Our alternative winners for the Player of the Season award ahead of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign
Here are three alternative winners to the Premier League Player of the Season and also the Young Player of the Season awards.
At the start of every new season fans are always quick to make their predictions on who will win the Premier League, who will get relegated and so on.
However, it always very hard to predict which individual players are going to have stellar seasons or perhaps massively underperform - with ‘one season wonders’ a common phrase used in the top tier.
With the first day of the season rapidly approaching, we have taken a look at our potential Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season candidates - and thought of some alternatives.
The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Mo Salah and Phil Foden are always the usual suspects, but we wanted to know who else could challenge for the trophy - especially since the latter is finally too old to pick up the YPOTS award.
Here are our alternative players for each award...
Player of the Season
Kalidou Koulibaly has been hailed as one of the world’s best defenders during his time with Napoli and could prove to be an excellent partner to Thiago Silva.
The Brazilian has already shown that age doesn’t matter when it comes to impressing in Chelsea’s defence and I expect Koulibaly to back that up once the Premier League season begins.
The 31-year-old is likely to add to the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Dias and Cristian Romero that make up the highly successful centre-backs that have come from abroad to dominate the English league.
Kalvin Phillips may have the likes of Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan to displace in the Man City midfield, however I expect the former Leeds United ace to feature a lot more than expected.
Unlike his England teammate Jack Grealish, I can see Phillips impressing from the start and being recognised as one of this season’s best after a difficult season at Elland Road.
The 26-year-old clearly thrives off playing alongside elite players - just like he did for England during the 2020 Euros.
Luis Diaz lit up the Premier League following his move from Porto in January, however it was clear he was still a little raw and would need a while to settle in - though still managed four goals and three assists in 13 matches.
This time round, the Colombian has had a full pre-season and is likely to feature more heavily following the departure of Sadio Mane.
Diaz’s talent and skill was made so clear last season and if Jurgen Klopp is able to develop him the way he has with other players then I expect him to have a superb first full campaign on Merseyside.
Young Player of the Season
Djed Spence became one of the most sought after young defenders last season when he shone during a loan spell with Nottingham Forest.
His promotion-winning campaign in the Midlands earned him a big move to Tottenham this summer and, while it may seem like a big step up, I think he will certainly impress.
Spurs don’t have a very good record of bringing in full-backs, with Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal just two of a number that have gone down as flops.
I don’t think he will provide too much competition for Spence and therefore I expect him to really thrive under Antonio Conte, especially when he is likely to have such a reliable centre-back partnership behind him when he is racing forward.
Fabio Carvalho joined Liverpool from Fulham this summer and it looks like he could be given a real chance for the Reds this season.
The 19-year-old played a majority of their pre-season and has impressed fans throughout.
While the youngster certainly won’t play every game, Klopp likes to regularly rotate his team and if Carvalho can take his chances then he could prove to be a real gem for Liverpool.
Harvey Elliott is another Liverpool prospect that could be set for a breakthrough season.
The 19-year-old looked set to kick on under Klopp last season until he picked up an injury that left him sidelined for five months - pretty much ending his chance of a regular spot in the starting line-up.
However, Elliott has featured heavily in pre-season and is looking very positive, with the Liverpool boss expected to play him a lot more this season.
Elliott has bags of talent and it would be very surprising if he doesn’t pick up plenty of goals and assists with the likes of Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez around him.