PFA Player of the Year
Title-chasers and top-four contenders dominate the nominations for the 2011/12 PFA Player of the Year.
Last Updated: 16/04/12 4:58pm
The cream of the Premier League crop have been selected and it is no surprise to find that those challenging for title glory and a top-four finish dominate the PFA's shortlist for the 2011/12 Player of the Year.
Manchester City's season has been dominated by the antics of an Argentine striker, but Carlos Tevez has been overshadowed on the field by the performances of his international colleague Aguero. Snapped up from Atletico Madrid for some £38 million in July 2011, the South American hot-shot arrived at the Etihad Stadium with a reputation as one of the deadliest marksmen in world football. He took just nine minutes to announce his Premier League arrival after stepping off the bench during a home date with Swansea in August and has been a regular source of goals for City ever since. His debut season in England has seen him net 28 times in all competitions, with 21 of those efforts coming in the league. Aguero has also provided 10 assists, proving that he is more than just a fox in the box.
The undisputed number one for club and country, Hart has enjoyed another standout season for Manchester City. The 24-year-old has been an ever-present for the Blues in their Premier League title quest, providing a reliable last line of defence. He has been beaten just 27 times in 34 appearances and has picked up 14 clean sheets along the way. Roberto Mancini may have struggled to keep others inside the Etihad Stadium camp in check this season, but knows he will never get any trouble from Hart. Supremely confident and a man who never gives anything less than 100 per cent, Hart will be hoping that another productive campaign ends with him collecting domestic honours with City and international accolades with England at Euro 2012.
Parker earned plenty of his plaudits for his efforts during a disappointing campaign for West Ham last year, but the combative midfielder ultimately ended the season on a downer as the Hammers were relegated out of the Premier League. He was not expected to stick around at Upton Park once demotion was confirmed, and he was duly snapped up by Tottenham. Harry Redknapp has pieced together a Spurs side that possesses the perfect blend of graft and guile, and it is Parker who has helped to add bite to their midfield ranks. It may have taken him until his 30s to be recognised as one of the best in the business, but Parker is now an integral performer for Tottenham and England and has shown that he is capable of being a leading light at a top-four club.
Robin van Persie
When Cesc Fabregas headed for the Emirates Stadium exit last summer, bound for Barcelona, Arsenal found themselves shorn of a talismanic skipper and creative force. Fortunately for them, they had a ready-made replacement already on their books. Van Persie's ability has never been in doubt, but his fitness and temperament have been called into question down the years. Not any more, with the deadly Dutchman having matured into one of the finest frontmen around. He has led from the front this season as Arsenal have, at times, wandered off the beaten track. Van Persie's presence has offered assurance to those around him when they have needed it most and he has embraced his promotion to the role of head Gunner. A remarkable strike rate has seen him plunder 34 goals in all competitions, and it appears almost certain that he will land the Premier League golden boot.
There is every chance that the 2011/12 campaign will go down as the most productive in Rooney's glittering career, on a personal level. Manchester United may have to make do with just the one piece of silverware - or maybe none at all - but whatever happens, Rooney can rest easy knowing that he has done all he can to bring success to Old Trafford. The Red Devils continue to look to their battering ram of a frontman for inspiration, and he continues to deliver. Rooney was among the goals in United's opening game of the season at West Brom and has gone on to register 24 times in the Premier League and 31 times in all competitions. Were he to find the target on a further four occasions before the season is out, Rooney would set a new personal best when it comes to goals scored. Among those he has already added to his tally is his 150th for United, while he has also passed the 350-appearance mark for the Red Devils this term.
When Manchester City burst out of the Premier League blocks back in August, it was Silva who was calling the shots and giving opposition defences nightmares. The Spanish schemer was at his elusive best, with much of the Blues' best work going through his wand of a left foot. He was lauded as one of the finest players on the planet by Roberto Mancini after guiding City to the top of the table and was rightly recognised with the Premier League Player of the Month award in October. It was always going to be difficult for him to maintain those impeccably high standards, but Silva remains the biggest creative threat in City's ranks. He has provided a divisional-high 13 assists in the Premier League this season, and a further four in cup competitions, to underline his value to the Etihad Stadium cause.