Van Dijk, Liverpool, Messi
Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk faces competition from three Liverpool team-mates and two rivals from Manchester City to retain his PFA Players’ Player of the Year award.

Netherlands centre-back Van Dijk was the first defender to win the honour since John Terry in 2005 when he got the nod last year.

And this time around he is up against some familiar faces, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane also included after Liverpool’s dominant Premier League campaign.

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City, who finished a distant second as the Reds ended their 30-year title drought, have two representatives in the shape of Kevin De Bruyne and former Anfield star Raheem Sterling.

Alexander-Arnold is also in the Young Player of the Year Category, a list which contains Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, Chelsea pair Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.

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In the women’s game it is Chelsea who dominate the Player of the Year nominees, with Beth England, Sophie Ingle, Guro Reiten and Ji So-yun nominated along with Kim Little and holder Vivianne Miedema, both of Arsenal.

And for the women’s Young Player of the Year there is a distinctly more northern feel to the shortlist, which consists of Man City quartet Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, Georgia Stanway and Ellie Roebuck, United’s Lauren James and Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert.

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