The PFA Player Of The Year nominees for the 2014/15 season have been announced, and last year's winner Luis Suarez is the most notable absentee from the shortlist, presumably because he has moved to Barcelona and no longer plays in the Premier League.
Chelsea are the only side to have more than one player nominated, as last year's young player of the year Eden Hazard is listed along with Diego Costa, and the rest of the contenders are made up of the standout performers from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Spurs.
This year seems to be tougher to call than any other season in recent memory, so with that said, here are the six nominees in order of their likeliness to claim to most coveted personal prize in English club football.
6 - Diego Costa - Chelsea
Brazilian born Spaniard Diego Coasta's first season in England has been a roaring success. Sometimes when players arrive from La Liga they need time to settle in to English culture before they begin influencing matches to the best of their ability, but Costa has offered Chelsea exactly what they expected of him when he signed; Goals. 19 to be exact. Had he not suffered some untimely injuries he would no doubt be higher on this list, but another factor is the fact that he has been consistently outshone by one of his team-mates.
5 - Philippe Coutinho - Liverpool
When Liverpool signed Philippe Coutinho from Inter Milan for a cut-price fee back in 2013, nobody would have considered him a marquee signing, but the diminutive Brazilian has gone on to become one of Liverpool's most important players. His dribbling is simply electrifying, and he is the type of player who makes the fans stand up anytime he has the ball, but it's his string of fantastic goals that have caught the eye most for a player who has a great season despite his team's inability to reach the heights they hit in the last campaign.
4 - Alexis Sanchez - Aresenal
Another player who hit the ground running after arriving from La Liga is Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has been a consistent standout performer who has offered his side a very impressive 14 league goals from a wide position, as well as a whole hosts of assists. Sanchez's season has be the type that new players in the Premier League dream about, and has fully justified the hysteria among Arsenal fans around his arrival.
3 - David De Gea - Manchester United
Last season, David De Gea's performances were so good that the question was asked whether the Spaniard was among the very elite group of goalkeepers in the World today. This season, De Gea has confirmed that he absolutely belongs there. Manchester United's form has been inconsistent this season, prior to the discovery of their current tactics, but "Big Dave" has not. Had he not let a soft shot squirm under his body against Aston Villa two weeks ago, I would be asking the question "Has he made a single mistake, or even half-mistake this season?". United absolutely need to hold on to him for as long as possible.
2 - Harry Kane - Tottenham
If I told you in September that Harry Kane would be joint top-scorer in the league with 19 goals, he would be called up for England and score on his debut, and he would be nominated for PFA player of the year, you would have laughed, closed the tab, and given me abuse on twitter. And you would have been fully justified. Nobody can claim to have seen Harry Kane's breakout coming, but having been given a chance as the focal point of Spurs' attack the young Englishman has been a revelation, winning matches on his own and scoring goals week in week out. He may not win the main award, but he's a shoe-in for the Young Player award, and he's English, so that'll help.
1 - Eden Hazard - Chelsea
Eden Hazard has been the best player in the Premier League this year. Chelsea's number 10 has consistently bamboozled defenders, provided assists, and grabbed goals (12 so far) with superb consistency. There's not much else to say really, Chelsea win will the league this year, and Eden Hazard is one of the main reasons. He's improved on his performances from last season which were enough to see him win the PFA young player of the year award, and this year he will surely win the big boys prize.