Liverpool, City dominate PFA award nominations
Liverpool and Manchester City dominate the shortlist for the Men’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Players’ Player of the Year award, with four of Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League champions and two of Pep Guardiola’s team making up the six nominees for the 2019-20 season.
Anfield captain Jordan Henderson, who was voted as Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) in July, could become the first player since Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah in 2017-18 to win both the FWA and PFA awards in the same season after being shortlisted alongside club teammates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane.
The PFA award is decided by a vote of the players, with the 2019-20 poll being delayed by almost five months due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the shutdown of English football for 100 days between March and June. The winner will be announced at 7 p.m. BST on Sept. 8.
Liverpool defender Van Dijk has the chance to emulate Cristiano Ronaldo by becoming the first player since him to win back-to-back PFA Player of the Year awards. Ronaldo lifted the trophy in 2007 and 2008 during his time at Manchester United.
The shortlist for the Young Player of the Year award is also dominated by the big clubs following a change to eligibility rules for nominations.
Having previously been open to players who were 24 and under at the start of the season, the PFA have now lowered the age limit to restrict voting for players who were 21 and under on July 1, 2019.
As a result, six of England‘s brightest talents have been shortlisted for award, with Chelsea‘s Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, United forwards Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood and Arsenal‘s Bukayo Saka all nominated.
Liverpool defender Alexander-Arnold, nominated for the senior award, is also on the list and in contention to become the first player since Gareth Bale in 2013 to win both senior and young player awards in the same season.
Barclays Player of the Season Beth England, who scored 14 goals in 15 appearances during her breakthrough season and helped Emma Hayes’ side win the Women’s Super League (WSL), Continental Cup and Community Shield, is nominated alongside midfielders Sophie Ingle, Guro Reiten and Ji So-Yun.
Reiten was also nominated for the FWA Footballer of the Year but lost out to Vivianne Miedema who could add to her personal honours tally with the PFA award.
The Netherlands forward was the WSL’s and the Champions League’s top scorer, netting 16 and 10 goals respectively in each competition. Arsenal finished third in the WSL and lost to Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinals of the European tournament.
ESPN’s Kathleen McNamee contributed to this report.