Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughYoung player of the year - The Contenders - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Young player of the year - The Contenders - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Young player of the year – The Contenders

Yesterday we looked at the contenders for the main PFA Player of the Year award, today we look at the front runner for the Young Player of the Year crown.

Spurs’ Kyle Walker scooped last year’s award after bursting onto the scene with his marauding performances from right back and here are the front runners to follow in Walker’s footsteps.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) – One of the hot favourites for the main award, Bale at 23 is still also eligible for the YPOTY also.  Many are running out of superlatives to throw at the Welshman who over the past couple of months has strengthened his already glowing reputation with a succession of 10 out of 10 performances for Spurs.  Bale has timed his hot streak of form just right to be considered for end of season honours and it would come as a surprise to anyone is Bale was to walk away with an award for his efforts this term.

Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion) – To look at, it is hard to believe that on loan Chelsea striker Lukaku is just 19.  The Belgian international has the sort of tall, strong, athletic frame reminiscent of former teammate Didier Drogba.  Lukaku has enjoyed an excellent loan spell at The Hawthorns and has proved a real handful for opposition defenders.  Lukaku has chipped in with many vital goals and has recently built an excellent understanding with strike partner Shane Long, even stating his interest in spending a second season on loan in the midlands.

Theo Walcott (Arsenal) – This will be the final year that Walcott is eligible for this award and is enjoying his best goal scoring season to date in professional football after stating his desire to be deployed as a central striker.  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has used Walcott sparingly in a central role but has rewarded his manager whenever he does by hitting the back of the net.  In addition, Walcott has continued to be a threat from out wide with his pace and creativity. 

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) – 22-year-old Benteke has provided an excellent goal return for the £7m investment the Villans made in the summer.  Benteke has been a handful for Premier League defenders all season and has proved to be a shining light in an otherwise desperately disappointing season for Paul Lambert’s men.  Benteke can be accused of needing several chances to put one away, but cannot be accused of going hiding and keeps getting into goal scoring positions to net 11 league goals so far this campaign.

Aaron Sharp