Sunday 18 March 2018

FWA Player of the Year - Who Press Association Sport's members voted for and why

Midfielder N'Golo Kante has been the driving force behind Chelsea's Premier League title challenge, but will that be enough to see him voted FWA Footballer of the Year?
Midfielder N'Golo Kante has been the driving force behind Chelsea's Premier League title challenge, but will that be enough to see him voted FWA Footballer of the Year?

The Football Writers' Association will announce the 2017 Footballer of the Year on Monday morning.

Here, Press Association Sport's FWA members give an insight into the reasons behind their individual vote.

SIMON PEACH (PA Chief Football Writer)

It is hard to look beyond Chelsea's diminutive, lung-busting midfielder N'Golo Kante.

Unlike other outstanding players this term, Kante has consistently impressed throughout and will have played a crucial role in the title, should Chelsea get over the line.

The fact he did the same with Leicester last season and has kicked on again says much about the character of a man who rarely makes negative headlines.

Kante's rise has been as rapid as it has been impressive and I feel the midfielder would be a deserved recipient of the 2017 Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year award.


For me, the 2017 FWA Footballer of the Year is Dele Alli.

Although it looks as though Tottenham are going to end the season empty-handed, the England international has once again been superb.

Back-to-back Professional Footballers' Association Young Player of the Year awards prove how much he is rated by his peers, especially when the likes of Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku were also nominated.

Alli is such a precocious talent and I even enjoy the niggling, temperamental side of his character which can help him develop into one of this country's best in a generation.

His flair and eye for a spectacular goal is what just gave him the edge over N'Golo Kante for me, even though I think the Chelsea midfielder may well end up being a clear winner of the FWA vote.


My vote for FWA Footballer of the Year 2017 went to Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante after a second successive stunning Premier League season.

Kante perhaps did not receive the credit he deserved for his role in Leicester's shock title win 12 months ago, but the impact of his departure on the Foxes has been immense.

However, Leicester's loss has been Chelsea's gain and his high-octane displays in the middle of field have demonstrated not only what he brings to a team, but his individual quality.

Kante was the driving force for last season's champions and has done as much as anyone to ease Antonio Conte's men towards the title this time around.


When Charles Bucan first helped establish the FWA in 1947, the notion was to present a trophy "to the professional player who by precept and example is considered by a ballot of members to be the Footballer of the Year."

Of course the modern game is now a world away from what it was then - including the much-changed relationships between players and football writers.

Yet as the association prepares to marks its 70th anniversary at a gala dinner to honour the winner in London on May 18, those values should still hold true.

Often the Footballer of the Year comes from the title-winning team, as with Leicester forward Jamie Vardy last year and Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard in 2015.

While midfielder N'Golo Kante has valiantly driven Chelsea on towards what looks another Premier League success, and so his second winners' medal in a row, my vote went to Tottenham forward Harry Kane.

Despite his injury problems, t he England international has once more netted close to 30 goals and grown in stature to become the talisman of Mauricio Pochettino's dynamic young team.

But for Chelsea's resurgence Kane could well have been leading the 2017 champions of England by "precept and example", both on and off the pitch.

Press Association

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