Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has been named the PFA Player of the Year at a ceremony in London on Sunday evening.
Kante, 26, wins the award after being on the shortlist of six last season when winning the Premier League title with Leicester City, before teammate Riyad Mahrez was eventually crowned.
The France international edged out competition from Eden Hazard, winner of the award in 2014-15, Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.
Kante had been the bookmakers’ heavy odds-on favourite for some time. Credited as the key signing to transform Chelsea from a team which finished 10th into Premier League leaders, his energy in the middle of the park has been the driving force. He has made more interceptions in the past two seasons than any other player.
Accepting the award at Grosvenor House, Kante said: “It’s a huge honour to be chosen by the other players. It’s really special to get this award. My first two seasons have been very beautiful. We have to finish well but so far it’s a very good season.”
He is hoping to become the first player in the Pemier League era to win the title with different clubs in successive seasons. Mark Schwarzer did it the other way around with Chelsea and then Leicester last season, but his win with the Foxes doesn’t officially count as he didn’t qualify for a medal after making no appearances.
Dele Alli picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award, while Manchester City’s Lucy Bronze won the women’s player of the year award for the second time having also won it in 2014, and Birmingham’s Jess Carter topped the voting in the women’s young player category.
Former England captain David Beckham received the PFA’s Merit award for his contribution to the game.
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