For all of his achievements this season, Tottenham’s Kyle Walker will at best have to place second in this list.
But it’s been a wonderful season for the full-back, who was still on loan with Aston Villa this time last year.
In a year’s time, he’s established himself as first choice at a club that just a few months ago was within a few whiskers of topping the Premier League, and has been capped by the full England team.
And rightly so—pace, energy, physical presence, dribbling and overall attacking prowess are often mentioned in conjunction with Walker’s name, but his defensive abilities are equally impressive for someone so raw.
Kyle Walker has become the poster boy for young English talent, but even he can’t be sure of a first-team place in the England setup just yet, with Manchester City’s Micah Richards and Liverpool’s Glen Johnson still strong contenders for the Euros—and with prospects like Liverpool’s Martin Kelly lurking.
But Walker won the Young Player of the Year award for a reason, and it is because he has truly shone in the 2011-2012 season.