Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Liverpool winger Sadio Mane and captain Jordan Henderson are in contention for the PFA Player of the Year award.
Asked whether Virgil van Dijk could win it for the second consecutive year, the TV pundit said that he didn’t think the Dutchman would be in the running this time, although he feels some of his teammates will have a chance of winning the gong:
“I think he (Van Dijk) is undoubtedly the best defender in the world, the best centre-back in the world now. He’d get my vote for best defender, best centre-half, but he wouldn’t get my vote for Player of the Year. I think there’s a few other people probably vying for that accolade.”
“But he has been tremendous. I think he’s a fantastic footballer. Calm, cool, collected, strong, quick. All the attributes you’d want in a modern day player. And he carries himself very well – I love the way he carries himself.”
“I think Jordan Henderson has been very good. I think Mane has been my favourite player when I watch Liverpool if I’m honest. When I watch Liverpool he’s the person who gets me off my seat more than anyone. He’d definitely be up there. Vardy’s been good, scoring those goals. Kevin De Bruyne – when you watch him he just purrs. So there’s a few names there.”
Players will soon cast their votes for the prize and it appears that a number of Reds stars could be in the frame to win. Henderson is actually favourite at the bookmakers at the moment, with 888 Sport pricing him at 6/4 to pick up the award. Mane is second on the list, with Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne third, and van Dijk fourth.
Ferdinand’s other tip, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy is currently eighth favourite, following a barren run of form in front of goal which has seen him fail to score in any competition since December.