De Bruyne pips Son and Salah to take Player of the Season
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has been voted the Premier League's Player of the Season, beating Liverpool's Mohammad Salah and Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min for the title.
As of press time Sunday, De Bruyne had scored 15 goals and provided seven assists with one game still to be played in the 2021-22 season. The Belgian international previously won the award in the 2019-20 season.
While De Bruyne may not have been the highest scorer on the shortlist, his prolific production is likely to have swayed the votes in his favor. He is the only player in the Premier League to average over three shots and three chances created per 90 minutes played this season, a feat he also managed for the last two seasons.
That prowess was on display on May 11 against Wolverhampton Wanderers — a game that was incredibly timely for a potential Player of the Season contender — when De Bruyne scored four goals, three of them within a 20-minute spell in the first half.
The Player of the Season winner is determined by a combination of public votes on the Premier League website, votes from the captains of the 20 Premier League clubs and the decision of a panel of football experts.
Salah and Son were among the eight players shortlisted for the award and were considered serious contenders as the Premier League's two highest scorers this season.
As of press time Sunday, Salah leads the race for the golden boot with 22 goals, followed by Son with 21 goals. Both teams have one more game to play later on Sunday — Liverpool face Wolves and Tottenham face Norwich City — meaning the top scorer title could well change hands in the final minutes of the season.
The other names on the shortlist were Manchester City's Joao Cancelo, Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, West Ham's Jarrod Bowen, Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Southampton's James Ward-Prowse.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]