Manchester United’s inspirational goalkeeper David De Gea can become the first keeper since 1978 to win the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award after being nominated in the final shortlist. De Gea has also been nominated for the young player award.
A goalkeeper has not won the Player of the Year award since Nottingham Forest custodian Peter Shilton in 1978. Whereas, West Ham’s Mervyn Day was the last keeper to win the Young Player of the Year in 1975.
Along with David De Gea, Chelsea’s duo of Diego Costa and the favourite for the award Eden Hazard, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez was the other nominees.
Hazard, Kane and Coutinho are also up for the Young Player of the Year award along with De Gea, Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
The Spanish stopper has been on impressive form this campaign. He has been at times the one man army for the Reds by saving crucial points at crucial times of the season to keep them always in the hunt for Champions League places.
However, it is unlikely for David De Gea to win the award as the clear favourite for this years award is Chelsea winger Eden Hazard. The Belgian is on red hot form with his impressive displays for the Blues in this season’s league games.
Hence, the Manchester United’s goalie’s best chance of winning the award may be only in the young player category. In that too he may have to face a difficult battle with the impressive Hary Kane or Chelsea’s shot stopper Courtois.
Keepers are not often picked for awards, as it is usually the goal scorers who get the recognition, while the goal stoppers are not given equal importance. If POTY finally decides to change the trend by handing the award to the keeper who has single handedly kept United in the Champions league, then the Spaniard may make history by becoming the first player since 1978 to win the grand award.