The 2021/22 Premier League season has been a thrilling spectacle, with the return of full stadiums contributing to many players lifting their game.
We have seen the likes of Mohamed Salah, Heung-min Son, Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane all sparkle for their respective clubs.
However, they aren’t the only ones, and the likes of Bernardo Silva and Virgil van Dijk also deserve a mention.
With that in mind, talkSPORT.com have had a closer look at the six players who are likely to be nominated for PFA Player of the Year.
When will Player of the Season nominees be announced?
Last year, the nominees for Player of the Season weren’t announced until early June, but the awards are usually held in May.
However, it is looking like the nominees and winner could be released in June again.
The turnaround between contenders being announced and the winner is very short, and the PFA confirmed De Bruyne as 2021’s Player of the Year just four days after the shortlist was released.
How are the nominees and winner selected?
The award is unique in football because fellow professional footballers select it.
Each member gets two votes, and the six players with the most are placed on a shortlist, and the player with the most votes wins.
This is considered the most prestigious individual award a player can win..
John Terry said in 2005: “It’s the ultimate accolade to be voted for by your fellow professionals whom you play against week-in and week-out”.
Who could be nominated?
There’s probably only one player to start with, and that is Salah. The Egyptian is the top scorer in the Premier League with 22 goals and has also provided the most assists with 13.
Therefore, just on statistics alone, there is no way he can’t be nominated for Player of the Season, but he has also delivered in the big games.
Salah has provided direct goal contributions in ties against Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.
His form did dip after the Africa Cup of Nations but he has provided five goal contributions in his last six league matches, so you would say he is getting back to his best.
So, no matter what happens to Liverpool for the rest of the season, Salah has earned a nomination for Player of the Year.
Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne has had yet another superb campaign for City and he is leading the way as they make their title charge.
The Belgian international had a relatively slow start to the year due to injury and lack of fitness. But since scoring against Liverpool at Anfield, he hasn’t looked back.
De Bruyne has smashed his previous best goalscoring season, and with two games to go, he could get close to 20 after slamming in four against Wolves.
The former Chelsea man makes City tick, and in the big fixtures, he has delivered. Against Liverpool at the Etihad, he was the best player on the pitch, which emphasises his class.
It always feels that Son doesn’t get the credit he deserves from the wider footballing world. But the 29-year-old is, without doubt, one of the best players in the Premier League.
He is just one goal behind Salah in the race for the golden boot and could quite easily finish above the Egyptian.
Son has scored four in his last three and is doing all he can to push Tottenham into the Champions League.
The forward has been excellent since Antonio Conte arrived at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
But even under Nuno Espirito Santo, he scored some important goals in wins over Manchester City, Watford and Newcastle United.
So, he has been consistently good for Spurs and has to be in consideration for PFA Player of the Year.
By his own admission, Kane would probably say he didn’t start the year particularly well.
However, since Antonio Conte arrived at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, we have seen the England striker get back to his best.
Kane’s passing has become better and better in recent times, and this season, some of his assists have been out of this world.
Also, his performance against City in Spurs’ 3-2 win was probably one of the best displays of any player in the Premier League this year and he popped up with a last-minute winner.
Kane has it all and is now back to his best both in front of goal and as a provider. The big question is, can he guide Tottenham to a place in the top four?
Bernardo has only missed three games in the Premier League all season, and that was against Tottenham on the opening weekend and then Watford and Newcastle last Sunday.
The fact Spurs beat City without Silva prompted Pep Guardiola to start him in the next match and the Portuguese international hasn’t looked back.
Despite City having a huge array of talent and Guardiola known for rotating his squad, Silva has been pretty much a constant.
His versatility, work rate and intelligence make him an integral part of this City side, and this year, he has been on the top of his game.
Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk’s return to fitness and form this season has helped Liverpool get back to their top levels.
The Dutchman oozes class and his passing is a key weapon in the Reds’ approach play, while his pace allows Liverpool to squeeze high up the pitch.
As well as this, he is a born winner and the Reds have lost just two fixtures in which he has featured this year.
Ultimately, his presence and attitude have improved Liverpool, and in most games he plays, he looks the calmest player on the pitch.
Therefore, it would be a major surprise if Van Dijk wasn’t nominated for Player of the Season because his return has helped Liverpool challenge for the title once again.
Bet Of The Weekend
Sky Bet: Man City, Aston Villa & Leicester all to win – boosted to 5/1 (from 4/1)
18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org.