PFA Awards 2017: N'Golo Kante beats Eden Hazard to Player of the Year

Dan Zeqiri
N'Golo Kanté was named the PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night - PA

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has been voted the Professional Footballers' Association player of the year for the 2016-17 season.

The Frenchman, who is on course to win a second successive Premier League title after also being part of the Leicester side which upset the odds last season, secured the most votes from his fellow players.

He saw off competition from Chelsea team-mate Eden Hazard - who won the award in 2015 - plus Tottenham's Harry Kane, Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United and Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez.

Kante was presented with the award at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on Sunday evening.

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli won the young player prize for the second successive season, Manchester City's Lucy Bronze won the women's player of the year award for the second time having also won it in 2014, and Birmingham's Jess Carter topped the voting in the women's young player category.

Former England captain David Beckham received the PFA's Merit award for his contribution to the game.

Kante has played a key role in Chelsea's surge to the top of the league this season and is renowned as a tireless box-to-box competitor who helps break up opposition attacks and initiate them for his own side.

He is set to become the first player to achieve the distinction of winning successive Premier League titles with different clubs if Chelsea can hold off Tottenham in this season's championship race.

Kante said: "To be chosen by the players to be player of the year means a lot to me.

"It means the world to be chosen and it's been two beautiful seasons, one with Leicester, and we are in good form with Chelsea. To be player of the year, it's a great honour."

On his move from Leicester to Stamford Bridge, Kante continued: "It's a different type of playing, but with the manager, with the players, everything is easy, because we work a lot to be good in the games. It's working very well."

Dele Alli won the Young Player of the Year award Credit: PA

Asked about the influence of boss Antonio Conte, the former Boulogne and Caen player said: "He knows what he wants from the players.

"He wants to win, and we work very, very, very hard in training for him. He put a winning mentality into the squad, and everyone wants to give their best for the team, and to make Chelsea win titles."

The Blues are four points clear at the top of the Premier League and Paris-born Kante added: "We have to fight for six more games.

"We're going to fight like a final for every game, and hopefully we can win the league at the end of the season."

Chelsea will also face Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 27 and, on talk of a double, he said: "We're going to fight for both competitions.

"The cup is just one game, and the league six games, and we're going to give our best to win these two competitions."

Lucy Bronze won Women's Player of the year Credit: PA

Alli's young player prize is some consolation for his controversial omission from the six-man shortlist for the senior award.

The England midfielder, 21, has again been critical to Spurs' title push and heading into the weekend was the highest-scoring player in the league not recognised as a forward, with 16 goals.

England full-back Bronze won the women's player of the year award for the second time, after being part of the Manchester City squad which won the Women's Super League without losing a single game in 2016.

Birmingham midfielder Carter saw off competition from three Manchester City players to win the women's young player of the year award.

Beckham, who won 115 England caps and starred at club level for Manchester United, followed former Red Devils team-mate Ryan Giggs in winning the Merit prize. He also received the prize alongside his 'Class of 92' United team-mates in 2013. 

10:42PM

Lucy Bronze is the PFA Women's Player of the Year

England international Lucy Bronze wins the prize. Read her interview with the Telegraph here in which she explains why she pities the best male players. 

10:31PM

Gary Lineker congratulates Alli

10:24PM

Dele Alli Young Player of the Year!

No real surprises there. Alli has scored 16 league goals and provided five assists this season - numbers usually produced by players hitting their mid-20s. Just 20 years of age, the Spurs man is well ahead of schedule in his development. 

10:13PM

David Beckham has won a PFA Merit award

9:45PM

Former Arsenal player Kelly Smith wins special achievement award

9:13PM

David Beckham in attendance

8:04PM

Steph Houghton arrives

7:38PM

Our first contender of the evening

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez celebrates a goal at West Ham in December Credit: Reuters

Some were perturbed when Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez made the shortlist, given Arsenal's wretched few months and the uncertainty surrounding his contract situation. 

However, the PFA Awards are not supposed to pass judgment on clubs but rather individual performances. 

The former Barcelona man has enjoyed his best season in England, with 19 goals and nine assists in the Premier League. 

Arsene Wenger's decision to deploy him in a central berth was one of the catalysts behind Arsenal's strong form in the autumn, and it is rather odd that he has been shunted back to left flank in the second half of the campaign. 

Also scored Arsenal's winner in their 2-1 extra-time victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final

6:40PM

Good evening and welcome

It is that time of year again when Premier League footballers decide to honour their peers with a ceremony of individual awards.

There have been some strange calls from them over the years: David Ginola getting the gong during Manchester United's treble campaign or Kyle Walker beating Sergio Aguero to Young Player of the Year when City won the title in 2012. 

N'Golo Kante is strongly fancied to win the main prize at Grosvenor House this evening, and who could argue with the dynamic midfielder set to win another league winner's medal?

Stay tuned for regular updates. 

 

RegisterLog incommenting policy

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes