PFA Player of the Year: 5 Reasons Why Robin Van Persie Deserves to Win
The winner of this year's PFA Player of the Year award will be announced in London on Sunday night, and six of the Premier League's most talented players will be vying for the prestigious award.
Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale, Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, Manchester United's Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick and Liverpool's Luis Suarez have all been nominated, but only one will be crowned Player of the Year.
The question is, who should win? It is easy to build a case for the deadly half-dozen, and all have been integral to their respective clubs this season. Bale has easily been Spurs' standout player this year, while Blues duo Hazard and Mata have helped fire the ex-European champions into the semi-final of the Europa League.
Michael Carrick, perhaps the most underrated player on the list, has been quietly effective for Manchester United. Meanwhile, Luis Suarez is the second highest goalscorer in the division.
Here we'll take a look at Robin van Persie, and analyse just why he deserves to win the Player of the Year award for a second successive season.
He's Scored the Most Goals This Season
If the winner of the award is based on total number of goals scored alone, then Robin van Persie is the obvious victor. The deadly Dutchman has netted 24 times in the Premier League this season, making him the division's top goalscorer with one more than the recently banned Luis Suarez, who will not play again this season.
Out of all the candidates nominated, the ex-Arsenal ace is the most efficient in front of goal. The Dutchman's 24 goals have come from just 70 shots on target this season. By contrast, it has taken Suarez 103 shots at goal to reach his tally of 23 and taken Bale 85 efforts to rack up his 18 strikes this term.
That is but one reason why RVP is so lethal in front of goal and one of the front-runners for this season's award.
Moments of Sheer Brilliance
All six players have provided moments of breathtaking quality this season, but none more so than Robin van Persie, who produced what is arguably the goal of the season against Aston Villa at Old Trafford last Monday night.
After latching on to a defence-splitting cross from teammate Wayne Rooney, the Dutchman angled his run to beat the offside trap, watched the ball as it came over his shoulder, opened his body and volleyed home a beautiful first-time drive that beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan all ends up.
The goal was made all the more special by the fact it wasn't the first time he has scored from such a similar position. RVP smashed in a carbon-copy goal for Arsenal in a game against Everton during his final season at the club.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson hailed this particular strike as the goal of the century, and very few could argue against that.
It is sublime individual moments such as these that make Robin van Persie one of the favourites for this season's honor.
His Contribution to the Team
Aside from his goalscoring heroics, Robin van Persie is also very much a team player. In terms of chance creation, 62 to be precise, the Dutchman has laid on eight assists for his teammates. Furthermore, in his first 19 league games for the club, he scored 13 goals and created 33 chances.
His importance and overall contribution to the team was underlined in January by a report in The Sun that revealed that Ferguson's side would have been mid-table at the turn of the year had it not been for the Dutchman's tally of 16 goals and six assists for the club.
Thanks to his contributions in the first half of the season, United had a staggering win percentage of 81 percent, and his match-winning goal in December's Manchester derby put his side top of the league—a position which they have not relinquished since.
Thanks to his performances for United, the club won the Premier League, and that alone suggests he has been the player of the year.
He Helped His Side Win the Title
If you like your Player of the Year to be a Premier League title winner, then Robin van Persie is your man. He signed from Arsenal last summer for £24 million—a price-tag many questioned—and was immediately handed the No. 20 shirt, something which would prove to be an ominous sign for United's title rivals.
That is, 20, the number of league titles United were hoping to have won by the end of the season—and so it told thanks to the heroics of the Dutchman, who blasted the Red Devils toward the historic feat.
Has there been any player this season who has had as big of an impact as Van Persie?
His 90th-minute winner against Manchester City at the Etihad put United six points clear in December and they've never looked back. His hat-trick against Aston Villa sealed a 20th championship. That he was such an integral member of a side that has been breaking records all season suggests he is worthy of the PFA POTY award.
He Has Kept a Clean Reputation
Of the six candidates for this season's Player of the Year award, three have been marred by controversy.
In January, Chelsea's Eden Hazard was banned for three matches for kicking a ball boy in his side's Capital One Cup clash with Swansea City, while Tottenham's Gareth Bale received three yellow cards throughout this season's Europa League for diving.
Luis Suarez meanwhile let both himself and his club down last weekend when he shamefully bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, picking up a 10-match ban in the process.
All three players are incredibly gifted, but all three have plenty of work to do in improving their public image if they are to achieve the status of "the year's best."
Robin van Persie has let his football do the talking this season and has avoided the types of controversies some of his esteemed rivals have been embroiled in this term, and the Dutchman has been a terrific ambassador of the beautiful game.
As a PFA Player of the Year winner should be.