Riyad Mahrez wins PFA Player of the Year 2015-16

Riyad Mahrez admits he's shocked to find out he's the first African to win the PFA Player of the year award

Leicester forward Riyad Mahrez has been crowned PFA Player of the Year for 2015-16.

The 25-year-old Algeria international has been instrumental in Leicester's astonishing surge towards the Premier League title, scoring 17 goals, with 11 assists, in 33 league appearances.

Mahrez beat team-mates Jamie Vardy and N'Golo Kante, Tottenham's Harry Kane, West Ham's Dimitri Payet and Arsenal's Mesut Ozil to the award.

Mahrez said: "All the credit is for my team-mates, seriously, and for my manager and the staff.

"Without them I wouldn't receive this award and I wouldn't score. It's the team spirit, and I want to dedicate it to them.

Riyad Mahrez scores against Man City
Image: Mahrez scored an imperative goal in the win at Man City in February

"I'm very grateful to receive this award - it's a pleasure. It's extra special because, if the players vote for me, it's because they've seen I've been great this year, so I'm happy."

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Mahrez, playing in his second season in the top-flight, was also named in the PFA Team of the Year.

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It was announced at the PFA awards dinner at Grosvenor House in London on Sunday, where Spurs pair Kane and Young Player of the Year Dele Alli were not able to attend because of their match against West Brom on Monday Night Football.

Mahrez scored on Sunday as Leicester extended their lead over Tottenham, who have a game in hand, to eight points at the top with a home win over Swansea City.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates
Image: Mahrez scored in the win over Swansea City on Super Sunday

The player, who signed from French Ligue 2 side Le Havre when the Foxes were in the Championship in 2014, had an explosive start to the campaign with four goals in three games, including a brace in the opening day win over Sunderland.

Jamie Redknapp was full of praise after watching Riyad Mahrez’s performance in Leicester’s 4-0 win over Swansea

He scored a wonderful hat-trick in a 3-0 away win at Swansea in December  - his first in the Premier League - and followed it up with three more goals in the next two games as Leicester clinched top spot and stayed there.

Mahrez has continued to be an imperative part of Claudio Ranieri's side, playing off the right-hand side, and scored in Leicester's crucial away win at Manchester City in February.

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