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Haaland and Saka secure prestigious PFA awards

After his stunning debut season with Manchester City it was no surprise to see Norway forward Erling Haaland named PFA men's players' player of the year but he couldn't make it a double as Arsenal's Bukayo Saka picked up the young player of the year accolade.

Haaland, with his 52 goals in all competitions, helped City win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League and their historic treble-winning campaign of 2022-23 will forever be associated with the striker's fantastic personal achievements.

The 23-year-old came out on top as the prolific striker beat City team-mates Kevin de Bruyne and John Stones, Arsenal duo Saka and Martin Odegaard and Tottenham's Harry Kane, now at Bayern Munich, in the award voted for by his fellow professionals.

Saka rightly rewarded too

The former Borussia Dortmund ace was in contention for the young player of the year trophy too but that went to Saka after he also lit up the 2022-23 season with 14 goals and 11 assists for the Gunners.

Saka lifted the award ahead of fellow nominees Moises Caicedo, who had a brilliant season for Brighton before recently joining Chelsea, Aston Villa midfielder Jacob Ramsey, Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli and Brighton striker Evan Ferguson.

Haaland succeeds Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah as the new PFA men's players' player of the year and somewhat surprisingly becomes just the second City player to scoop the prize after De Bruyne won it in both 2019-20 and 2020-21.

After joining from Dortmund for an initial £51.2m in June 2022, plenty of people predicted Haaland would go on to take the English game by storm after previously demonstrating his phenomenal goal-getting ability at Molde in his native Norway, then for RB Salzburg in Austria before shining in Germany.

Phenomenal goal record

His goals-per-game record at Salzburg was astonishing as he managed 29 goals in just 27 senior appearances in all competitions, and he continued in a similar vein for Dortmund, for whom he struck an incredible 86 goals in 89 outings all told.

And he took to the Premier League in typical fashion with two hat-tricks in the first month on his way to an eventual league total of 36 - beating the record jointly held by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer who both netted 34 times across a single campaign.

Haaland will now be hoping to emulate De Bruyne and win the prestigious award in successive seasons. He is priced at 7/4 to be named the 2023-24 PFA players' player of the year and he's made a fine start with three goals in his first three league games as Pep Guardiola's side have kicked off the new campaign with three wins from three.

At the award ceremony, Haaland predictably sounded hungry to win more personal awards and team trophies with City.

He said: "We created some incredible memories last season, but now we want to do the same again this year. We have started the season well and we need to keep going."

Haaland expected to inspire City again

The reigning champions are 4/9 to win the Premier League again this season, while they are 9/4 to successfully defend the Champions League and 3/1 to lift the FA Cup again. Another stunning treble of all three trophies is available at 16/1.

Haaland was, of course, also selected in the PFA team of the year alongside club-mates De Bruyne, Rodri, Stones and Ruben Dias, while Arsenal, who finished as runners-up to City in the Premier League, were represented by Saka, Odegaard, William Saliba and Aaron Ramsdale. 

The rest of the XI was made up by Kane, who hit 32 goals in all competitions for Spurs, and Newcastle full-back Keiran Trippier, who played a vital role in helping the Magpies secure fourth in the top flight and with it a place in the Champions League. 

Saka could well be Haaland's biggest rival for the 2023-24 award as the Gunners star, who has already scored twice this season, is available at a next-best 12/1 in the current PFA player of the year market, along with Salah, who has begun the season solidly for Liverpool with a goal and two assists.

Arsenal stars in the mix

Other potential winners of this season's award include Arsenal's £100m summer signing Declan Rice, who is 14/1, while City regulars Phil Foden, who is also 14/1, De Bruyne (16/1), Rodri (25/1) and Jack Grealish (33/1) could also come into contention if they inspire the treble winners to lift yet more silverware. 

Meanwhile, Odegaard remains a key man for Arsenal in midfield and is on offer at 20/1. 

Some interesting outsiders in the market look to be Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford, who is available at 33/1, Tottenham's James Maddison, who has started well following his move from Leicester and is a 50/1 chance, and Newcastle striker Alexander Isak, who is priced at 66/1.

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