David de Gea
The Spain goalkeeper was named United’s player of the year for the third successive season after keeping more clean sheets this term than in any other previous Premier League campaign.
The young Spaniard emerged as one of the few bright spots in another otherwise gloomy season for the Gunners with his mature presence at right back and buccaneering bursts forward.
The 32-year-old Foxes captain, who has spent much of his career scuffling around in the second tier, epitomised his team’s remarkable rise with his commanding displays at the heart of Leicester’s rock-solid rearguard.
The Belgium centre-back won a host of individual accolades, including his club’s supporters’ player of the year award, thanks to a masterful campaign that showcased his rugged defending and expansive passing.
The 25-year-old left-back is something of a late bloomer, but he shone as part of the Premier League’s most parsimonious defence. England recognition duly followed.
With 17 goals and 11 assists, Mahrez emerged from obscurity to become a bona fide superstar, and the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year to boot, as the Algeria winger played a key role in the champions’ title charge.
Kante (25) arrived from Caen as a virtual unknown in England, but it was not long before Premier League pundits were singing his praises as the £5.6-million pounds midfielder’s tough tackling and astute reading of the game earned comparisons with French legend Claude Makelele.
Less than 12 months after arriving at White Hart Lane from Milton Keynes Dons, the 20-year-old England midfielder has developed so quickly he is now regarded as one of the most talented young stars in Europe, with a key role for his club and country nailed down for years to come.
West Ham United
Hailed as “better than Zidane” in a song sung by his adoring West Ham fans, the 29-year-old has not quite reached the stratospheric heights scaled by the Juventus and Real Madrid legend, but his sublime first season in east London was thrilling enough that he is now well established among the league’s best playmakers.
Suggestions that Kane would endure a sophomore slump after his breakthrough season a year ago proved well wide of the mark as the England international’s predatory instincts brought him more league goals than any Tottenham player since Gary Lineker bagged 28 in 1991-1992.
Harassing opponents with his tireless work rate and finishing off Leicester’s counter-attacks with his deadly eye for goal, Vardy was a one-man wrecking crew as the England striker completed his incredible rise from non-league journeyman to Premier League champion. — AFP