As the Premier League enters the business end of the campaign, talk will soon inevitably turn to who will win this season’s Young Player of the Year award.
This year, there has been a number of standout young performers in the league with a plethora of stars all vying for the title of the league’s best under the age of 24.
Here Pundit Arena takes a look at the top contenders for this year’s Young Player of the Year award.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
The fact that Raheem Sterling is even still eligible for this award is pretty ridiculous considering it’s been seven years since he made his first-team debut for Liverpool.
Sterling is 24 but was 23 at the beginning of the campaign so should really be a shoo-in considering the incredible season he has had with Manchester City.
The English international has 17 goals and 11 assists so far this season in a free-scoring City team.
Sterling has proven in the last few seasons that he can step up to the plate for Guardiola’s men when required and he has had a knack of scoring at crucial times for City this season.
If City do end up retaining the title, then his goals and assists will no doubt have a major part to play in it.
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Perhaps another you would forget is eligible for the award given his Premier League experience, but Bernardo Silva has grown into one of City’s finest talents.
In the absence of chief creator Kevin De Bruyne, Silva has stepped up in the middle of the park scoring six goals and creating eight as he improves year on year at the Etihad.
Only Aymeric Laporte has played more outfield minutes than Silva who has been a model of consistency in a team that Guardiola has chopped and changed so often this campaign.
So good in fact, he’s a contender for the Player’s Player of the Year.
Declan Rice (West Ham)
International allegiances aside, West Ham’s Declan Rice has been a true revelation in the Premier League this season for the Hammers.
Rice has been a part of the first team for quite some time but this season he has grown into one of West Ham’s finest players in the holding midfield role.
The 20-year-old has controlled so many of West Ham’s games this campaign standing out against the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool and garnering the attention of the division’s biggest teams.
On the field, Rice comes across as an experienced midfielder who plays the game far beyond his years and his development makes him a perfect candidate to scoop the Young Player of the Year award.
James Maddison (Leicester City)
Considered an outside shout for many, including the bookies, James Maddison has had a very good first season in the Premier League with Leicester City.
Signed from Norwich after a standout spell at Carrow Road in the summer, Maddison has taken to the top flight like a duck to water as Leicester looked to replace the creativity of Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.
Maddison has scored seven goals and created six from an attacking midfield position and his set-pieces have been a very effective weapon for the Foxes.
Still only 22, the England international has a very bright future ahead of him in the Premier League.
Marcus Rashford (Manchester City)
Having established himself as the main striker during the early days of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign, Marcus Rashford has kicked on and delivered for United this season.
Rashford, who it’s very easy to forget is still only 21 years of age, has scored ten goals this campaign while creating seven for his teammates.
He has also shown his versatility in the side playing in a host of different positions across Manchester United’s front three.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Alexander-Arnold is another who has kicked on this season with Liverpool and has quietly become one of their most important players.
The 20-year old has been steady in a solid Liverpool defence but it’s been his attacking qualities which have impressed so many this campaign.
Liverpool’s full-backs have become a vital part of their attack and Alexander-Arnold has managed seven assists from right-back as the Reds look to clinch their first ever Premier League title.