MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: (L-R) Wayne Rooney of Manchester United is congratulated by teammate Danny Welbeck after scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on December 10, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has shortlisted a list for their Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards. Amongst those nominated are two Manchester United attackers -- Wayne Rooney for the Player of the Year and Danny Welbeck for the Young Player of the Year. Wazza currently has the second most goals in the Premier League with 24 and he also has 31 in all competitions -- the latter number is three shy of his career high. The 21-year-old Welbeck has spent his first full season with United's first-team and he's been a vital contributor with his link-up play and his terrific off-the-ball movement. The youngster has also contributed with 8 league goals and 11 in all competitions.
Robin van Persie has been nominated as well and he's likely the player that will win the award when it is presented on Sunday night at the PFA's award show. The Arsenal striker has bagged 27 goals and provided 10 assists thus far in league. The Dutchman's goal total runs to 33 in all competitions. David Silva has been nominated as well after having a strong second season in England. However, after a tremendous first-half of the season, the Spaniard's form has declined sharply. City teammates Joe Hart and Sergio Aguero have been nominated as well, along with last season's Football Writers' Association Player of the Year Scott Parker.
Aguero has also been nominated for Young Player of the Year. Gareth Bale, last season's PFA Player of the Year, has been nominated as well. Along with Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Daniel Sturridge, and Kyle Walker join them as nominees.
Wazza is fully deserving to be nominated but I think it could be debated whether United's lone nominee has been his club's most influential player this season. Jonny Evans, Michael Carrick, and Antonio Valencia have all been superb this season, as has Paul Scholes in the latter half of the season. However, perhaps none have provided the season-long influence that our talisman has (*). In addition, it's generally attackers that are nominated and the award typically is only won by a midfielder or defender if none of the league's attackers have had a standout season. With the impressive goal totals of van Persie and Rooney, that's not the case this season. These awards are voted for by the player's peers.
(*) Valencia's half-season of tremendous form though may be equal to Silva's superb form for only half of his season.
2011/12 PFA Player of the Year nominees: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City), Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
2011/12 PFA Young Player of the Year nominees: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)