Who Will Win PFA Young Player Of The Year?

Who Will Win PFA Young Player Of The Year?
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The end of the season is almost upon us, which means the prizes for both teams and individuals will soon be handed out - and betting sites are tweaking their odds to reflect the latest state of play.

The Premier League title and the Golden Boot are both still up for grabs, while the winner of the PFA Young Player of the award has not yet been handed out either.

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Only those who were aged 21 or under on 1 July 2021 are eligible for the award, which was won by Phil Foden last season. That means the likes of Declan Rice, Mason Mount and Trent Alexander-Arnold have not been put forward as contenders.

There is no official date for when the winner will be announced, but it should be at some point in the next few weeks.

Let’s take a look at the odds and then discuss the main contenders to scoop a prize which counts Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Gascoigne and Tony Adams among its former winners.

PFA Young Player Of The Year Betting

Phil Foden8/15William Hill
Bukayo Saka11/8William Hill
Reece James25/1William Hill
Conor Gallagher25/1William Hill
Emile Smith-Rowe33/1William Hill

Foden The Odds-On Favourite After Fantastic Season

Phil Foden is seeking to become only the fifth player in history to win this award in back-to-back years, after Ryan Giggs, Robbie Fowler, Rooney and Dele Alli.

Football betting sites believe he has an excellent chance of doing so, with odds of just 8/15 available on the England international topping the polls once again.

Foden has had another tremendous season at the Etihad Stadium. He looks set to add a third Premier League winner’s medal to his collection, with Manchester City a point clear of Liverpool heading into the final weekend.

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Just as he was last term, Foden has been an integral part of City’s probable success. He has started 23 games, scored nine goals (a tally bettered only by Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez) and provided five assists.

Foden has played in a multitude of positions: false nine, attacking midfield, central midfield, right flank, left flank. Wherever he has been deployed, the 21-year-old has impressed with his velvet touch, probing passing and ball-on-a-string dribbling.

There were once question marks over whether Foden might need to leave City to fulfil his potential, but the club’s academy graduate looks right at home in one of the best teams in the world. It is hard to see anyone beating him to the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

Saka Bounces Back From Euros Heartache To Shine For Arsenal

Bukayo Saka missed the decisive penalty in the final of the European Championship last summer, but he has bounced back with aplomb this season.

When you watch Saka play, it is easy to forget how young he is. The 20-year-old performs with a maturity that belies his age. His decision-making is sound, his final ball is polished and he leads by example out on the pitch.

Saka has been Arsenal’s standout performer this term. He has been consistent throughout the campaign, reaching double figures for goals for the first time in his career (he has scored 11 with one game to go) and chipping in with six assists too.

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He possesses a huge amount of natural talent but is also incredibly intelligent, a combination which has helped him become the second-favourite to win this award at 11/8 with William Hill.

Having previously been deployed at full-back or as a wing-back, Saka has now nailed down Arsenal’s right-wing berth. That is his best position, from where he is able to drift infield onto his stronger left foot.

He can still fill in on the left if needed though, and has done so reliably on occasion this season. Mikel Arteta will no doubt look to build his team around Saka going forward.

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Crystal Palace Loanee Gallagher Longer Price Than Expected

Conor Gallagher

Crystal Palace considered signing Conor Gallagher on loan in 2020, but ultimately opted for Michy Batshuayi instead.

They righted that wrong last summer and have reaped the rewards ever since, with the midfielder deservedly winning the club’s Player of the Year prize last week.

He is 25/1 to follow that up with the PFA gong - surprisingly long odds given how well he has done in south London.

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Gallagher has been a revelation at Selhurst Park. He has scored eight goals and provided three assists for Palace.

Just as important is the energy and dynamism he has brought to the team. He frequently leads the press and wins the ball back for Patrick Vieira’s side.

His future team-mate Reece James is also priced at 25/1. The England international has thrived as a right-sided centre-half at times in recent weeks, but he still does his best work as a wing-back, from where his athleticism and crossing ability is most effective.

Smith Rowe And Martinelli Among Outsiders For Award

If an Arsenal player is to win the PFA Young Player of the Year award, it will probably be Saka. He has been a mainstay for Arteta’s side this season.

Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli have, for one reason or another, been in and out of the team. That is why both players are priced at 33/1 to finish the voting in first place.

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Jacob Ramsey is also available at that price. The Aston Villa midfielder has enjoyed a promising breakthrough campaign, forcing his way into Steven Gerrard’s side and racking up 32 appearances in the Premier League.

He has caught the eye with his driving, box-to-box runs, and has found the net six times to date.

Tino Livramento’s season was cruelly ended prematurely, as the Southampton right-back suffered an ACL injury against Brighton & Hove Albion.

The 19-year-old, who moved to St Mary’s from Chelsea last summer, had been one of Southampton’s best players, offering marauding runs and attacking intent down the flank.