Is the PFA Player of the Year award cursed?
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is the latest star to have his name etched on the prestigious trophy, fighting off serious competition in the form of Kevin De Bruyne.
But how will he follow such an extraordinary season?
We looked back at how the last ten winners of the award performed the season after being confirmed as the league’s very best…
Cristiano Ronaldo – 2007/08 winner
Ronaldo picked up his second Player of the Year award in 2008 having also won it the year before.
The following season, which would turn out to be his last at Old Trafford, was marred with constant rumours of a move to Madrid.
He finished the campaign with 13 fewer goals than the previous season, despite playing one game more.
Ryan Giggs – 2008/09 winner
Giggs won the award in 2009 despite having started just 12 league games when he received the trophy.
Even though he was one year closer to settling in a retirement home, Giggsy featured heavily for United the following season and his stats actually improved.
The Welshman bettered both his goals and assists tally from his award-winning season.
Wayne Rooney – 2009/10 winner
Remember when Rooney was actually really bloody good?
Despite scoring ‘that’ bicycle kick (we all know it was a shin) against City and also becoming the third United player to score 100 Premier League goals, Rooney’s following season was poor in comparison.
He announced that he wanted to leave the club and the dispute with Fergie raged on all season.
Gareth Bale – 2010/11
In 2011, Bale picked up what would turn out to be his first of two Player of the Year awards.
The following season, the Spurs man actually performed significantly better than his previous season, but missed out on the award due to the form of Robin Van Persie.
Robin Van Persie – 2011/12 winner
The Dutchman had an incredible season in 2011/12 and carried Arsenal into the top four.
He jumped ship at the end of the season and joined long-time rivals Man United.
RVP continued his impressive form the following year and proved crucial as Fergie bowed out of Old Trafford with title success.
Gareth Bale – 2012/2013 winner
Following his remarkable form for Spurs in 2013, Bale got his dream move to Real Madrid in the summer.
The Welshman had an impressive first season in Spain, helping Los Blancos win the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
Bale first season at the club is also his second highest scoring season in Spain so far.
Luis Suarez – 2013/14 winner
Just like Bale, Suarez left England the season after winning the award — omens for Salah perhaps?
He finally got his move to Barcelona after a spree of feasting on opponents.
The Uruguay international racked up some big numbers in his first season in La Liga, working wonders alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Eden Hazard – 2014/15 winner
Hazard’s decline following his award-winning season is probably the most shocking of the lot.
The Belgian’s woeful form, just one season after helping Chelsea to dominate the league, contributed to the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
Hazard didn’t register a goal in the league until January 2016, he did score the goal which ended Spurs’ title hopes though.
Riyad Mahrez – 2015/16 winner
The season after being crowned Player of the Year, Mahrez did his best to copy Hazard and performed rather terribly.
The Algerian produced nowhere near the levels he reached during Leicester’s title-winning fairy tale.
Mahrez’s poor performances contributed to Claudio Ranieri’s harsh sacking and left Leicester in a relegation scrap.
N’Golo Kante – 2016/17 winner
Kante finally got his hands on the personal accolade after he won the league with Chelsea.
The Frenchman has done his best to keep up his form in an otherwise poor Chelsea side this season.
At times it has looked as though Kante is missing Matic alongside him, especially with Bakayoko’s sub-par efforts in the Serbian’s place.
What will next season hold for Salah…
- Why everyone should be excited about the Serie A title race
- Remembering Stewart Downing’s tragicomedy season for Liverpool in 2011/12
- Germany’s left-back will probably be playing in the second division next season