Arsenal captain Robin van Persie has emerged as the favourite to be named the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year, after the organisation announced their six-man shortlist for the award, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The prolific Gunners man is joined on the list by Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker, along with Manchester City trio Sergio Agüero, David Silva and Joe Hart.
Agüero has also earned a nomination for the Young Player of the Year award. He is joined on the list by five British prodigies. Tottenham's Welsh winger Gareth Bale, the winner of the Player of the Year award last season, finds himself on the junior list this time, alongside club-mate wing-back Kyle Walker, Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge, United striker Danny Welbeck and highly-rated Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Meanwhile, van Persie, who is enjoying his best season for Arsenal with 34 goals so far, will be the clear favourite to win the big prize. According to Betting Zone, the Gunner is 1/7 to win, albeit he was 1/4 with Sky Bet before going to 1/9.
The awards will be announced at the PFA dinner, scheduled for Saturday night.
Gordon Taylor, the Chief Executive of the PFA, believes the Gunners' skipper is now showing his true potential after being hampered by a series of injuries in the past.
"He has been amazing. When you think of the players Arsene Wenger has brought to the club - he came from Feyenoord for £2.75million - that is incredible really. When you think of Dennis Bergkamp, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Marco van Basten - he is in that mould of absolutely top-class strikers that Holland, quite phenomenally, manages to produce," the Telegraph quoted Taylor as saying.
"You could pick half a dozen of his goals out for goal of the season. Arsenal were struggling for some time but he was a real talisman for them. He seems to have lifted the team and got them back believing in themselves again and looking to qualify for the Champions League, giving all the Arsenal fans some hope," he added
Incidentally, City's Argentine forward Agüero is the only player to be nominated for both awards this year, capping an excellent debut season. The Argentine arrived at the Etihad from Atletico Madrid last summer and has netted 28 goals so far.
"It's a source of pride to be nominated to an important award - but it's even more so because players are the ones who do the voting. I'd like to congratulate my team-mates Hart and Silva for being nominated as well, and all the other players chosen among us," Agüero tweeted.
Nominations for 2012 PFA Player of Year Award:
- Scott Parker (Tottenham),
- Robin van Persie (Arsenal),
- Wayne Rooney (Manchester United),
- David Silva (Manchester City),
- Joe Hart (Manchester City), and
- Sergio Agüero (Manchester City)
Nominations for 2012 PFA Young Player of Year Award:
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal),
- Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea),
- Danny Welbeck (Manchester United),
- Sergio Agüero (Manchester City),
- Gareth Bale (Tottenham), and
- Kyle Walker (Tottenham)