Raheem Sterling has been sensational in terms of his consistency, says Sam Wallace
Last Updated: 29/04/19 11:36am
Sam Wallace, The Telegraph's chief football writer, told the Sunday Supplement why Manchester City's Raheem Sterling received his vote for Player of the Year.
The nominees for the 2018/19 Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year were announced on Saturday, with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and City forward Sterling the front-runners to collect the award.
Of course I admire what he has done off the pitch, but he has been sensational in terms of his consistency
Sam Wallace, The Daily Telegraph's chief football writer
Sterling was joined on the list by his City team-mates Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero, while Chelsea's main man Eden Hazard and Liverpool's Sadio Mane also feature.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony held at the end of April, with Wallace backing City's England international to claim the award.
"I voted for him [for the Football Writers' Player of the Year award], I just think he has had a brilliant season," Wallace said.
"Of course I admire what he has done off the pitch, but he has been sensational in terms of his consistency.
"And that got forgotten midweek. That hat-trick goal that was disallowed… it would have been a very different story [against Tottenham in the Champions League].
"He scored two goals in what people are now saying is one of the greatest games they have ever seen.
"And, yes, his principled stand is crucial, but he has been superb in terms of his development as a player.
Who votes and how does it work?
PFA members cast their vote on the awards, which include Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Team of the Year categories. Players are not allowed to vote in the ballot for a player who plays for the same club as them.
"He is one of those young English players, and he is still young, but, like with Wayne Rooney, it feels like he has been around forever.
"So we do not look back on his development as much as it is taken for granted a little bit."
Henry Winter has also plumped for Sterling, 24, who has contributed a hugely impressive 23 goals and 16 assists in 46 games so far this season.
"He is also England's most important player," said The Times' chief football writer.
"For the young players, for the fans, I understand that Harry Kane is incredibly important.
"But Sterling , particularly in this 4-3-3 which Gareth Southgate seems to be wanting to push towards, really suits him, rather than the version England played with wing-backs in the summer."