Tonight we should all have gotten ready for the PFA awards, eagerly counting down the minutes to learn who would be crowned Player of the Year, along with the 11 coveted spots on the Team of the Season.
Yet the PFA Awards, like the Premier League, and like all sports around the world, have come to an abrupt halt amid the terrifying coronavirus pandemic.
While we wait to learn if football can go on eventually, Sports email have decided to call where the honor would have gone.
PFA Player of the Year – Jordan Henderson
The greatest individual award in English football and the one that recognizes the most distinguished player. This goes to Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson.
It is a very difficult one to mention, given the quality and admirable solo efforts of the entire Liverpool team. Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City has been fantastic once again
But in Henderson, Liverpool had not only one of the most selfless players in the league, but also one of the most talented.
This week, Reds legend Steven Gerrard, who handed the famous bracelet to Henderson in 2015, compared his successor to the iconic Paul Scholes.
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson was a consistent metronome at Anfield this year
It was indeed high praise, as Gerrard further outlined how Henderson’s game had improved exponentially in all areas, including positional awareness and strides.
Henderson has set a good example for Liverpool this season, both on and off the pitch. It’s no coincidence that when the 29-year-old doesn’t play, Jurgen Klopp’s team loses an element of drive and balance.
His injury sustained in the Wanda Metropolitano against Atletico was the best example of Henderson’s worth. Liverpool faltered as their captain trudged off the field and trembled in the weeks since their number 14 spent time on the sidelines.
For all the superstars on Klopp’s glowing team, it’s the consistency of the metronomic Henderson at the heart of midfield – or wherever he needs to fill otherwise – that keeps the red machine firing on all cylinders.
PFA Young Player of the Year – Trent Alexander-Arnold
The 21-year-old has forged not only one of the best fullbacks of English football this season, but the world.
It has been argued on several occasions that the Liverpool-born youngster reinvents the position, given the excessive character and offensive nature of his role.
Alexander-Arnold, despite serving as a wing-back, is now often Liverpool’s foremost architect in most games, and the statistics support this. Being a defense playmaker is certainly one thing.
Trent Alexander-Arnold emerged as one of England’s best fullbacks, as well as one of the world
As the season was curtailed by the pandemic, Alexander-Arnold already had 14 assists on the bench, 12 in the Premier League, one in the Champions League and one in the Club World Cup.
The defensive side of the youngster’s skills is often overlooked, but the rapid rise of his all-round play has made a major contribution to Liverpool’s much-improved backline, which now admits the fewest goals on the top flight.
With English boss Gareth Southgate as a regular spectator at Anfield, Alexander-Arnold looks set to become a mainstay of the national team for many years to come.
PFA Team of the Year
Goalkeeper – Alisson Becker
The big Brazilian in the Liverpool goal played a big role this season and has shown on several occasions the difference that a goalkeeper can make at the elite level.
Alisson is on track to keep the Golden Gloves award he received on his first season on Merseyside, and has formed a metaphorical brick wall with Virgil van Dijk in the back line.
Alisson has continued the remarkable consistency of this first campaign in the Reds goal
Left Back – Andy Robertson
The flying Scot is just as important to Liverpool’s symmetry as Alexander-Arnold and has seven Premier League assists to his name this season.
Robertson has shown the guts and perseverance needed by all the top professionals to stand up after multiple setbacks and establish himself as one of the most skilled defenders in English football.
Andy Robertson offers both balance and goal threat as the Liverpool backs bombard
Center-Back – Virgil van Dijk
Last season’s PFA Player of the Year and the cornerstone of the Liverpool team, Van Dijk has continued his majestic form since drawing on the dotted line for Klopp’s side without any hesitation.
The Dutchman is often mentioned by Premier League stars as the defenders they prefer to go against.
While Van Dijk rarely gives away an inch in the physical duels, he has also shown maturity this season and has taken his passe game to the next level. Football experts drool over looking at the former Southampton man, as statistics prove he gets even better over time.
Last season’s Player of the Year and cornerstone of the Liverpool team, Van Dijk gets the nod
Center-Back – Caglar Soyuncu
This season, it was a sink or swim scenario for the 23-year-old Turkish star, who was asked to fill Harry Maguire’s boots after his world record switch to Manchester United.
That Leicester does not miss Maguire is testament to the work of Soyuncu.
After stepping into Harry Maguire’s boots with confidence, Soyuncu’s stock has skyrocketed
Along Jonny Evans, the wire-haired stars enter enemies on the field, while also displaying a delicate finesse in his game.
While Joe Gomez has performed admirably alongside Van Dijk in Liverpool and is also a contender, Soyuncu’s consistency sees his name here on the team magazine.
Right Back – Trent Alexander-Arnold
The young player of the year pending of course makes the XI. Given his age and ability to further expand his game, Alexander-Arnold was able to follow Gary Neville to become a regular at the end of the season.
Midfield – Jordan Henderson
As above, the Liverpool skipper and PFA player of the year choose side slots in the heart of midfield, turning the game around like he has been doing all season.
Midfield – Kevin De Bruyne
Although the Belgian artist has been injured this season, his importance to City is shown every time he steps onto the field.
De Bruyne is the brain of the Etihad and is lucky to have superstars around who can operate on a similar wavelength.
Due to De Bruyne’s versatility and all-round power, he will undoubtedly perish over the centuries as a Premier League midfielder, and a PFA award certainly awaits him in the future.
Mercury Kevin De Bruyne has shown his worth every time he steps onto the pitch for City
Midfield – Jack Grealish
A midfield three is the captain of Aston Villa, who can be considered a controversial choice by many.
Although Villa desperately fought relegation before the coronavirus stopped, Grealish had played week after week to guide the men in the Bordeaux.
The 24-year-old has come to the board this season, playing out of his skin for Villa and weighing in with both goals and assists.
With seven Premier League strikes and six assists, Grealish was the man who stopped Villa with a fighting chance. If the competition can continue, it is vital to their chances.
Jack Grealish is the leading light for his side and one of the league’s most unique talents
Striker – Sadio Mane
On the left of a front three, Sadio Mane is a dead cert for Team of the Year and unfortunate unfortunate not to win the solo grand prize.
Observers have noted how the Senegal captain stands out from the crowd this season, moving from a top spot in an opportunity to a bona fide world-class talent.
Liverpool can count on Mane as a spark to light up matches more often than that, with its relentless stamina and power often overlooked for its striking pace.
This season, Sadio Mane has taken a new level and established himself as a world-class talent
Spitz – Mohamed Salah
On the other side of the front three is another dynamic Liverpool trident.
That is the high bar that Salah has set for himself, it has been suggested this season that performance levels have not really peaked.
Yet 20 goals in all competitions and nine assists say otherwise. This is all the more impressive as the current side of Liverpool is tactically arranged to take advantage of the fullbacks.
Salah’s goal engagement was again frightening, with the Egyptian almost always playing a part in everything Liverpool produced on the pitch.
The statistics that Mohamed Salah produces are nothing short of incredible
Spitz – Jamie Vardy
After turning back over the years, Vardy revived this season under Brendan Rodgers and takes center stage in the Team of the Year.
Vardy, at the age of 33, fights against the competition of Roberto Firmino from Liverpool and talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Arsenal, among others.
Leicester looks nailed to achieve the Champions League qualifying, and in the process, Vardy watched every inch the European striker.
Jamie Vardy, 33, who is turning back the years, looks like a reborn player this season
With 19 goals and four assists, the fleet-footed attacker doesn’t seem like a man entering the twilight of his career.
Calls for Vardy to retire from retirement in the now-delayed EURO 2020 didn’t seem bizarre, with the former Fleetwood man ruthless in his game that may not even have been present during the 2016 miraculous title-winning campaign in Leicester.