Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher debate Premier League player of the season

The Sky Sports pundits were split over whether Kevin De Bruyne or Son Heung-min should be player of the season

Sports Staff
Tuesday 17 May 2022 08:56
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<p>Kevin De Bruyne scored four in a comfortable win at Wolves (Nick Potts/PA)</p>

Kevin De Bruyne scored four in a comfortable win at Wolves (Nick Potts/PA)

Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville debated the Premier League player of the season on the final Monday Night Football programme of the campaign – and surprisingly neither chose Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

Salah has produced one of the best seasons of his career, topping both the Premier League’s goalscoring and assist charts heading into the final week. His performances before the Africa Cup of Nations were particularly impressive, peaking in October with a wondergoal against Manchester City and a hat-trick against Manchester United two games later.

But the Egyptian has not quite hit those heights since returning from Afcon, and others have come to the fore. Perhaps reflecting a little recency bias in their decisions, Carragher selected Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne after his four-goal haul saw off Wolves last week to move City one step closer to the title. Neville chose Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, meanwhile, who has the most non-penalty goals this season and has proved vital in Spurs’ late charge towards the top four.

“Salah was no doubt the best player in the first half of the season but De Bruyne was in the second half,” Carragher explained. “You just think of the vital goals he got, up against Atletico Madrid, United and Liverpool. For me, I think he is the best player in the league. I love Kevin De Bruyne. Take Liverpool out of the equation, if I want to watch someone, I watch Kevin De Bruyne. I think he is going to be one of the all-time greats in the Premier League.”

Neville cited Son’s goal record for his selection. “One goal off Mo Salah playing for a team that is completely different in style, that’s not as good. Everybody loves him. I think he could play for any team in the world. Any club in Europe would take him. Son does not get the recognition he deserves. For what he has done consistently, 21 goals, one off Salah in a team that is nowhere near as good, where he doesn’t get the service, I think he just deserves a mention really.”

Both pundits were in agreement on their outstanding young player, choosing West Ham’s 23-year-old midfielder Declan Rice. “The English player that all the top clubs want,” said Neville. “Whether they can get him out of West Ham, whether they can afford him, is another matter. He may have to do another season at West Ham. He has just been a really good performer in a great West Ham season, reaching the semi-final of the Europa League. He is a massive performer for them.”

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