The reigning PFA Player of the Year began the new season in fine fashion as Kevin De Bruyne starred in Manchester City’s 3-1 win at Wolves on Monday night, the midfielder once again displaying why he is regarded amongst the finest in the division.
De Bruyne was rewarded for a superb individual season in which he equalled the Premier League’s single season assists record last term, though the Belgian will face increased competition for honours this season amongst a top flight stacked with talent.
As the new season gets firmly underway we’ve decided to look at some of the stars who could define the campaign, so for those of you interested in the best betting sites like https://www.stsbet.co.uk here are the five favourites to win the 2020/21 PFA Player of the Year award:
Bruno Fernandes – Manchester United (12/1)
Bruno Fernandes’ immediate impact at Manchester United saw some surprised by the playmaker’s absence from last season’s individual honours, despite his winter window arrival from Sporting Lisbon.
Fernandes’ signing proved to be the catalyst for a strong second half of the season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, the Red Devils unbeaten in the league since his debut to secure a third-placed finish and Champions League qualification.
The Portugal international was the architect of that success with a hugely impressive run of form, contributing eight goals and seven assists in just 14 league appearances, the most goal contributions of any player in the division since his debut.
Only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo managed more goal contributions in that time across Europe’s major leagues and Fernandes will once again be pivotal to United’s hopes of success as the creative fulcrum of Solskjaer’s side this season.
If he can maintain his previous form over the course of a whole season, his odds will only shorten.
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City (8/1)
A previous winner of the PFA Young Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards, Raheem Sterling is the fourth favourite to take the senior PFA accolade this season.
The England international remains central to Manchester City’s hopes of success and has evolved into a key component of Pep Guardiola’s side, the winger’s goal output increasing season upon season over the past three campaigns.
Sterling reached 20 league goals for the first time last season and delivered a career-best 31 in all competitions, the 25-year-old amongst the most effective wide players in world football at present.
City will need the star to be at his very best as they bid to overhaul champions Liverpool this season and another stellar campaign could lead to yet more individual recognition for their number seven.
Mohamed Salah – Liverpool (7/1)
Likely to once again be at the forefront of Liverpool’s title ambitions, Mohamed Salah is ranked as the joint-second favourite to recapture the PFA Player of the Year award this season.
Salah was named as the division’s finest following a record-breaking 32-goal season during the 2017/18 campaign and has continued to flourish as part of the Reds’ potent attack, racking up a league leading 76 league goals since his arrival on Merseyside three years ago.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 14, 2020
The Egyptian international began the new season in emphatic fashion with a hat-trick against Leeds at Anfield, before Liverpool issued a statement of intent by securing three points at big-spending Chelsea.
Another season of silverware at Liverpool could see Salah challenge for individual accolades once more, the winger having produced performances of consistent excellence since returning to English football.
Thiago Alcantara – Liverpool (7/1)
The sole summer signing to make this list, big things are expected of Thiago Alcantara at Liverpool following the midfielder’s move to the Premier League from Bayern Munich.
Thiago decided to leave Bayern this summer following the club’s treble success last season, the Spaniard keen to embark on a new challenge following seven trophy-laden seasons with the Bundesliga giants.
A selection of @Thiago6 passes from Sunday's debut 🤤🤤
You're welcome, Reds 😁 pic.twitter.com/CkzGiRlI0J
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 22, 2020
His arrival is hoped to add a new dimension to the Reds midfield with the 29-year-old regarded as one of the finest talents in world football, a conductor of his side’s play with an effortless and captivating style.
Thiago’s standing in the world game is emphasised by his odds of just 7/1 to claim the PFA Player of the Year award in his debut season, the marquee arrival on Merseyside side set to become a key figure in the champion’s side.
Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City (4/1)
The holder of the award and seemingly the man to beat, Kevin De Bruyne picked up where he left off with another stand-out display in Manchester City’s season opener.
The brilliant Belgian had a hand in all three goals as Pep Guardiola’s side began with victory at Wolves, with Jamie Carragher hailing the midfielder as the best player in world football behind only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Kevin De Bruyne for Man City vs. Wolves:
◉ Most ball recoveries (9)
◉ Most touches in opp. box (7)
◉ Most chances created (6)
◉ Most tackles (5)
◉ Most shots (4)
◉ Most shots on target (4)
◎ 1 goal
◎ 1 assist
◎ 1 penalty won
No pre-season, no problem. 😉 pic.twitter.com/1D3dgVMlMV
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 21, 2020
De Bruyne has continued to shatter records in terms of creativity and equalled Thierry Henry’s single season assist landmark last season, though the 29-year-old will have one eye on eclipsing that feat with another productive season this time around.
The primary focus, however, will be on reclaiming the Premier League crown and if City are challenging then their midfield maestro will undoubtedly have played a major part.