Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
And that, for me, is the list of contenders for the award this season. I don't think any other player will be able to clinch the EPL award next year and I don't think we'll see too many players have more of an impact than the list of players mentioned in the previous slides.
However, I do know I've left some big names off this list, so I'll quickly run through why some of the bigger names in the Premier League aren't contenders in 2013.
Just because I'm a nice guy and all.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
Rooney had an incredible season behind Robin van Persie, and yet he still didn't come close to winning the award. It's hard to see that changing next season—particularly as Shinji Kagawa grows into his role as an attacking midfielder and might start to take some of Rooney's assists and goals away.
There's also no guarantees that the England international will still be at United next season, with the Daily Mail reporting Jose Mourinho telling the striker to "do what makes him happy" amid speculation over the forward's future, which could end his chances at winning the award should he move abroad.
Luis Suarez, Liverpool
For me, Luis Suarez should have won the award last season. And while he obviously has a chance to do the same next season, I can't see him chalking up the same number of goals next season (and having the same direct influence) as he did in the year just passed.
Liverpool have added plenty of new attacking talent to their squad (Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Iago Aspas) and are reportedly close to adding another in Henrikh Mkhitaryan according to The Daily Mirror. With all of that talent there, I can't see Suarez netting the same number of goals that he did last year and he won't carry the team in the same way either—which will lesson his chances a great deal.
Plus, like Rooney, there's no guarantees that he'll be at the club next year either, with reports of a potential summer exit to Madrid attracting plenty of attention after the striker told Spanish newspaper El Pais (via Foxsports.com) of his desire to move to the Spanish capital.
Eden Hazard, Chelsea
I really like Eden Hazard as a player, but other than Petr Cech or Juan Mata, I can't see another Chelsea player winning the award next year. There's simply too much talent in the one midfield, and with Jose Mourinho continuing to add more into the mix, it's hard to see any one player standing out as their game-winner like Van Persie, Suarez and Bale were last year.
Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
Aguero is a difficult player to read at the moment and I haven't considered him in this list yet for a number of reasons. There's just too many questions around him at the moment, and while they aren't all going to affect him, combined, they present a barrier that should stop him from winning the award next year. Just off the top of my head, some of the big questions could be:
- What attacking system is Pellegrini going to use? How will that affect Aguero and his production at the top of the attack?
- Are City going to buy another striker? If so, what role will that be in and what impact will that have on Aguero's goalscoring levels next season?
- Will City keep him, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko next season? If not, which one will they sell? Will it be Aguero? And if they do keep them all, how will the trio operate next year and will that affects the raw number of minutes that Aguero gets to play in the Premier League?
- Are we going to see another injury-affected season from Aguero?
For me, there's just too many questions. I'd love to be proven wrong because I really rate him, but I just can't see Aguero clinching the award in 2013-14.
Hit me up on Twitter for more sports goodness: