N’Golo Kante followed his Leicester fairytale season by being voted Player of the Year by his fellow professionals.
The Frenchman, who is on course to win back-to-back Premier League titles – and possibly the Double with Chelsea this season – saw off team-mate Eden Hazard as well as Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez.
The midfield powerhouse was presented with the PFA award at the Grosvenor Hotel in London while Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli scooped the Young Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Kante, who is set to become the first player to achieve the distinction of winning successive Premier League titles with different clubs if Chelsea can hold off Tottenham in this season’s championship race, said: “It means the world to be chosen by the players to be Player of the Year.
“It’s been two beautiful seasons, one with Leicester, and we are in good form with Chelsea.”
On his move from Leicester to Stamford Bridge, Kante continued: “It’s a different type of playing, but with the manager, with the players, everything is easy, because we work a lot to be good. It’s working very well.”
Blues boss Antonio Conte joked after a commanding display by Kante in a win over West Ham last month that he is struggling to find a fault in his game.
“He made five mistakes. He has to improve,” Conte said. “I am joking. He has great stamina, great quality and we are working to improve that quality.”
Alli’s young player prize is consolation for his controversial omission from the six-man shortlist for the senior award.
The England midfielder, 21, has again been critical to Spurs’ title push, with 16 goals. Manager Mauricio Pochettino said: “He’s improved a lot from last season. He’s a better player and deserves it. He’s showing he’s one of the best players in the Premier League.”
Former England captain David Beckham received the PFA’s Merit award for his contribution to the game.
Beckham, who won 115 England caps and starred at club level for Manchester United, followed ex-Red Devils’ team-mate Ryan Giggs in winning the Merit prize.
He also received the prize alongside his ‘Class of 92’ United team-mates in 2013.Former England captain David Beckham received the PFA’s Merit award for his contribution to the game.
Kante has played a key role in Chelsea’s surge to the top of the league this season and is renowned as a tireless box-to-box competitor who helps break up opposition attacks and initiate them for his own side.
He is set to become the first player to achieve the distinction of winning successive Premier League titles with different clubs if Chelsea can hold off Tottenham in this season’s championship race.