Bale, Carrick, Mata, Suarez, van Persie and Hazard nominated for PFA Player of the Year
THE nominations for the 2012/13 Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year have been announced.
The nominees for the Player of the Year are: Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Robin van Persie (Manchester United) and Eden Hazard (Chelsea).
The nominees for the Young Player of the Year are: Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Christian Benteke (Aston Villa), Romelu Lukaku (West Brom), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea) and Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
While the inclusion of Bale, Mata, Suarez and van Persie will have come as no surprise in the main category, the selections of Hazard and Carrick in particular are likely to raise eyebrows.
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The Chelsea youngster Hazard has enjoyed a strong debut season since joining from Lille last summer with the Belgian helping the Blues to the semi-finals of both the Europa League and FA Cup. Yet with Mata already representing Chelsea, some may claim other players were more worthy of inclusion.
The same will likely be said of Carrick who at 31, receives his first nomination. The Manchester United midfielder has played a key role in United's dominance of the Premier League this season, making a total of 32 league appearances. Yet with just one goal and four assists this season, others might feel aggrieved to have been overlooked.
Among those not on the list that might have expected to have been include Swansea City striker Michu, who has scored 17 Premier League goals in his debut season for the Welsh side, as well as three in their run to the League Cup title.
Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, Arsenal's Santi Cazorla and Manchester City's David Silva are just some of the others who might have been included in today's shortlist.
In numbers: The nominees (All figures relate to the Premier League)
Goals per match 0.63
Goals per match 0.03
Goals per match 0.34
Goals per match 0.69
Robin Van Persie
Goals per match 0.64
Goals per match 0.27
Goals per match 0.5
Goals per match 0.45
Goals per match 0.04
Goals per match 0
Simon Rice, Independent.co.uk