Yesterday, Ligue 1 became the first of Europe’s top five leagues to end the 2019/20 campaign after France Prime Minister said contact sports would not be possible until September.
Few tears will shed over PSG being denied another league title – unless they are awarded the trophy by way of alternative means – but you’ve got to feel for Wissam Ben Yedder.
The Monaco forward was level with Kylian Mbappe on 18 goals in the race for the Golden Boot and while most would put their money on the electric 21-year-old, Ben Yedder will have every right to feel aggrieved that the opportunity has potentially been taken away from him.
At 29 years old, the Frenchman has never won anything or note with any of his four clubs; and that includes individual awards.
It may not seem like much to some, but a Ligue 1 Golden Boot would have been Ben Yedder’s crowning achievement.
This got us thinking: which players would be most affected if the Premier League followed suit?
First and foremost we have to consider the man currently leading the Golden Boot race, Jamie Vardy.
Unlike Ben Yedder, Leicester’s No9 has past glories he’ll be able to look back upon in his old age but the Golden Boot evaded him when the Foxes did the impossible in 2015/16 as Harry Kane scored 25 goals to Vardy’s 24.
Cancellation would be a potential double blow for Vardy, who is currently on 99 Premier League goals.
Depending on whether or not players would retain their individual stats for 2019/20 despite it’s incompletion, the 33-year-old would start 2020/21 back on 80 goals.
In such a scenario, a century is suddenly far from the formality it was two months ago.
A whole of host of players (most of them English strikers) will hope to retain their stats in the event the season is cancelled.
The likes of Marcus Rashford, Tammy Abraham, Danny Ings and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have all enjoyed their best Premier League campaigns to date.
In the case of Abraham, a hard cancellation (one that wipes all statistics) would produce the unusual scenario of him scoring his first Premier League goal for Chelsea for what would feel like the second time in his career.
At the point the current campaign was paused, Kevin De Bruyne required four assists from Man City’s last nine league fixtures to equal Thierry Henry’s record that has stood since 2002/03.
Such an achievement would also see him leapfrog three players (Alan Shearer, Matthew Le Tissier, Gareth Barry) in the all-time Premier League assist charts.
More significantly, the Belgian is among the heavy favourites for the top annual individual awards — PFA Players’ Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year.
If the league were to be cancelled without trophy distribution, as is the case in the Netherlands, then surely the individual awards would be forgone as well.
Many have campaigned for Jordan Henderson to win the individual gongs after his talismanic efforts as leader of Liverpool’s record-breaking victory parade.
No doubt the England midfielder would sacrifice every individual accolade if it meant he could lift the Premier League trophy in the near future but in his ideal world, he wouldn’t have to.
Nick Pope is the unexpected frontrunner for the Golden Glove award with 11 clean sheets.
Burnley’s No1 has successfully denied opponents more than Dean Henderson, Alisson and Kasper Schmeichel (all ten).
The Clarets are on an undefeated run of seven league fixtures and with Watford, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Norwich and Brighton among their remaining opponents, Pope has a great opportunity to claim the Golden Glove… if they season continues.
If it’s cancelled, he may never find himself in such a strong position again.
At 31 years old, who knows how many games Sergio Aguero has left in his injury-prone legs.
The Argentine poacher is hunting down a podium place in the list of all-time Premier League top scorers.
As it stands, he needs just eight more to displace Andy Cole and put himself in the bronze medal position, at which point he will be 20 goals shy of Wayne Rooney’s tally.
However, if the current season is cancelled (stats and all) he’ll be knocked back to 164, like a cruel game of snakes and ladders.
Aguero turns 32 in June and with the margins so fine, his precise standing in Premier League history – and by extension, his legacy – may depend on whether his 16 league goals of 2019/20 are deemed official or written off.
Thankfully, the English government, FA, and Premier League seem more committed to finishing the 2019/20 season than other European institutions.
The likes of Vardy, De Bruyne and Henderson will have their fingers crossed.