Liverpool’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez took home the PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award on Sunday night, beating Chelsea’s Eden Hazard – who took the Young Player of the Year Award – and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure into first place with a majority of the votes. The trophy will be a welcome addition to the Suarez trophy cabinet after a stellar season which has seen him lead the Premier League goalscoring charts despite missing the first few games of the season through suspension, though it may have come as scant consolation on a day which saw Liverpool surrender their points advantage in the title race after a shock 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Anfield.
With 30 goals and 12 assists in just 31 games this season, Suarez was hotly tipped to take the award, and the fact that he has managed to stay firmly on the back pages and off the front meant it would always have been a shock to see anyone else walk away with the trophy. His fledgling partnership with Daniel Sturridge has flourished into a deadly striking duo, with the two having scored 50 league goals between them in the 2013-14 campaign so far – more than half of Liverpool’s impressive total of 96.
Should he fail to lead the Reds to the title, though, and Hazard or Toure may well have reason to feel aggrieved; in Toure’s case, not for the first time this season, he has complained about a lack of recognition due to his African nationality. Toure did not attend the ceremony in person, with the Ivorian choosing to instead travel back to Manchester with the rest of the City squad, following his goal and assist in their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
After David Moyes’ disastrous time at Manchester United, it was the first time in over 20 years since no United players were named in the Team of the Year dominated by Liverpool and Chelsea; Vincent Kompany and Petr Cech were perhaps the most contentious inclusions. Hazard was only a few votes away from repeating Gareth Bale’s feat last year of picking up both awards, but given that the Belgian is only 23, it is hard to imagine it will be long before he is competing not only for national awards, but even the Ballon d’Or; Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi won’t be around forever.
Meanwhile, Liverpool also dominated the women’s awards, with England internationals Lucy Bronze and Martha Harris taking the two awards after their team won the FA WSL by a five-point margin last term, and sit joint top this time around having taken four points from their opening two games.