Robin van Persie heads PFA Player of the Year nominations

 

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie will be the clear favourite after being named among the nominees for PFA Players' Player of the Year award today.

The prolific Dutchman, who has scored 34 goals this season, heads a six-man shortlist revealed by the Professional Footballers' Association for their top award.

The Manchester City trio David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Joe Hart, Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker and Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney make up the rest of the list.

 

The winner will be announced at the union's prestigious annual awards night on Sunday.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor today assessed each of the candidates as the list was announced.

Taylor feels Van Persie, 28, has now started to show his true potential after being hampered by injuries in the past.

Taylor said: "He has been amazing.

"When you think of the players Arsene Wenger has brought to the club - he came from Feyenoord for £2.75million I think and that is incredible really.

"When you think of (Dennis) Bergkamp, (Ruud) van Nistelrooy, (Marco) van Basten - he is in that mould of absolutely top-class strikers that Holland, quite phenomenally, manages to produce.

"You could pick half a dozen of his goals out for goal of the season.

"Arsenal were struggling for some time but he was a real talisman for them.

"He seems to have lifted the team and got them back believing in themselves again and looking to qualify for the Champions League, giving all the Arsenal fans some hope."

Aguero has made a big impact at the Etihad Stadium after arriving in a club-record £38million deal last summer.

The 23-year-old, also nominated for Young Player of the Year, has scored 28 goals for City.

Taylor said: "We have been really fortunate to have a player like Sergio Aguero here.

"He has been a major player for Manchester City and I am not surprised there is talk of Real Madrid wanting him.

"I think Manchester City should work hard to keep him because he is a joy to watch."

Silva has also been an inspirational figure for City during their Barclays Premier League title challenge, with his form earlier in the season particularly outstanding.

Taylor said of the Spaniard: "He is like Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas. He is a playmaker, a magician - and I think some of his team-mates call him Merlin.

"He is a delight to watch and he makes the team tick.

"It perhaps shows the competitiveness of our game that he has not been able to maintain it throughout a full season, but when he is at his best and at his sharpest I don't think there is a better playmaker in the world."

City's title bid has also been based on the strongest defence in the competition and Hart has been crucial to that.

The 24-year-old, who had loan spells at Tranmere, Blackpool and Birmingham earlier in his career, is now well established as England's number one.

Taylor said: "I recall when he went to Birmingham on loan, I rang him and told him to keep faith.

"I didn't want him to feel it was a setback and telling him to use the experience.

"He has maintained his faith in his ability and his record since then has been excellent both for England and Man City.

"I think he has got to be one of the finest goalkeepers around."

Parker, 31, last season's Football Writers Player of the Year, has been vital for Tottenham since being snapped up from relegated West Ham last August.

Taylor said: "I have great admiration for Scott Parker as a player and as a person.

"He is relatively small in stature for the role he has but the work-rate, the courage, the bravery - he puts his body in there and tackles. He has been a great buy.

"Tottenham and England have found he is more than capable of doing it at the top level."

England striker Rooney has also enjoyed another statistically excellent season for United, scoring 32 goals.

But Taylor also highlights his all-round contribution to his teams.

He said: "People were saying this was far from one of the best United teams but they have managed to come through and Wayne Rooney has managed to keep a consistency and sharpness and his goalscoring record is there for all to see.

"I also think there has been a maturity in his game. His goalscoring is his top quality but he does have that ability to do a job for the team. His commitment is top class."

Nominees for Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year award 2011-12:

Sergio Aguero (Man City), Joe Hart (Man City), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), David Silva (Man City).

Nominees for Young Player of the Year award:

Sergio Aguero (Man City), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd).

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy