Had Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey not been plagued by a thigh muscle strain injury for four months of the Premier League season then the Welshman may have given Liverpool star Luis Suarez genuine competition for the player of the year gongs.
Former Gunners playmaker Paul Merson told Sky Sports recently that the success of Arsene Wenger's side is dependent on the fitness of Ramsey as, before his injury, he was "the best player in the league" and, since he has returned, "Arsenal turned the corner" and have started enjoying good form once again.
"Arsenal have turned another corner and if you look back I think it has all hinged on the fitness of Aaron Ramsey," said Merson, 46.
"If he had been available all of the way through then I think their season would have been a different story. They look like a completely different team with him in it. Yes, you want people like Theo Walcott in the team for their pace but it's Ramsey who is so important for them. He is the player who runs forward and gets beyond the other team to open the game up.
"When you have him making runs it gives other players, such as Santi Cazorla, more time on the ball. The other players in the midfield don't do the same thing. He's also a finisher and gets big goals as well."
Had Ramsey been injury-free, then would he have been as important to Arsenal's theorised title push as Suarez has been in Liverpool's actual challenge?
In each of Ramsey's performances this season he has been notable, if not excellent, becoming the ultimate example of the box-to-box player with with 69 tackles, 20 interceptions, 14 clearances, an 85% pass completion, 66 average passes per match, 31 chances created, nine goals scored and nine assists provided from 18 just starts in Premier League competition.
"When he got injured around Christmas time he was probably the best player in the league, scoring big goals in big games - and he has done the same since he has come back," said Merson. "If he hadn't got injured then it would have been massive for Arsenal."
As it turned out, Luis Suarez was awarded the PFA prize for player of the season and the accolade went to the most deserving man as, to date, the Uruguayan alone has been directly responsible for 51of Liverpool's 96 total goals scored in the division to date. Suarez himself has netted 30 times, with 21 assists to boot, meaning he affects the scoreline once every 54 minutes.
Even Ramsey does not dispute Suarez's suitability for the player of the year award, telling Sky Sports: "No matter what, his qualities is there for all to be seen.
"He's a magnificent player for all the goals he scored, he missed those games [at the start of the season] and to still score so many [is incredible].
"He works so hard and gives so much to the entire Liverpool team," concluded the Welshman.