Raheem Sterling Backed for PFA Player of the Year Award


Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling is now +700 to win the Premier League PFA Player of the Year award after scoring a hat-trick on Saturday. The 24-year-old England international won the Football Writers Player of the Year award last season as Man City secured a second consecutive title. However, the PFA honour went to Liverpool’s colossal centre-back Virgil Van Dijk. This season the battle to be named the best player in the league will be ferocious once more, but Sterling laid down a strong early claim by putting West Ham to the sword on Saturday.

His team-mate, Kevin De Bruyne, is the joint +600 favorite at Paddy Power along with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to win the PFA award. The German playmaker looked all but certain to secure the honour in 2017/18, but Salah went goal crazy in the second half of the campaign and beat him to it. Sportsbooks believe those two players will battle it out for glory once again this season. De Bruyne is a sensational player, but there are questions marks over his injury record. He missed more than half of the 2018/19 campaign and there are no guarantees that Man City will get a full season out of him this time around.

The Premier League champions increasingly found themselves turning to Sterling to get them out of trouble last season. Like Salah, he primarily operates in wide areas, but he has a knack of arriving in the box at the perfect time and wreaking havoc. He is blessed with ferocious pace and his composure has improved leaps and bounds under the expert tutelage of Pep Guardiola. Sterling is a lot more mature now than he was a couple of years ago, and he could be a popular choice among his fellow pros after his campaigning against racism.

Man City are the favorites to secure a third consecutive EPL title and Sterling is sure to receive strong service throughout the campaign from the likes of De Bruyne, David Silva and Bernardo Silva. Leroy Sané is out for the majority of the season with injury, leaving Sterling as the only rapid wide attacker at Guardiola’s disposal, so you would expect him to start in almost every game. He can also play down the middle, which makes him a great asset for the manager.

There are some interesting longer shots in this market. The winner is highly likely to come from Man City or Liverpool, as they are easily the best two teams in the league and they will battle for the title once again. The ever-improving Bernardo Silva is +1200 with William Hill and that might tempt some bettors. Sadio Mané of Liverpool is +1800 and Roberto Firmino is +3300. The Brazilian is at the heart of everything good about the Reds’ play and he should get plenty of goals and assists this season. But right now Sterling looks like a great choice after his brilliant hat-trick against West Ham on Saturday, and the odds on him winning the award are likely to drop in the weeks ahead if he maintains his current level of firm.