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In The Mixer: Can anyone top Haaland in PFA battle?
Gareth Freeman
Gareth Freeman
April 5, 2023
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Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.

In The Mixer is FST’s weekly column where we catch up with our team of football betting experts and get their opinion on the hot topic of the week.

This week, we asked our experts who they think should win the PFA Player Of The Year award and the general consensus is Erling Haaland deserves to be rated as the favourite – but they’re not all convinced the Norwegian is guaranteed the gong just yet either.

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Arsenal duo still in Player of the Year mix

Alex Wrigley

Editor & journalist at FST

Erling Haaland is the huge favourite to win the award but 16 of the 28 Premier League Player of the Season awards have gone to title winners and only one of the last eight awards have been handed to that season’s top goalscorer.

With Arsenal odds-on to lift the Premier League trophy, I am tempted by Gunners captain Martin Odegaard. Captaining a team to their first league title in almost two decades is an incredible achievement by itself, but Haaland’s countryman has the on-field stats to back up his selection, too, nabbing ten goals and seven assists and trailing only Kevin De Bruyne in shot-creating actions this season.

Joe Casey

Journalist at Racing Post

It is hard to argue against Erling Haaland taking home this award given his goalscoring heroics and it goes to show how normalised his record breaking has become that there is even a discussion.

However if Arsenal take home the title, Martin Odegaard can think himself unlucky not to double up with Player of the Season.

It must be remembered that the Gunners captain is just 24 years old but has epitomised the steel that Mikel Arteta’s side have shown to throw down such a solid title challenge.

To add to that, Odegaard has chipped in with ten goals and seven assists from midfield and knits together the Arsenal attack in a way that may sometimes go unnoticed. If he leads his side to the title, he should also get Player of the Season.

Chris Rivers

Journalist at Racing Post

The odds suggest it’s Erling Haaland’s award to lose and if he breaks the record for most goals in a Premier League season, it will be tough to argue against the freakish Norwegian getting the gong.

But, should the award go to the player that’s scored a lot of goals or someone like Bukayo Saka, who has offered more in terms of all-round performance?

The likeable 21-year-old is the only player in the Premier League to have hit double figures for both goals and assists this season (13G, 10A) and may represent a bit of value at 11/2 for the honour if recent winners are anything to go by.

In recent years, the Premier League’s Player of the Season award has gone to the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Ruben Dias and Virgil van Dijk, individuals who made vital contributions to their teams outside of just scoring goals. City would score goals with or without Haaland, but who knows where Arsenal would be without the brilliant Saka.

PFA gong for Haaland looks a done deal

Aaron Ashley

Journalist at Racing Post

You feel like it’s an award that should go to the title winner but even if Manchester City come up short in their pursuit of Arsenal, scoring sensation Erling Haaland looks sure to get the nod.

Arsenal’s success has been more down to the collective rather than individual brilliance and while City are also a brilliant team, Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm in his debut season.

It can be tough adapting to what is the best league in the world but Haaland has taken the step up in his stride, scoring 28 goals in 26 games, averaging one every 76 minutes. That works out at 1.19 goals per 90 minutes and if he continues at this rate then the record of 34 goals in one campaign is there to be broken.

James Mason

Journalist at ICS

This award will surely go to a player from either Arsenal or Manchester City given their intense battle for the title, but while the Gunners may end up lifting the trophy, the accolade of the Premier League’s Player of the Season will likely go to Erling Haaland.

Quite simply, the Norway international’s scoring feats have been incredible since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund. The 22-year-old has scored 28 goals 26 appearances and he is quickly bearing down on the record for most goals scored in a PL season, that achievement jointly-held by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer.

Having done the business in Austria and Germany before his switch to England, Haaland has taken to life in England like a duck to water and even if he didn’t manage to win the title, his scoring feats should at least see him take home an individual award for his fine performances.

Rob Eddy

Journalist at ICS

Erling Haaland’s goalscoring record makes him an understandable favourite, and he would surely be nailed on if he went on to break the record.

I’m not sure winning the title makes a difference with Kevin De Bruyne, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah victorious recently without the trophy behind them.

The price is a little off-putting while I might argue that City were expected to win and have proven they can play without the Norwegian, while a forward hasn’t won the award since 2018.

Arsenal winning the Premier League was in nobody’s mind at the start of the season so surely a Gunner should get the vote – the problem being there have been contributions all over and it’s difficult to single one individual out. Bukayo Saka might be worth a shout at 11/2, but he would need to maintain his production until the end of the season.

City are much more than Haaland of course, but the 22-year-old’s sheer volume of goals, however, make him hard to back against.

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