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Premier League awards: Biggest nominee omissions in 2023/24

The nominees for the Premier League’s end-of-season awards have been announced, with shortlists for the Player, Young Player and Manager of the Season for 2023/24.

While most of the shortlists were as expected, there were some obvious omissions from the final names in contention for the illustrious awards.

We’ve looked at the biggest omissions from the Premier League award nominees.

Player of the Season – Rodri (Manchester City)

Rodri said in March that he hoped a defensive midfielder would soon win the Ballon d’Or, suggesting those in his role are often overlooked for individual prizes. The Spaniard’s argument certainly rings true in the Premier League’s end-of-season awards after his omission from the eight-player shortlist for Player of the Season.

The 27-year-old is arguably the most irreplaceable name in the Manchester City side, with each of the club’s three league defeats having come in his absence. With Rodri in the side, the Citizens are unbeaten in the Premier League since February 2023 and that is no coincidence.

He leads the Premier League for touches, passes into the final third, and progressive passes, while he’s among the league leaders for assists (6th), goal-creating actions (4th), and progressive carrying distance (3rd). With a career-best return of seven goals and nine assists, it’s been a season to remember for City’s metronomic midfielder.

He was recently voted third in the FWA Footballer of the Year Award.

Player of the Season – Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

Bukayo Saka has been squeezed off the Player of the Season shortlist, with Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard the Arsenal nominees. That comes despite Saka continuing his evolution into one of world football’s finest wingers, with 16 goals and nine assists in the Premier League in 2023/24.

Arsenal’s title challenge, particularly in the final third, has centred around Saka’s speed, creativity and cutting edge. He leads the Premier League for expected assists (xA) and is fourth for chances created, in an Arsenal side that leads the division for goals scored.

After being named PFA Young Player of the Year last season, he will have to settle for a place on the Premier League Young Player of the Season shortlist in 2023/24.

Young Player of the Season – Anthony Gordon (Newcastle)

Anthony Gordon has bounced back from a difficult start at Newcastle to explode into life for Eddie Howe’s team this season.

Gordon has delivered on the promise that persuaded Newcastle to spend £45m on his services in January 2023, reaching double figures for goals (10) and assists (10) in 33 league appearances.

An England debut arrived in March for the 23-year-old, whose form this season could earn him a place with the Three Lions for Euro 2024. Having won the European Championship at u-21 level, winning the Player of the Tournament in the process, he will hope to replicate that feat at senior level.

Young Player of the Season – Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton)

Watching Jarrad Branthwaite, it’s hard to believe that Everton could not find a place in the squad for the centre-back last season. Having returned from a loan spell at PSV Eindhoven, the 21-year-old has been the bedrock of an improved campaign for the Toffees amid difficult circumstances.

Branthwaite has excelled in unison with James Tarkowski at Goodison Park, in an Everton side that has fought an eight-point penalisation to secure their Premier League status with games to spare.

Only the top three have conceded fewer goals than the Toffees and Branthwaite has been a huge part of that. The 6ft 5in defender is in the Premier League’s top seven players for clearances, interceptions and percentage of dribblers tackled in 2023/24.

Those performances have prompted talk of a big-money transfer in the summer.

Manager of the Season – Gary O’Neil (Wolves)

Wolves’ troubled summer saw expectations tempered as the new season got underway, with financial restrictions seeing key names sold on for profit and limited replacements brought in. To add to the club’s issues, Julen Lopetegui walked out on the eve of the campaign with Gary O’Neil quickly parachuted in to steady the ship.

A novice manager with just a single season of top-flight experience at Bournemouth, O’Neil has done a stellar job in turning Wolves upwardly mobile. Backed to be in the relegation mix, Wolves currently sit 12th and have evaded trouble all season.

O’Neil has brought out the best in underperforming assets such as Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha, who have each had career-best campaigns in the Old Gold.

 

Manager of the Season – Sean Dyche (Everton)

Everton’s issues off the pitch have been one of the narratives of the campaign with the Toffees deducted eight points in the Premier League for financial breaches.

After narrowly escaping relegation in each of the last two seasons, it looked like a huge blow to the club’s chances of survival but Dyche has ensured Everton are safe with games to spare.

It might not always be fashionable, but an impressive defensive record and set-piece threat have been the driving factors in the club’s performances, a fine achievement amid the threat of a potentially catastrophic relegation.

Read – The players with the most Champions League final appearances

See more – Four things we learned from the Champions League semi-finals

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