Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has won the Professional Footballers’ Association men’s Players’ Player of the Year award.
De Bruyne, 29, praised City manager Pep Guardiola for helping him earn the honour, saying “he just lets me be me”. Beth England, 26, won the women’s award having helped Chelsea do the Women’s Super League and League Cup double. Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, 21, won the men’s Young Player of the Year award. Jordan Henderson was among five Liverpool players to be named in the Premier League team of the season. And Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford won a PFA merit award for his work combating child food poverty. De Bruyne beat last year’s winner Virgil van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane, Henderson and City team-mate Raheem Sterling to the award voted for by his fellow players. The Belgian is the first Manchester City player to win the award since its inception at the end of the 1973-74 season. “This is a big honour,” he said. “To be voted by your colleagues, competitors from other teams who you always play against on the field. That they vote for you for best player; it’s amazing. “It’s maybe strange that I’m the first one at City, seeing all the good players who played there before and who are still playing. But it’s nice to represent the club.” On Guardiola, he said: “He gives me a lot of freedom; I don’t know why, that’s just the way it goes between us. “He knows in one way I will always put the team first and then obviously if I can help myself I’m going to do that. He trusts me completely.” For the third consecutive year, the top award for the men’s category went to a player whose team did not win the Premier League title. Reds pair Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah were the past two winners and went on to lift the trophy last season, having come close in previous years. De Bruyne, though, contributed a record-equalling 20 assists and scored 13 goals as Guardiola’s side came runners-up to Jurgen Klopp’s team last term. England, meanwhile, scored 21 goals in all competitions for the Blues and prevented Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema claiming the women’s award twice in a row. England also beat her Chelsea team-mates Sophie Ingle, Guro Reiten and Ji So-yun, and Arsenal’s Kim Little. “It’s a huge honour to be voted for by your fellow peers, so thank you to everyone who voted for me,” England said. Alexander-Arnold won the men’s young player of the year award, ahead of Manchester United duo Rashford and Mason Greenwood, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.
Teams of the year
Premier League team of the year: Nick Pope (Burnley), Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk (both Liverpool), Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), David Silva (Manchester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Sadio Mane (Liverpool).
Championship team of the year: Brice Samba (Nottingham Forest), Luke Ayling, Ben White, Liam Cooper (all Leeds), Joe Bryan (Fulham), Eberechi Eze (QPR), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Romaine Sawyers (West Brom), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham), Ollie Watkins, Said Benrahma (both Brentford).
League One team of the year: Marko Marosi, Fankaty Dabo (both Coventry), Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham), Rob Dickie (Oxford), Joe Jacobsen (Wycombe), Cameron Brannagan (Oxford), Liam Walsh (Coventry), Matt Crooks (Rotherham), Armand Gnanduillet (Blackpool), Ivan Toney (Peterborough), Matt Godden (Coventry).
League Two team of the year: Alex Palmer (Plymouth), Perry Ng (Crewe), Ben Tozer (Cheltenham), Charlie Goode (Northampton), Randell Williams (Exeter), Antoni Sarcevic, Danny Mayor (both Plymouth), Nicky Adams (Northampton), Charlie Kirk (Crewe), Eoin Doyle, Jerry Yates (both Swindon).