Who will be PSL footballer of the year?

Maswanganyi, Rayners are local best bets against Ribeiro, Allende

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch FC.
Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch FC.
Image: Ashley Vlotman

By now, the debate around potential Footballer of the Season candidates should be heating up but not a lot has been said about who deserves to win this prestigious gong this year.

Truth be told, there hasn't really been a player who's been head and shoulders above the rest this season. However, there are players who have been in form decent enough to be considered for the glamorous Footballer of the Season award.

Orlando Pirates' Patrick Maswanganyi, Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch, alongside Mamelodi Sundowns duo of Marcelo Allende and Lucas Ribeiro deserve a look in for this accolade which is accompanied by a mouthwatering R250,000 cheque.

Maswanganyi has already been named Man of the Match six times, more than any other player in the DStv Premiership this season. The 26-year-old playmaker boasts four league goals and three assists. Maswanganyi has been Pirates' main man this season, creating more chances than all of his teammates. Last month, Bucs forward was sitting on 28 chances created, according to OptaJabu (unofficial PSL statistician). 

Lucas Ribeiro of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Lucas Ribeiro of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Image: Shaun Roy

While he's been mainly praised for his goals, Rayners is one of few strikers in the division who seamlessly tracks back to help in defence whenever his team is out of position. The eight goals and one assist in the league Rayners boasts have helped Stellies to occupy the second spot in the standings. 

Allende's work rate has been second to none this season. The Chilean is a true example of a box-to-box midfielder. Last month, the 25-year-old midfielder had created 19 chances in the league, more than any Sundowns player, according to OptaJabu. Allende has scored one goal and provided two assists.

As the form of their perennial talisman and two-time Footballer of the Season winner Peter Shalulile has dipped this season, Ribeiro, despite being a newcomer, has been Sundowns' main source of goals. The 25-year-old Brazilian has scored 11 goals and managed two assists for the Brazilians in the DStv Premiership.

Nevertheless, stats seem to count for nothing in this category at the PSL awards as last season Teboho Mokoena controversially won it with just one goal and one assist from 24 league outings. 

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