PL Player of the Season nominees – and the ‘forgotten five’

The eight PL Player of the Season nominees have been revealed. They are:

  • Phil Foden (Manchester City)
  • Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
  • Alexander Isak (Newcastle United)
  • Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
  • Cole Palmer (Chelsea)
  • Declan Rice (Arsenal)
  • Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
  • Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

However, it's impossible to come up with a list of eight that keeps every PL fan in existence happy. So we have come up with a list of five players who were very unlucky to miss out, and who should perhaps even be nominated ahead of some of the nominees:

Jordan Pickford next club
Pickford has played a huge part in Everton avoiding relegation again – Photo by Icon sport

PL Player of the Season nominees – Top 5 forgotten players

5. Jordan Pickford (Everton)

The nominees list does not include a goalkeeper, and often the position is overlooked for these kinds of awards. Arsenal's David Raya deserves a special mention for already securing the Golden Glove with an unmatched 15 clean sheets, but Everton's Jordan Pickford is not far behind him at all on 12.

This is for a Toffees side not at the top of the PL, and has instead been fighting off potential relegation until recently, after suffering two points deductions throughout the season for breaching the league's Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR). Nonetheless, Pickford has made some outstanding saves to keep Everton in games, and should have at least been considered for a POTS nomination.

Gabriel has been a threat in both boxes for Arsenal this season – Photo by Icon Sport

4. Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal)

Likewise in a lack of goalkeepers, there are also a lack of defenders in the nominations, with only Van Dijk listed among the eight nominees. Although the Netherlands international has been a standout performer in an otherwise sometimes shaky Liverpool defence, the fact he has been nominated over other defenders has to be questioned.

One is Arsenal's Brazilian rock Gabriel, who has formed a formidable partnership with William Saliba at centre-back to the extent that teams find it extremely difficult to break the Gunners down. Indeed, they have the best defensive record by far in the division, conceding just 28 goals, with a lot of them coming from their own mistakes like Raya's against Tottenham Hotspur in Arsenal's 3-2 North London derby win.

Liverpool – Arsenal élő közvetítés
Saliba is the only Arsenal player to play in every minute of the PL so far this season – Photo by Icon sport

3. William Saliba (Arsenal)

Saliba's rock-solid partnership with Gabriel means you cannot really have one without nominating the other. The Frenchman is the only Arsenal player to play every single minute of the league season so far, and will hope to continue that streak against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

Without Saliba, the Gunners would probably not be as close to winning the title, as they found out towards the end of last season when he unfortunately got injured. That seemed to derail Arsenal, as Manchester City eventually caught up with them and beat them to the PL crown.

Saka is enjoying his most prolific PL season in terms of goal contributions – Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images – Photo by Icon Sport

2. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

After another impressive title-chasing season, our third Arsenal nominee to have missed out comes in the form of the ever-consistent Bukayo Saka. The winger has contributed his best-ever campaign in terms of goals and assists, with 16 PL goals and a further nine assists to his name so far, making it 25 in total.

Perhaps Saka's consistency hindered him in terms of a nomination, as these are the kinds of numbers people come to expect from him. Nonetheless, he will feel aggrieved to not be nominated after another impressive campaign.

Manchester City's Rodri
Rodri is on a remarkable unbeaten run in a City shirt – Andrew Yates / Sportimage – Photo by Icon Sport

1. Rodri (Manchester City)

Perhaps the biggest surprise in terms of the nominees is that Rodri (earlier declared the second-best footballer in the world by Football Whispers) was not included. The Manchester City star is arguably the most important player in the team, as they do seem to miss him a lot when he is not playing.

Indeed, the Spanish midfielder is on a remarkable run of not being beaten in a City shirt in normal time in over a year, and in three PL games in the first half of the season when he was not available through suspension, City lost all three. Nonetheless, should the Sky Blues win a fourth consecutive PL title, and their sixth in seven seasons, Rodri will have undoubtedly played a huge part in making it happen.


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Adam Clancy

Adam is a lead writer on Football Whispers. He is a big Arsenal fan, and also follows his local club Wealdstone, made famous by The Wealdstone Raider, of whom he has interviewed. Adam also follows darts, boxing, cricket and tennis, among many other sports.