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PFA Player of the Year: Kevin de Bruyne and Beth England named 2020 winners


Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has won the Professional Footballers’ Association men’s Players’ Player of the Year award.

De Bruyne, 29, praised City manager Pep Guardiola for helping him earn the honour, saying “he just lets me be me”.

Beth England, 26, won the women’s award having helped Chelsea do the Women’s Super League and League Cup double.

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, 21, won the men’s Young Player of the Year award.

Jordan Henderson was among five Liverpool players to be named in the Premier League team of the season.

And Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford won a PFA merit award for his work combating child food poverty.

De Bruyne beat last year’s winner Virgil van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane, Henderson and City team-mate Raheem Sterling to the award voted for by his fellow players.

The Belgian is the first Manchester City player to win the award since its inception at the end of the 1973-74 season.

“This is a big honour,” he said. “To be voted by your colleagues, competitors from other teams who you always play against on the field. That they vote for you for best player; it’s amazing.

“It’s maybe strange that I’m the first one at City, seeing all the good players who played there before and who are still playing. But it’s nice to represent the club.”

Kevin de Bruyne is the first Manchester City player to win the PFA Player of the Year award

On Guardiola, he said: “He gives me a lot of freedom; I don’t know why, that’s just the way it goes between us.

“He knows in one way I will always put the team first and then obviously if I can help myself I’m going to do that. He trusts me completely.”

For the third consecutive year, the top award for the men’s category went to a player whose team did not win the Premier League title.

Reds pair Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah were the past two winners and went on to lift the trophy last season, having come close in previous years.

De Bruyne, though, contributed a record-equalling 20 assists and scored 13 goals as Guardiola’s side came runners-up to Jurgen Klopp’s team last term.

England, meanwhile, scored 21 goals in all competitions for the Blues and prevented Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema claiming the women’s award twice in a row.

England also beat her Chelsea team-mates Sophie Ingle, Guro Reiten and Ji So-yun, and Arsenal’s Kim Little.

“It’s a huge honour to be voted for by your fellow peers, so thank you to everyone who voted for me,” England said.

Alexander-Arnold won the men’s young player of the year award, ahead of Manchester United duo Rashford and Mason Greenwood, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.

Teams of the year

Premier League team of the year: Nick Pope (Burnley), Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk (both Liverpool), Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), David Silva (Manchester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Sadio Mane (Liverpool).

Women’s Super League team of the year: Ann-Katrin Berger, Maren Mjelde (both Chelsea), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Millie Bright, Magdalena Eriksson both Chelsea), Caroline Weir (Man City), Kim Little (Arsenal), Ji So-yun, Beth England (both Chelsea), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Chloe Kelly (Man City).

Championship team of the year: Brice Samba (Nottingham Forest), Luke Ayling, Ben White, Liam Cooper (all Leeds), Joe Bryan (Fulham), Eberechi Eze (QPR), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Romaine Sawyers (West Brom), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham), Ollie Watkins, Said Benrahma (both Brentford).

League One team of the year: Marko Marosi, Fankaty Dabo (both Coventry), Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham), Robert Dickie (Oxford), Joe Jacobsen (Wycombe), Cameron Brannagan (Oxford), Liam Walsh (Coventry), Matt Crooks (Rotherham), Armand Gnanduillet (Blackpool), Ivan Toney (Peterborough), Matt Godden (Coventry).

League Two team of the year: Alex Palmer (Plymouth), Perry Ng (Crewe), Ben Tozer (Cheltenham), Charlie Goode (Northampton), Randell Williams (Exeter), Antoni Sarcevic, Danny Mayor (both Plymouth), Nicky Adams (Northampton), Charlie Kirk (Crewe), Eoin Doyle, Jerry Yates (both Swindon).

Do the analysts agree?

London-based investment company Carteret Analytics worked out a rating for each player on the PFA shortlist by calculating how much they contributed to their team winning football matches.

According to its research, De Bruyne was predicted to win the PFA men’s Player of the Year award, scoring 382.4 in its rating system. Van Dijk was closest to the Belgian with 357.5.

Van Dijk helped Liverpool become champions for the first time in 30 years, keeping 15 clean sheets in 38 games, while City’s Raheem Sterling, who netted 20 goals last term, ended third with a 325.3 rating.

PFA Player of the Year

According to Carteret ratings

Meanwhile, Manchester United forward Rashford should have been the young player of the year, according to Carteret, with a rating of 314.4.

Rashford, 22, recorded his best tally of 17 goals in the Premier League last season, while Liverpool full-back Alexander-Arnold was rated second for his impressive 13 assists. Chelsea midfielder Mount completed the top three.

PFA Young Player of the Year

According to Carteret

Sports analysis company Gracenote also produced their own ‘Global Player Index’ rankings, which are based on how a team performs when a specific player is on the pitch.

Gracenote player rankings

Highest ranked players in England by ‘Global Player Index’

Gracenote’s head of sports analysis, Simon Gleave, told BBC Sport: “Salah is the best player in England given how Liverpool perform when he is on the field. He is followed by his team-mates Mane and Firmino.

“Four of the six nominees for the PFA Player of the Year are ranked in the top six of the Global Player Index for players currently in England. Raheem Sterling is eighth and Jordan Henderson is 13th.

“Henderson is ranked highest of all the players who are 30 or over, just ahead of Manchester City’s Kyle Walker.”

Gracenote’s young player rankings

Highest ranked in Premier League aged under 21 on 1 July 2019

Gleave added: “Alexander-Arnold is currently by far the best young player in England given how Liverpool perform when he is on the field. He is followed by Manchester City’s [Phil] Foden and Rashford of Manchester United.

“All six of the players nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award are ranked in the Global Player Index top 10 of players in England born after 1 July 1998.”

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