Leroy Sane was crowned PFA Young Player of the Year last night.
The German winger has made life miserable for right-backs up and down the nation this season, contributing to 21 goals (nine goals and 12 assists) in 28 Premier League appearances.
He is a deserving winner of the award.
And yet, does Harry Kane have the right to feel aggrieved?
The Spurs centre-forward needs no assistance in claiming things that aren’t his of course.
But he’s enjoyed another fruitful season in front of goal and was one of the six nominees in contention for the award — alongside Sane, Raheem Sterling, Ederson, Marcus Rashford and Ryan Sessegnon.
Only PFA Player of the Year Mo Salah has scored more Premier League goals than Kane this season with the Liverpool winger set to deny the England forward a hat-trick of Golden Boots.
Granted, Kane has only contributed two assists but his relentless goalscoring, even through a couple of injuries, is difficult to ignore.
The award is voted for by the players and perhaps many of their minds were swayed by the fact Sane has been influential in Man City’s title win (and League Cup triumph) while Kane’s goals have once again failed to deliver a trophy.
Such logic is reasonable and understandable, but is it truly fair?
The PFA awards are supposed to recognise individual performances rather than team achievements.
Given this criteria, Kane would certainly have fancied his chances of reclaiming the award he won in 2014/15.
After all, Salah edged out Kevin De Bruyne for the night’s prize gong.
It’s important we repeat at this stage that Sane is a worthy winner, we’re merely playing devil’s advocate.
Did the players choose to overlook Kane as a form of protest?
Many, including us, believe that at 24, Kane is too old to be considered a ‘young’ player.
Indeed, he was only eligible by virtue of turning 24 on 28th July (after the set date of 1st July), despite the fact the Premier League season began on 11th August.
It may be that Kane’s peers didn’t care for this technicality and so chose to disregard the free-scoring forward.
Additionally, many players, pundits and fans believe that if a player is nominated for Player of the Year then they shouldn’t be up for the Young Player of the Year award as well.
In 2011, Gareth Bale won Player of the Year but was scooped to the junior award by Jack Wilshere.
How could the Welshman have been the best player in the league that season but not the best young player?
Clearly, players have been hesitant to vote for the same player in both categories in the past.
Did all those who voted for Kane for Player of the Year this season also select him for Young Player of the Year as they logically should have? We will never know.