PFA chief Gordon Taylor assesses the shortlist for Player of the Year
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me: @skysportspeteo. Last Updated: 19/04/13 1:05pm
Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor assesses the merits of the six-man shortlist for their Player of the Year award.
Gareth Bale, Michael Carrick, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie make up their shortlist for the prestigious prize.
Gareth Bale Eden Hazard Juan Mata Robin van Persie Michael Carrick Luis Suarez
Bale and Hazard are also in the running for the Young Player of the Year award and Taylor believes all six deserve their nominations.
Here are Taylor's views on each individual candidate:
Gareth Bale (Tottenham)
He came through a difficult start. Coming from Southampton to Tottenham it was a long, long time before success was achieved and he has come through that barrier and I think he has shown great character to do that.
He just lights up the pitch and you see the results with Gareth in the team and when he's not there. The statistics tell a story, so he's a very valuable part of a Tottenham side that has had a top class season.
Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
He's definitely got quality and on his day he's absolutely exceptional as a midfield player and at times he has played in different roles and adapted well.
He is one of those players who is regarded as a player's player, he doesn't normally make big headlines but he's highly regarded by his fellow professionals.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
His contribution to Chelsea has been without doubt in the best mould of the Barcelona type of midfield players and he is just top quality.
Juan Mata (Chelsea)
"He's not particularly massive in stature, good balance, good build, good technique good passing ability, good awareness and ability to get goals and make goals.
Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
He has that intensity to win and be a top quality footballer and I think his position at Liverpool with the likes of Steven Gerrard, who does a lot of work for him and with him, is helping to restore Liverpool I think on the way back to good things.
Robin van Persie (Manchester United)
Robin van Persie is one of the finest strikers in the world.
I think a crucial signing for Manchester United, an excellent signing
It was the icing on the cake. I think he has been a key player that's got them to the top and looking like winning the Premiership this season.