Riyad Mahrez named PFA Player of the Year, Dele Alli wins award for young player

Riyad Mahrez became the first ever African Professional Footballer Association’s Player of the Year, as announced at the annual event in ...

Riyad Mahrez became the first ever African Professional Footballer Association’s Player of the Year, as announced at the annual event in London on Sunday.

Mahrez fought off competition from his own teammates, Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante – who he flew to the ceremony with via helicopter - as well as West Ham United’s standout star of the season, Dimitri Payet and the league’s top scorer Spurs’ Harry Kane, to take home the prestigious prize. Arsenal were also represented on the shortlist by Mesut Ozil, but both Manchester United and Manchester City were not, this year.

It’s been an astonishing year for the Algeria international who’s scored 17 goals as well as making 11 assists in his 33 Premier League matches and is just five points away from securing Leicester’s table-topping fairytale ending after a 4-0 victory against Swansea on the same day.

Hailing from the rough Parisian suburb of Sarcelles, Mahrez signed to Leicester in January 2014 from French Ligue 2 team, Le Havre, where he had risen up the ranks from the team’s youth programme.

The midfielder – whose transfer value had risen from £4.5m to £29.9 according to CIES Football Observatory in January this year - signed a new four-year contract with the Foxes in August last year, and they will certainly hope to keep hold of him as they go into the Champions League next season.

Spurs’ boy-wonder Dele Alli, meanwhile, was crowned the Professional Football Association (PFA) Young player of the year on Sunday night at an event in London.
The 20-year-old fought off tough competition from team-mate Harry Kane – the Premier League’s top goal scorer this season - who was also nominated for the main prize.
 Also nominated were Jack Butland, Phililpe Coutinho, Romelu Lukaka and Ross Barkley.
Though it was not announced until Sunday night through the official channels, the youngster was widely expected to take home the coveted prize after a picture of Spurs’ Monday night match programme referring to Alli’s victory was posted on twitter.
Unfortunately for Alli, he wasn't able to attend the event as Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had banned his players from attending thanks to their game against West Bromwich Albion tomorrow night, in their final charge against Leicester for the league title.

Speaking in a video recording for the PFA, Alli said he was "honoured to win such a prestigious award."

 Source: Wires

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