Euro 2020 Special
 

Rashford to Ruben Dias: Top Five Contenders For The PFA Young Player Of The Season Award

With the 2020-21 season of the Premier League almost coming to an end, the focus shifts to the transfer market where clubs will be competing to fill their squads with young and upcoming talent. The PFA Young Player of the Season award is an annual award given to an under-23 player who has performed well across the spectrum of English football, but the winners are predominantly selected based on their performance in the Premier League.

From Cristiano Ronaldo to Harry Kane, the award has a knack for predicting future stars of football, and as such is highly anticipated. Here we a look at the top contenders to win the PFA Young Player award for the 2020-21 season:

 

#5: Marcus Rashford – Manchester United

A home-grown talent who is known for his off-field social campaigns, Marcus Rashford has been instrumental in Manchester United’s title chase against their inter-city rivals. Rashford has already made his mark at Old Trafford when he broke Wayne Rooney’s record of being the club’s youngest-ever European goalscorer in 2016. In the current season, Rashford achieved the rare feat of scoring 50 Premier League goals for his club, the third youngest to do so. With 11 goals and nine assists to his name, Marcus Rashford is the ideal No. 2 to Bruno Fernandes, who is also in contention to win the PFA Player of the Season award.

 

#4: Raphinha – Leeds United

Leeds United had a phenomenal season in the Premier League, putting all doubts to rest about their survival at the top of the English football pyramid. Instrumental to their good run has been the performances of Patrick Bamford and Raphinha, who have executed the aggressive style of play preferred by Marcelo Bielsa on the field to perfection. The Brazilian striker has scored six goals and made eight assists in his 28 appearances for the Whites this season and is the only player from outside the ‘big six’ clubs to feature on this list.

 

#3: Phil Foden – Manchester City

Widely known as one of the top young talents in Europe, Phil Foden impressed the world in 2017 when he bagged the Player of the Tournament award in the U-17 FIFA World Cup. The 20-year-old has had a stellar season with Manchester City, scoring 14 goals across competitions for the club. With a pass completion rate near 90%, the Academy graduate has been crucial in City’s attacking setup, and Pep Guardiola has praised the youngster’s contributions to the team numerous times.  

 

#2: Mason Mount – Chelsea

Chelsea’s FA Cup final loss to Leicester saw Mason Mount’s 50th appearance for the Blues this season, the only player to achieve that feat. Mason Mount’s selections in the national football team, as well as Chelsea’s squad, were clouded in the initial days, with allegations of favouritism being levelled against the managers in the media. But Thomas Tuchel’s continued reliance on the midfielder put all such allegations to rest, who labelled the youngster one of the best players in Europe.

Mason Mount is considered one of the best play-making midfielder in the Premier League right now, both due to his ability to create and capitalise on set-pieces. His ability to win back possession of the ball in the opposition half has also made him vital to the team in stopping the buildup of counterattacks. Despite not being the main goalscorer for Chelsea, he is currently the joint-top scorer for the Blues along with Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner.

 

#1: Ruben Dias – Manchester City

Manchester City’s third title in four years rests on the back of a complete team performance led by Pep Guardiola. But as one of the break-out stars this year who has had a stellar debut season, Ruben Dias is not just a contender for the Young Player award, but also the PFA Player of the Season award. Signed from Portuguese club Benfica at the start of the season, the Citizens finally found a suitable centre-back who can make them champions.

Ruben Dias boasts a whopping 93.3 per cent accuracy in his passes, a fact made doubly impressive by his tendency to make long passes. With 14 clean sheets in 30 appearances, Dias has certainly proved to be value for money for the Premier League champions. He is our top pick to win the PFA Young Player of the Season award.