Premier League Player of the Season Candidates

Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates his Premier League goal
Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates his Premier League goal / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

The Premier League Player of the Season race is heating up, and last year's winner is nowhere to be seen in the current top three.

This year's Premier League title race is drawing to another dramatic ending, with the same two teams seemingly competing against one another to get to the finish line and lift the trophy. Once again, it remains Arsenal and Manchester City as the final two competitors, with Liverpool slipping behind only very recently, and perhaps unexpectedly.

While last year it was Manchester City's Erling Haaland, this season tells a different story for the award. There have been a few standout players this season, so let's look at my top 3 for the Premier League Player of the Season (not in any particular order) :

1.) Cole Palmer

Cole Palmer has been about as instrumental to a team as one can get. Chelsea's time in the Premier League this season has been shocking, regrettable, unpleasant (for Chelsea fans only), however you want to describe it - bad.

In this season, Cole Palmer is just one goal shy of Erling Haaland for the Golden Boot. Sitting on 20 goals after a four-goal performance against Everton only 2 weeks ago, he continues to shine for his new club. In addition to his 20 goals, he has registered 9 assists in the Premier League, making it 29 goal involvements in 29 games for Chelsea.

Being made to start in numerous different positions, Cole Palmer has demonstrated tremendous capability and adaptability for head coach Mauricio Pochettino. After the decision was made to leave Manchester City, it was a question of when, not if, he would make an impact in the current Chelsea squad.

It seems the decision to leave the Premier League champions was a wise one, as it has some City fans regretting the sale, and providing the only source of joy for Chelsea fans through another disappointing season.

Without Palmer, it's hard to imagine where Chelsea would be in the table. His presence in the side alone makes Chelsea a much more threatening side, even with their lack of finishing ability in front of him. He has taken that burden upon himself to provide the goals and the spark to get Chelsea to a... top-half finish...?

2.) Declan Rice

Upon his arrival, many suspected that his price tag would weigh heavy on the England International's shoulders. This was not the case, in the slightest, as Declan Rice made himself right at home and right away. There was no waiting to see his quality, no waiting to discover why Arsenal paid the fee they did for the former Hammer.

You could argue that Declan Rice is the main reason that Arsenal are still in the Premier League title race with only 3 games to go for the Gunners and four for their challengers. Declan Rice has been a mainstay in the Arsenal starting XI, and deservedly so. He provides that backbone, and tactical know-how to protect the Gunners' defenders while keeping them ticking going forward.

Not only does he do his defensive duties, he's been able to go forward, and trusted when to make those runs, to contribute with 6 goals, and 7 assists. These are impressive numbers for a defensive midfielder.

Rice has taken everything in his stride at Arsenal. Leading the Gunners to a Premier League title for the first time since 03/04 could just be the cherry on top for his Premier League Player of the Season case.

3.) Phil Foden

Manchester City's academy has been pumping out some incredible talent in recent years. From Jadon Sancho, to Romeo Lavia, to James Trafford, Rico Lewis, the list could go on. Phil Foden sits atop the rest as the clear crown jewel from City's academy efforts.

From being thrown into the starting lineup and scoring a diving header against Tottenham Hotspur in the 2019 Premier League run-in to being the guy Manchester City leans on at just 23 years old, he sure has come a long way since an infamous tweet after Foden signed his extension with his boyhood club.

His importance for Manchester City cannot be understated this season, in a year where Kevin De Bruyne sat out for nearly five months on the sidelines with an injury, Foden stepped in and kept the City train rolling in the creativity department. He has been the one Manchester City has turned to not only in the Premier League but the Champions League as well, to break open defenses and create chances for both himself and his teammates.

With 16 goals and 7 assists in the league, it's safe to say his season is one to remember, and his best yet in the top flight. No matter where Phil Foden has played this season, Pep Guardiola can count on the young England International to produce results and to be a difference-maker at the highest level of the game. This is a feat that few 23 year olds can lay claim to, and one that could end up winning Foden this year's Premier League Player of the Season award.