Sportsmail’s reporters decide their winners for PFA Awards – but is it a Liverpool whitewash?

Marilyn Dubinski Chelsea FC Leave a Comment

It has been a remarkable season for Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp‘s dominant Reds easing their way towards the Premier League title having dropped points in just one game so far this season.

The majority of their first-choice XI can stake their claim for a place in the Team of the Year, while Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are the bookies’ favourites for Player and Young Player respectively.

But what do our reporters think? With the players’ voting set to open soon, we asked our reporters have their say on if it should be a Liverpool whitewash, or whether some other stars can break the mould and force their way in to contention…

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool players are expected to clean up at this season's PFA Awards

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool players are expected to clean up at this season's PFA Awards

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool players are expected to clean up at this season’s PFA Awards

JOE BERNSTEIN (Football Writer) 

Player of the Year: Trent Alexander-Arnold 

Liverpool can buy from around the world so for a local kid to take a place in Jurgen Klopp’s superteam on merit is a remarkable achievement. And of course Trent adds so much; passing, set pieces, crosses, clean sheets and a wonderful mentality. Has redefined the role of right-back.

Young Player of the Year: Trent Alexander-Arnold 

He’s still only 21 and it’s a nonsense when the Player of the Year is overlooked for an older rival for Young Player of the Year. Just because Trent is already world-class and destined to be the Premier League’s best ever right-back, doesn’t mean we should take his age for granted.

Team of the Year: D Henderson: Alexander-Arnold, Maguire, Van Dijk, Robertson; Salah, J Henderson, De Bruyne, Mane; Vardy, Ings

Whilst tempting to pick the entire Liverpool first XI, you have to factor in Allisson and Joe Gomez injuries and Roberto Firmino failing to score at Anfield this season. Six of Klopp’s team are in for obvious reasons but football fans will also appreciate the jobs Dean Henderson and Danny Ings have done at smaller clubs. Kevin De Bruyne has consistently been the best non-Liverpool player in the country

It's a clean sweep for Trent Alexander-Arnold here as he picks up Player and Young Player

It's a clean sweep for Trent Alexander-Arnold here as he picks up Player and Young Player

It’s a clean sweep for Trent Alexander-Arnold here as he picks up Player and Young Player

DOMINIC KING (North West Football Writer)

Player of the Year: Jordan Henderson

Many people will look at this answer and roll their eyes or look at it scornfully but the driving force behind Liverpool’s march to the title has been their captain. His form has been outstanding, the best of his career, and he has stamped his name over a succession of big games. Others get more headlines but nobody has done more work within the squad to keep Liverpool rolling forward. Henderson would be a fitting winner.

Young Player of the Year: Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool’s right-back was 8/1 favourite for this award last July and it would be a shock if he didn’t receive the recognition of his peers. When you hear luminaries such as Cafu flag up his qualities, you know there is something special about his ability. He is a contender for the main award, never mind the junior category. It is hoped, though, that Chelsea’s Mason Mount finishes on the podium, too.

Team of the Year: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Evans, Robertson; De Bruyne, Henderson, Mount; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is favourite to win this season's Player of the Year award

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is favourite to win this season's Player of the Year award

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is favourite to win this season’s Player of the Year award

CHRIS WHEELER (North West Football Writer) 

Player of the Year: Jordan Henderson

You could take your pick from the Liverpool team that has taken the Premier League by storm this season, but Henderson has been the driving force behind the champions elect. While there may have been more outstanding performers, no-one has been as important to Jurgen Klopp’s side. Having lifted the Champions League last season, the Liverpool skipper will deservedly get his hands on that elusive Premier League trophy this time around.

Young Player of the Year: Trent Alexander-Arnold 

There are other worthy contenders, not least Marcus Rashford, James Maddison and Mason Mount, but it’s hard to overlook Liverpool again and Alexander-Arnold. The young full-back continues to go from strength to strength in this outstanding team in which he provides so much down the right side.

Team of the Year: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson; De Bruyne, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Liverpool dominate and rightly so. It was hard enough leaving one of them out, such has been their dominance over a decidedly average Premier League this season. Kevin De Bruyne gets the vote because, frankly, he would walk into any team in the country. But do Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, or Jamie Vardy – all outstanding performers for their respective clubs – deserve to dislodge any of these Liverpool players? 

Kevin De Bruyne is the ONLY player to dislodge Liverpool's stars in Chris Wheeler's XI players

Kevin De Bruyne is the ONLY player to dislodge Liverpool's stars in Chris Wheeler's XI players

Kevin De Bruyne is the ONLY player to dislodge Liverpool’s stars in Chris Wheeler’s XI players

MATT BARLOW (Football Writer)

Player of the Year: Jordan Henderson 

The epitome of this incredible Liverpool team.

Young Player of the Year: Mason Mount 

The creative spark behind Chelsea’s fine start.

Team of the Year: Alisson; Alex-Arnold, Evans, Van Dijk, Robertson; De Bruyne, Henderson, Grealish; Ings, Firmino, Mane

Mason Mount is Chelsea's creative spark and is Matt Barlow's pick for Young Player of the Year

Mason Mount is Chelsea's creative spark and is Matt Barlow's pick for Young Player of the Year

Mason Mount is Chelsea’s creative spark and is Matt Barlow’s pick for Young Player of the Year

SAMI MOKBEL (Football Writer)

Player of the Year: Sadio Mane

You could go through the Liverpool team and make a case for all of them – but Mane gives Jurgen Klopp’s side the threat that’s made them unstoppable this season. Pace, power, intelligence – you name it, Mane’s displayed it.

Young Player of the Year: Trent Alexander-Arnold

Already a superstar. Has already accomplished so much for a player who only turned 21 in October. Dictates football matches from right-back. Surely he has to start for England at Euro 2020.

Team of the Year: Schmeichel; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Evans, Robertson; De Bruyne, Henderson, Grealish; Sterling, Mane; Vardy 

Sadio Mane, pictured scoring at Norwich, picks up Sami Mokbel's vote for Player of the Year

Sadio Mane, pictured scoring at Norwich, picks up Sami Mokbel's vote for Player of the Year

Sadio Mane, pictured scoring at Norwich, picks up Sami Mokbel’s vote for Player of the Year

ADRIAN KAJUMBA – Football Writer 

Player of the Year: Sadio Mane

For the third year running this award will be heading to Anfield. After Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk, this has been Sadio Mane’s time to really shine. Salah has slightly more goals but Mane has been more impressive and influential and a number of his strikes have been key ones. He just edges out last year’s winner Van Dijk.

Young Player of the Year: Jack Grealish

His potential has long been known. This season he has shown it on a consistent basis at the top level, to the point where he has put himself firmly in the conversation for England’s Euro 2020 squad. So much ability and end product to go with it and the sort of player you pay your money to watch. Villa might be struggling and even go down but if they do it won’t be for the want of trying on their captain’s part.

Team of the Year: Henderson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Soyuncu, Robertson; De Bruyne, Ndidi, Grealish; Traore, Ings, Mane.

The heavy Liverpool presence is to be expected. Many of the other picks are those who have been less heralded and exceeded expectations. Dean Henderson’s role in Sheffield United’s success gets him the No 1 shirt ahead of Ben Foster. Caglar Soyuncu has helped Leicester move on from Harry Maguire seamlessly. Leicester’s drop off coincided with Wilfred Ndidi’s injury struggles. Jack Grealish has lit up the league, Adama Traore looks like he’s starting to work out how to get the best out of his gifts and Danny Ings’s resurgence has been a great story after his injury struggles.

Aston Villa's captain Jack Grealish has shown his ability on a consistent basis this season

Aston Villa's captain Jack Grealish has shown his ability on a consistent basis this season

Aston Villa’s captain Jack Grealish has shown his ability on a consistent basis this season

JACK GAUGHAN (North West Football Writer)  

Player of the Year: Kevin De Bruyne

Young Player of the Year: Trent Alexander-Arnold

Team of the Year: D Henderson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Basham, Robertson; De Bruyne, Henderson, Grealish; Mane, Aguero, Vardy

The goal contributions dictated who got the nod in the attacking areas, with Jamie Vardy and Sergio Aguero obvious picks. Sadio Mane is handed a place over Mohamed Salah owing to his overall performances, while Kevin De Bruyne closes in on Thierry Henry’s record 20 assists in a season.

Sheffield United definitely deserved a couple of mentions in a defensive sense, having conceded less than a goal a game. Dean Henderson’s nine clean sheets in a promoted team is phenomenal. 

Dean Henderson of Sheffield United beats Alisson to the keeper spot in some of the picks

Dean Henderson of Sheffield United beats Alisson to the keeper spot in some of the picks

Dean Henderson of Sheffield United beats Alisson to the keeper spot in some of the picks

TOM COLLOMOSSE (Midlands Football Writer) 

Player of the Year: Sadio Mane

Always dangerous and usually decisive, the Liverpool man would walk into any team in the world and has been consistently excellent throughout what looks likely to be a record-breaking season. His form this season is even more remarkable when you consider he has barely had a break, after playing for Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations last summer and helping them reach the final. In a team full of outstanding performers, Mane stands alone. 

Young Player of the Year: Mason Mount

The midfielder has generally adapted very well to his first full season of Premier League football, showing maturity and an impressive temperament at a club where pressure is always high. Mount has planned his career carefully, with loans at Vitesse Arnhem and Derby preceding his elevation to the Chelsea first team. He is a strong contender for a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad, too, and, at 21, still has plenty of room for improvement. 

Team of the Year: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Evans, Van Dijk, Robertson; De Bruyne, Ndidi, Bernardo Silva; Traore, Firmino, Mane

Adama Traore has burst onto the scene at Wolves and he earns a place in Tom Collomosse's XI

Adama Traore has burst onto the scene at Wolves and he earns a place in Tom Collomosse's XI

Adama Traore has burst onto the scene at Wolves and he earns a place in Tom Collomosse’s XI

DANIEL MATTHEWS (London Football Writer) 

Player of the Year: Kevin De Bruyne

It is refreshing to finally see Jordan Henderson earning the plaudits his performances have long merited for Liverpool but, though he has been a leading light in the runaway leaders’ success, there has been one outstanding performer this season. Kevin De Bruyne continues to see things other players can’t and do things they wouldn’t dream of – even while the team around him has splintered and stumbled.

Young Player of the Year: Trent Alexander-Arnold 

It is a mark of the way Trent Alexander-Arnold has normalised brilliance that, in recent months, there hasn’t felt anything special about his performances. Yes, he is Liverpool’s creator in chief and, with Andy Robertson, the key cog in their attacking machine. But how long have we known that about the 21-year-old? An incredible player. Notable mentions for Jack Grealish and James Maddison, who have both earned a place at Euro 2020.

Team of the Year: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, O’Connell, Van Dijk, Chilwell; Henderson, Ndidi, De Bruyne; Mane, Vardy, Traore 

Jack O'Connell is a surprise inclusion in Dan Matthews' side, which only has five Liverpool stars

Jack O'Connell is a surprise inclusion in Dan Matthews' side, which only has five Liverpool stars

Jack O’Connell is a surprise inclusion in Dan Matthews’ side, which only has five Liverpool stars

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