With my predictions for the 2017/18 Premier League table set, it’s time to have a look at who may win the individual honours this season.
Top Goalscorer – Harry Kane
Honourable Mentions: Romelu Lukaku, Sergio Aguero, Alexandre Lacazette
It’s hard to argue against Kane picking up another Golden Boot this season. The Spurs striker has openly stated that he is chasing Alan Shearer’s goalscoring record and he’ll need another strong season this year to make inroads on that. 29 goals in 30 games last season was phenomenal, and Kane will be aiming for a record similar to that in 2017/18.
Elsewhere, Lukaku will be in the goals, but may have to share the load this time in a more talented squad. If Aguero can stay fit all season then he has the potential to win it, but that’s a big if. And finally, Lacazette is arguably the biggest unknown. If he gets up and running quickly then the trophy could be his, but he’ll probably take time to settle in.
Top Assist-maker – Kevin De Bruyne
Honourable Mentions: Christian Eriksen, Mesut Ozil, David Silva
De Bruyne was top of the assists chart last season and I reckon he’ll retain his crown this time around. The Belgian has a knack of going unnoticed for a while before popping up with an assist and/or a goal and with even more attacking options ahead of him this time around, he’ll pick up a hatful of assists again.
Eriksen is a guarantee for several assists but Tottenham’s lack of attacking depth could cost him should Kane get injured. Ozil had a poor season by his standards last year and will want to bounce back this time around whilst Silva has unlocked Premier League defences for years.
Player of the Year – Paul Pogba
Honourable Mentions: Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne, N’Golo Kante
Since part 1 of my Premier League preview, Manchester United have announced the signing of Nemanja Matic. Matic is the perfect signing for United in terms of the freedom it gives Pogba to go forward. Whilst United might have to win the league for Pogba to earn individual honours, we’re going to see why they paid so much money to bring him back this season.
Kane will no doubt score the goals to bring him into contention, and I think De Bruyne will be the star man of a stacked City squad. Kante will be aiming to retain the award he won last season, but whilst he still has the quality, I think the novelty of his defensive midfield masterclass will wear off throughout the year.
Young Player of the Year – Gabriel Jesus
Honourable Mentions: Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford, James Ward-Prowse
I must confess I hadn’t heard of Jesus until he signed for Manchester City and starting playing for them in January. Immediately however, I knew City had a gem on their hands. Jesus has incredible attacking awareness for his age and looks like a world-class goalscorer of the future.
Of course Dele Alli will be in contention too. Alli was quite unbelievable last season, and I can see him at Real Madrid or Barcelona in years to come. Rashford is another bright English prospect – I look forward to see how he links up with Lukaku this season. Ward-Prowse however, as I’m about to explain, is my player to watch this season.
One to Watch – James Ward-Prowse
Honourable Mentions: Aaron Mooy, Jay Rodriguez, Trent Alexander-Arnold
If Ward-Prowse wants to be knocking on Gareth Southgate’s door for an England place, this is the season he arguably needs to break out and do it. Now at the age of 22, Ward-Prowse also has a new club manager to impress in Mauricio Pellegrino. The youth academy graduate has to become the star of the team this year and if he does that then the big teams will soon come knocking.
Watch out also for Mooy, who was Huddersfield’s player of the year in their miraculous promotion campaign. Jay Rodriguez has moved to West Brom and has a new lease of life, looking back to his best in pre-season. Finally Liverpool fans think Alexander-Arnold has the potential to move ahead of Clyne this season and see him as a star right-back of the future. Whether he can achieve that however, will be fascinating to watch.