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Statistical look at PFA Player of the Year award nominees

The speculation can begin after the Professional Footballers' Association announced the nominees for its player-of-the-season awards.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a statistical look at those in the running in the Premier League.

:: ROMELU LUKAKU is the Premier League's top scorer with 23 goals and HARRY KANE his nearest pursuer with 19. ALEXIS SANCHEZ (18) and ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC (17) closely follow.

:: Kane is on course to be the Premier League's leading English goalscorer for the third straight season - he is three goals clear despite missing eight games due to injury.

:: Lukaku has either scored or assisted on a league-high 29 goals - 51 per cent of Everton's total of 57. Ibrahimovic has a 48 per cent goal contribution rate (22 of Manchester United's 46) and Sanchez 44 per cent (27 of Arsenal's 61).

:: Ibrahimovic's 17 league goals tell only part of the story - he has 28 in all competitions, meaning he now has 20-goal seasons in five different countries having also achieved the feat in Holland, Italy, Spain and France. His tally of 115 shots, meanwhile, leads the Premier League.

:: Chelsea's EDEN HAZARD won the award in 2015 but suffered a dip in form last term, producing only four goals and three assists. This season he has been back to his best, with 14 goals - joint eighth in the Premier League - and five assists.

:: Hazard's team-mate N'GOLO KANTE is a different statistical specimen to his fellow nominees. The midfielder is heading towards his second straight league title, having also won with Leicester last year, and is second in the league with 105 tackles - a category he led last season. His 1,840 passes and 2,310 total touches rank fourth and fifth respectively, with Hazard also cracking the top 20 in the latter category with 2,041.

:: Kante also ranks joint third in the league with 12 clean sheets - a mark bettered only by club-mates Thibaut Courtois and Cesar Azpilicueta.

:: Sanchez's tally of nine assists is bettered only by joint leaders Gylfi Sigurdsson, Christian Eriksen and Kevin De Bruyne, with 11 each. The Arsenal man trails only Lukaku in goals and assists combined and the pair's totals could be even higher but for Sanchez hitting the woodwork four times and Lukaku three. Sanchez is one of only four players to record over 100 shots.

:: Regarding the Young Player of the Year nominees, DELE ALLI has almost matched Tottenham team-mate Kane's contribution with 16 goals and five assists - having played seven more games, though in an attacking midfield position rather than up front.

:: MICHAEL KEANE's third-ranked 240 clearances have helped Burnley to nine clean sheets (placing him 13th among defenders), virtual safety from relegation and the sixth-best home record in the league - one place ahead of Manchester City with 10 wins and two draws from 16 games.

:: City's LEROY SANE makes the list based on his form since the turn of the year - seven goals and two assists in 16 appearances.

:: Sunderland's overworked goalkeeper JORDAN PICKFORD has earned a nomination - and a first England squad call-up - after ranking second in the Premier League with 108 shots saved. Despite standing only 6ft 1in, he has dealt with high balls as well, with 39 high takes and 16 punches ranking fifth and fourth in the league respectively.

:: Dual nominees KANE and LUKAKU, both 23, complete the young player shortlist.

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