ARSENAL striker Robin van Persie has been named the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year.
The 28-year-old Dutch international has scored 27 Premier League goals so far this season - his best return for the north London club - and was proud to be honoured by a poll of top-flight players.
“If other people are saying it, it is special, but it is even more special if your opponents are saying it,” he said. “It is a big honour.”
Van Persie may have picked up the top honour but he was quick to point out it would not have been possible without his Arsenal team-mates.
“Without them I could not have achieved it,” he said at the awards ceremony held at London’s Grosvenor House.
Title-chasing Manchester City had four of their players named in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year.
Joe Hart was selected between the posts while there were also places for defender Vincent Kompany and midfielders Yaya Touré and David Silva.
Tottenham had three players included, with England internationals Kyle Walker – also named Young Player of the Year – and Scott Parker joined by last year’s PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale.
Wayne Rooney was the only representative from Manchester United.
Newcastle have been the surprise package of the season and were represented in the XI by Argentina defender Fabricio Coloccini. Everton full-back Leighton Baines was rewarded for another impressive season with a place in the team, meaning there were no representatives from Champions League semi-finalists Chelsea.
Champions Reading have only one player in the Championship Team of the Year – defender Ian Harte.
Southampton, who could be promoted om Monday, have goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, midfielder Adam Lallana and forward Rickie Lambert in the team.
James Tomkins and Mark Noble were West Ham’s two representatives with the rest of the team made up of individuals from other clubs.
Ched Evans, who was convicted of rape earlier this week, was named alongside Sheffield United team-mates Harry Maguire and Stephen Quinn in the League One team.
Charlton, who secured the title on Saturday, have four players in the side with Ben Hamer, Michael Morrison, Rhoys Wiggins and Johnnie Jackson making the cut.
Jordan Rhodes and defender Jack Hunt were Huddersfield’s two players with MK Dons pair Stephen Gleeson and Darren Potter also included.
Paolo Di Canio has guided Swindon to promotion from League Two and two of his side, Paul Caddis and Matt Ritchie, were named in that division’s team of the year.
PFA Premier League Team of the Year: Joe Hart (Manchester City); Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Leighton Baines (Everton), David Silva (Man City), Yaya Toure (Man City), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Scott Parker (Tottenham); Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Championship team: Davis (Southampton), Clyne (Crystal Palace), Tomkins (West Ham), Davies (Birmingham), Harte (Reading), Lallana (Southampton), Whittingham (Cardiff), Noble (West Ham), Phillips (Blackpool), Lambert (Southampton), Rodriguez (Burnley).
League One team: Hamer (Charlton), Hunt (Huddersfield), Morrison (Charlton), Maguire (Sheff Utd), Wiggins (Charlton), Jackson (Charlton), Quinn (Sheff Utd), Gleeson (MK Dons), Potter (MK Dons), Rhodes (Huddersfield), Evans (Sheff Utd).
League Two team: Olejnik (Torquay), Caddis (Swindon), McFadzean (Crawley), Sharps (Shrewsbury), Nicholson (Torquay), Ritchie (Swindon), Pack (Cheltenham), O’Kane (Torquay), Mansell (Torquay), McLeod (Barnet), Barnett (Crawley).