Wayne Rooney has been installed as the overwhelming favourite to land the PFA Player of the Year award following the release of the short-list.
The Manchester United star has enjoyed an outstanding season, even if it appears his success at club level will be limited to the Carling Cup.
Rooney has scored 34 goals for United this term and has catapulted himself among the true world-class talents.
Article continues below ...
If Rooney did win, it would be the fourth time on the trot a member of the Old Trafford camp had received the accolade, following on from Ryan Giggs last year, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who was player of the year in the two seasons before that.
Rooney does have some competition, although the usual six-man shortlist has been trimmed to four.
Like Rooney, Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas has been selected for both the main award, and the young player of the year prize.
Although he has been sidelined for the rest of the season by injury, Fabregas held together a Gunners’ title challenge that twice seemed to have collapsed before Tottenham almost certainly snuffed it out last night.
As champions-elect, Chelsea were bound to have a representative, and while he might not have hit the heights as consistently as in other years, Didier Drogba’s goals ensured the Stamford Bridge outfit came through their rocky patch and are now in line to become only the seventh team to land the domestic double.
Manchester City’s emergence as a Premier League force is also confirmed by the presence of Carlos Tevez, who has been such a pivotal figure for the Blues since his controversial summer move from neighbours United.
City also have a representative for the young player prize, although in Joe Hart’s case that has only happened following a successful loan move to Birmingham.
Aston Villa’s James Milner is the fourth name on that list, testament to his outstanding form for Martin O’Neill’s men, which seems certain to earn him a place in Fabio Capello’s England World Cup squad.