N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard’s efforts in Chelsea’s Premier League title tilt have been recognised with nominations for the men’s Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award.
Kante, who was shortlisted last year for his part in Leicester’s remarkable season but did not make the top three, is the bookmakers’ favourite for the 2016-17 accolade, with the winners to be announced at Grosvenor House in London on Sunday, April 23.
Hazard picked up this award two years ago, when the Blues won the league at a canter under Jose Mourinho.
Alexis Sanchez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane also feature on the six-man shortlist, the PFA has announced.
Everton forward Lukaku, the top flight’s leading scorer this term with 23 goals, is battling it out with a number of his fellow nominees for the Golden Boot.
Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic has scored 17 goals in his first season in English football, while Sanchez has notched 18 times to brighten up what has been a disappointing campaign for Arsenal.
Kane – the only English nominee in this category – has netted 19 goals despite two spells out with ankle problems. He was third in the voting last year and has also been shortlisted for the Young Player of the Year gong alongside Spurs team-mate Dele Alli.
Alli, who turned 21 on Tuesday, won this award last year and has enjoyed another brilliant season, scoring 16 goals to help Mauricio Pochettino’s side emerge as Chelsea’s nearest challengers.
The Tottenham duo are joined by Lukaku, Burnley defender Michael Keane, Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.
Keane’s impressive form for the Clarets this term earned him a first England senior call-up late last year, and he now has two caps to his name. Pickford has performed well between the posts in a struggling Black Cats side, while Germany international Sane has won rave reviews of late following his big-money summer arrival from Schalke.
Having won last season’s Women’s Super League crown without losing a game, Manchester City are understandably well represented for the women’s Player of the Year prize.
England right-back Lucy Bronze, who won the award in 2014, is joined by the club’s top scorer Jane Ross and midfielder Jill Scott. Alongside the City trio on the six-woman shortlist are Ellen White, Karen Carney and Caroline Weir.
Ross and Liverpool midfielder Weir both look set to feature in the Scotland team that face England at Euro 2017 this summer.
Bronze and Scott will represent England at the showpiece tournament in Holland, along with attacking midfielder Carney – a consistently strong performer for Chelsea last term – and Birmingham forward White, who scored the winner against the United States at the SheBelieves Cup last month.
Chelsea’s Millie Bright and Manchester City’s Nikita Parris – both also going to the Euros with England – have been nominated for the women’s Young Player of the Year gong.
Three City players get the nod in this category too, with Parris joined by Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh. Weir is again nominated, along with Birmingham’s Jess Carter.