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English Premier League: 15 Picks for Footballer of the Year

James WillisAnalyst IMarch 21, 2011

English Premier League: 15 Picks for Footballer of the Year

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    With the Premier League season drawing to a close, it's the time of year when the league begins deciding the awards it's handing out.

    Arguably the most important of these is the player of the year award, with many of the league's top stars trying to win it.

    This season has been an exceptional Premier League season for so many different reasons, and it's not had any shortage of great players.

    Here is a list of the top 15 candidates for the player of the year award.

Samir Nasri

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    Gary Prior/Getty Images

    Age: 23

    Club: Arsenal

    Position: Attacking midfielder

    League Goals: 9

    League Discipline: 4 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 23

    Reason: Arguably the favorite for the award, Nasri has been one of the main reasons Arsenal has been able to mount a title challenge this season.

Gareth Bale

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Age: 21

    Club: Tottenham

    Position: Left Winger

    League Goals: 7

    League Discipline: 1 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 25

    Reason: A media favorite, and for good reason, Bale has been giving right backs nightmares all season with unbelievable pace and ability.

Nani

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Age: 24

    Club: Manchester United

    Position: Winger

    League Goals: 9

    League Discipline: 1 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 26

    Reason: A key part in Manchester United's table-topping exploits, as well as their unbeaten run, Nani has finally started fulfilling his full potential this season.

Charlie Adam

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    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Age: 25

    Club: Blackpool

    Position: Central Midfielder

    League Goals: 9

    League Discipline: 10 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 27

    Reason: The subject of large January bids from both Liverpool and Tottenham, Charlie Adam has stormed into fans' hearts, playing a key role in Blackpool's success this year.

Scott Parker

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Age: 30

    Club: West Ham United

    Position: Central Midfielder

    League Goals: 5

    League Discipline: 7 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 28

    Reason: Despite West Ham's poor form this year, Parker has been the workhorse in the middle of the park, trying to get things started to save a team in desperate need of points.

Edwin van der Sar

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Age: 40

    Club: Manchester United

    Position: Goalkeeper

    League Clean Sheets: 12

    League Discipline: 1 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 28

    Reason: Having seen van der Sar play this season, it's easy to understand why Manchester United is having such a hard time replacing him with his impending retirement.

Asamoah Gyan

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Age: 25

    Club: Sunderland

    Position: Striker

    League Goals: 9

    League Discipline: 0 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 29

    Reason: A club favorite without having even completed his first season at the club, Gyan is a goal-scoring hero in Sunderland.

Rafael van der Vaart

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Age: 28

    Club: Tottenham Hotspur

    Position: Attacking midfielder

    League Goals: 10

    League Discipline: 4 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 20

    Reason: Statistically one of the best players in the league this season, van der Vaart's performances on the pitch for Spurs have been nothing short of magical at times.

Gary Cahill

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Age: 25

    Club: Bolton Wanderers

    Position: Central Defender

    League Goals: 3

    League Discipline: 5 Yellow, 1 Red

    League Games Played: 28

    Reason: Finally getting the credit he deserves, Cahill has been a defensive rock for Bolton, helping them compete for Europe this season.

Javier Hernandez

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Age: 22

    Club: Manchester United

    Position: Striker

    League Goals: 10

    League Discipline: 4 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 21

    Reason: Despite competing for positions with Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov, Hernandez has proven himself worthy of a place in the starting XI of one of Europe's top clubs within his first season.

Joey Barton

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Age: 28

    Club: Newcastle United

    Position: Midfielder

    League Goals: 4

    League Discipline: 7 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 24

    Reason: Regardless of his anger issues in the past, Barton has become a key player for Newcastle this season and has had people calling for his inclusion in the England squad.

Carlos Tevez

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Age: 27

    Club: Manchester City

    Position: Striker

    League Goals: 18

    League Discipline: 5 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 26

    Reason: Tevez has been one of the main reasons for City's position in the top four so far this season and has proved just how good he can be as a goal scorer.

Nemanja Vidic

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Age: 29

    Club: Manchester United

    Position: Central Defender

    League Goals: 4

    League Discipline: 6 Yellow, 1 Red

    League Games Played: 28

    Reason: Vidic played a key role in United's early unbeaten run, working with Edwin van der Sar to ensure that the club would be able to stay undefeated for so long.

Jack Wilshere

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Age: 19

    Club: Arsenal

    Position: Midfielder

    League Goals: 1

    League Discipline: 4 Yellow, 1 Red

    League Games Played: 26

    Reason: Wilshere has finally come of age this season, becoming a regular in Arsenal's starting XI and winning his first international cap.

Cheik Tiote

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Age: 24

    Club: Newcastle United

    Position: Midfielder

    League Goals: 1

    League Discipline: 10 Yellow, 0 Red

    League Games Played: 22

    Reason: Tiote has been on top form for Newcastle this season, playing a big part in their successful bid to remain in the Premier League so far.

Honorable Mentions

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Luka Modric, Tottenham Hotspur: So often the Spurs' unsung hero. Without Modric, Bale and van der Vaart may not have earned so much attention themselves.

    Dimitar Berbatov, Manchester United: The top scorer in the Premier League so far courtesy of three hat tricks. For that reason, he deserves a mention.

    Peter Odemwingie, West Bromwich Albion: One of the club's most important players, Odemwingie has been West Brom's main goals outlet this season.

    Vincent Kompany, Manchester City: In a team filled with big attacking names, Kompany has excelled in commanding the club's defense.

    Leighton Baines, Everton: Despite his poor performances for England last summer and Everton's poor form this season, Baines has come on leaps and bounds in his own career this season.

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