Five players unlucky to miss out on the Player of the Year shortlist

Leighton Baines

The votes are in, and players from Swansea City, Manchester City, Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur can perhaps be aggrieved that a place on the shortlist was not found for them.

Here are our unfortunate five...

Michu

The most glaring omission on the list, the Spanish midfielder has been a revelation for Swansea City this season, scoring seventeen goals and setting up two more as the Welsh side have consolidated their place in the Premier League. A slight dip in form during January was the only blip in an exceptional debut season, and Michu more than anyone can be surprised not to have made the shortlist.

Leighton Baines

Defenders often struggle to win these kind of awards, with their best work far more understated than that of strikers, but Baines is remarkable in that he combines his fine defensive play with a constant threat down the left flank for Everton. Five goals and five assists have been just part of perhaps his best season in the Premier League, and he could easily have been on the shortlist for the award.

Santi Cazorla

The Spanish midfielder has not been able to deliver his best form in every match this year, but he has become an integral figure for Arsenal, and if they manage to claim a top four place it will perhaps be due to Santi Cazorla more than anyone. Cazorla has twelve goals and seven assists in his debut season, and cannot have been far away from making the shortlist.

Pablo Zabaleta

Another defender, and Zabaleta does not even have Baines' goal record to boost his chances of inclusion. However the Argentine has stood out in a Manchester City side that has struggled, and he deserves recognition for his efforts this season even if City have disappointed in their attempts ot defend their Premier League title.

Jan Vertonghen

The Belgian defender has been wonderful for Tottenham Hotspur this season, either playing at centre back or at left back to help cover for a mini-injury crisis in the first half of the season. Gareth Bale has naturally stolen most of the limelight at White Hart Lane, but Vertonghen's calm presence in the back four has been crucial, as has his knack of scoring important goals.

image: © wonker

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