Leicester City's Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante have alll been included on the six-man shortlist for the prestigious PFA Players' Player of the Year award following the Foxes' shock Premier League title challenge. Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, Mesut Ozil of Arsenal and West Ham United midfielder Dimitri Payet are also nominated after votes were cast by players across the top flight.
Kane, currently the division's top scorer with 22 goals, also leads the picks for the Young Player of the Year, a list that includes fellow Spurs midfielder Dele Alli, Everton forward Romelu Lukaku, Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland, Ross Barkley of Everton and Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool. Players must be 23 or younger at the start of the season to be eligible for the award, which will be presented, along with the main prize, on Sunday 24 April in London.
The chief contenders for the main award come from Claudio Ranieri's Leicester, who are the champions elect after pulling seven points clear of Spurs in the race for the title. Vardy has bagged 21 goals this term, including 11 in a row to break Ruud van Nistelrooy's record of scoring in consecutive Premier League matches.
Mahrez has illuminated English football in his first full campaign, netting 16 times including against defending champions Chelsea and Manchester City. Kante, meanwhile, has been the engine in the Leicester midfield and has been a near ever-present, missing just one game for the King Power Stadium club this year.
Despite his club having slipped out of the title picture, Ozil has been in superb form for Arsenal this term, scoring six goals and creating 18 in the Premier League, and he is on the verge of breaking Thierry Henry's record of 20 assists in a single season. The Germany's dazzling performances have been rivalled by those of Payet, with the dead-ball specialist notching nine goals and eight assists to supercharge West Ham's pursuit of a top-four spot.
England international Kane will aim to become just the fourth player to win both awards in a single season, after Andy Gray, Cristiano Ronaldo and fellow Tottenham man Gareth Bale, who claimed the prizes in the 2012-13 season. The 22-year-old Kane scooped the young player award last season following his breakthrough term and could become the fourth individual to win it in back-to-back campaigns after Ryan Giggs, Robbie Fowler and Wayne Rooney.