Chelsea’s N’Goto Kante has been voted the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year, pushing off competition from fellow Blues Eden Hazard and Tottenham’s Harry Kane amongst others in the running.
With this award, Kante is also set to become the first player to win successive Premier League title with two different clubs.
The midfielder has been central to Chelsea’s surge to the Premier League summit. The Frenchman, bought from Leicester for £32million in July, is on course to win back-to-back titles.
He secured the most votes from his peers, seeing off competition from team-mate Eden Hazard plus Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli won the Young Player prize for the second successive season.
Manchester City’s Lucy Bronze won the Women’s Player of the Year award for the second time having also won it in 2014, and Birmingham’s Jess Carter topped the voting in the Women’s Young Player category.
Former England captain David Beckham received the PFA’s Merit award for his contribution to the game.
Kante was presented with the award at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on Sunday evening. He said, ‘To be chosen by the players to be player of the year means a lot to me.
‘It means the world to be chosen and it’s been two beautiful seasons, one with Leicester, and we are in good form with Chelsea. To be player of the year, it’s a great honour.’
The Blues are four points clear at the top of the Premier League and Paris-born Kante added, ‘We have to fight for six more games.
‘We’re going to fight like a final for every game, and hopefully we can win the league at the end of the season.’
Chelsea will also face Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 27 and, on talk of a double, he said, ‘We’re going to fight for both competitions.
‘The cup is just one game, and the league six games, and we’re going to give our best to win these two competitions.’
Alli’s young player prize is some consolation for his controversial omission from the six-man shortlist for the senior award.
The England midfielder, 21, has again been critical to Spurs’ title push and heading into the weekend was the highest-scoring player in the league not recognised as a forward, with 16 goals.
England full-back Bronze won the women’s player of the year award for the second time, after being part of the Manchester City squad which won the Women’s Super League without losing a single game in 2016.
Birmingham midfielder Carter saw off competition from three Manchester City players to win the women’s young player of the year award.
Beckham, who won 115 England caps and starred at club level for Manchester United, followed former Red Devils team-mate Ryan Giggs in winning the Merit prize. He also received the prize alongside his ‘Class of 92’ United team-mates in 2013.