being part of the Manchester City squad which won the Women's Super League without losing a single game in 2016.

Birmingham's Jess Carter was named Women's Young Player of the Year.

She, interestingly, saw off competition from three Manchester City players to win the award.

Former England captain David Beckham received the PFA's Merit award for his contribution to the game during the ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on Sunday.

Former England women's captain Kelly Smith - who became England's first female professional footballer when she joined American side New Jersey in 1999 - landed the PFA Special Achievement award.

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