Bleacher Report’s Alternative PFA Awards
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The votes have been cast, and soon the winners of the 2017 PFA Awards will be revealed. However, are the awards really reflective of the breadth of his Premier League campaign?
We at Bleacher Report don’t think so, so we’ve decided to give out a number of “alternative awards.” Who was the worst signing of the season? Who scored the best goal? Which player made the most remarkable comeback?
Read on to discover who’s picked up the prizes at our alternative PFA Awards.
Best Player Not on PFA Shortlist: Dele Alli
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Every year, the final PFA shortlist leaves out one player who appeared to be a certainty. There are several candidates with cause to feel disappointed this season—the likes of David Luiz, Christian Eriksen and Sadio Mane immediately spring to mind.
However, the outstanding omission is surely Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli.
While he has made it on to the Young Player of the Year list, Alli really ought to be in the running for the senior prize, too. He has been the outstanding player in a Tottenham side who are not only set to end two decades of hurt by finishing above rivals Arsenal, but who could yet pip Chelsea to the title.
Perhaps his youth counted against him. Nevertheless, if Alli continues to progress at this rate, it is surely a matter of time before he is dominating the individual awards in English football.
Best Signing: Sadio Mane
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Although his campaign was ended early by injury, Sadio Mane’s first season with Liverpool was still sensational. According to Squawka, he scored 13 goals and assisted a further five in just 27 Premier League appearances.
More than that, he has reinvigorated Liverpool as an attacking force. Mane’s exhilarating combination of pace, power and skill has made Jurgen Klopp’s side one of the league’s most exciting teams to watch.
The question now is whether Klopp can still guide Liverpool into the top four without Mane at his disposal. Based on his performances this season, he undoubtedly deserves to be in the Champions League next year.
Biggest Flop: Claudio Bravo
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Claudio Bravo will surely go down as the most disappointing signing of the 2016/17 season. When Pep Guardiola chose to allow Joe Hart to leave Manchester City, replacing him with former Barcelona stopper Bravo, it felt like he was making a point.
From the moment he made his debut in the Manchester derby, Bravo’s campaign has been littered with errors.
He might be more capable on the ball than Hart, but he also seems entirely unsuited to other aspects of the Premier League. According to Squawka, he has made just 1.04 saves per goal, suggesting that every other shot against him finds the net. Guardiola seems utterly determined to keep faith with Bravo—but at what cost?