London (AFP) – Leicester City’s extraordinary rise to the top of the Premier League has been recognised with the inclusion of three Foxes stars — Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante — on the shortlist for the Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year award.
The Leicester trio make up 50 percent of a six-strong panel that also includes Tottenham Hotspur’s 22-goal striker Harry Kane, West Ham’s France star Dimitri Payet and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil.
They are all in the running to succeed 2015 winner Eden Hazard, in an award which is voted for by their peers.
Kane is also a candidate to retain the Young Player of the Year award he won last year, with Spurs team-mate Dele Alli, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, Stoke’s Jack Butland and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho also vying for the honour.
Vardy is just one goal behind Kane in the race to be the Premier League’s top-scorer this season, while Algeria’s Mahrez has scored 16 goals, as well as providing 11 assists. Meanwhile Kante, recently capped by France, has won plaudits for his role as a defensive midfielder.
Payet has also had an impressive first season in the Premier League, while Germany’s Ozil has shone for Arsenal in what threatens to be a disappointing season for the Gunners.
The award winners will be announced on Sunday, April 24.