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Ligue 1

Arsenal targets lead the Player of the Year nominations in France

Steve Mandanda

Serge Aurier, Marco Verratti and Steve Mandanda have been linked with Arsenal recently. All three have been nominated for awards in France.

The nominations for French football’s awards night have been revealed today. In the past Premier League stars such as Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud have won awards, and this year the trend continues as a few Premier League targets make the list of nominees. Long-time Arsenal target, Serge Aurier, has been nominated for young player of the year alongside Manchester United favourites Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa.

Run by the UNFP, the awards ceremony will be held in Paris on May 11th, with one week of the season to go. Awards for the Player, young player, coach, goalkeeper and goal of the season will be announced.

The main award is dominated by Paris Saint-Germain and it is no surprise since the Parisians have been top of the league for most of the year. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Motta and Thiago Silva are all up for the Player of the Year award, also nominated is Monaco’s Colombian star, James Rodriguez.

James is also included in the Young Player of the Year nominations, and this is the award he will likely win. After a slow start, he has been sensational for Monaco and currently leads Ligue 1 in assists with 12.

Coach of the Year is between Lille’s René Girard, Lyon’s Remi Garde, Laurent Blanc at PSG and Monaco’s Claudio Ranieri. Girard is the favourite as he has taken Lille to the top end of the table with very little monitory support, many thought les Dogues would struggle and they have exceeded expectations.

The nominations for Goalkeeper of the Year have caused some controversy this year. The outstanding candidate is Lille’s Vincent Enyeama, the Nigerian has recorded 21 clean sheets this campaign and no one can touch that. Including Marseille’s Steve Mandanda-linked with Arsenal-Stephane Ruffier of Saint-Etienne and PSG’s Salvatore Sirigu looks very short-sighted from the UNFP as all three have not been at their best this season.

There is only one winner when it comes to Goal of the Year, and that is Zlatan’s audacious over-the-head back-heel against Bastia. There are some great goals nominated, but Zlatan’s is in another class.

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