Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk has beaten Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling to win PFA Players’ Player of the Year, according to reports.
The Netherlands international was on a six-man shortlist which included Sterling, Sadio Mane, Eden Hazard, Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva. Van Dijk and Sterling were the two favourites from the six candidates after their impressive seasons at Liverpool and City.
But according to the Daily Mail, the £75 million defender has won the race to win the trophy and the result will be officially announced on Thursday.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year last season, while Van Dijk is the first defender to win the trophy since former Chelsea captain John Terry in 2005.
Van Dijk also becomes the eighth Liverpool player to be crowned PFA Players’ Player of the Year after Salah, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, John Barnes, Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish and Terry McDermott.
Van Dijk is due to be presented with the trophy at the PFA Awards ceremony in London on April 28.
Earlier this month, Van Dijk revealed that he voted for Sterling to win the award.
‘I voted for Raheem Sterling. I did what I thought and I thought he deserves it,’ said the Dutchman. ‘He’s had a fantastic season.
‘I think I could have voted for Bernardo Silva as well and another couple of players from Manchester City.
But I am just being honest. I think he has improved a lot as a player. We will see if he wins it.’
Sterling, meanwhile, revealed that his vote went to Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
‘My vote for him is because he scores so many goals every year, he does so much for the team, gives so much for his team,’ said the City winger.
There was a lot of talk about Virgil van Dijk. I knew he would have a lot of the votes, so I looked at someone I thought being around him in the national team, how he puts in his work, his work ethic, how he looks after himself.
‘He’s always there, especially coming back from injury, as a professional I looked at him and that’s my reason for voting for him, seeing him on a day-to-day with the national team.’