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PFA Player of the Year Odds: Phil Foden favourite after hat-trick against Aston Villa

Phil Foden is the new favourite for PFA Player of the Year after his hat-trick against Aston Villa, being cut to 5/2.

Holders of bet slips containing Rodri to win PFA Player of the Year will have been delighted to see the Spaniard opening the scoring against Champions League-chasing Villa on Wednesday night to make it seven for the season, but the midfielder was thoroughly upstaged by Foden who scored his 12th, 13th and 14th goals of the campaign.

It's been a real coming-of-age season for Foden, who's filled the void left by Kevin De Bruyne superbly, and the fact that City can still be within a point of leaders Arsenal having missed a player of De Bruyne's calibre for so long is testament to Foden's increasing maturity.

Of course, Rodri cannot be discounted. The 27-year-old has established himself as the best holding midfielder in the world, but pigeon-holing him as a simple holding midfielder feels unfair. Rodri has by far the most passes into the final third this season (287), ahead of Declan Rice on 206, and has the most progressive passes with 277 ahead of Martin Odegaard on 247.

His unbeaten record with City stretches longer every week, too. Rodri has missed three Premier League games this season; the results: a 2-1 defeat to Wolves, a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal and 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa, and City have looked a shadow of their true selves every time.

Without Rodri, City are averaging 0 points per game; with him, they're averaging 2.48. Over a full season, 2.48 points per game would get City to 94 points and a fourth consecutive title.

It's rare to get so far into a season without one standout contender emerging. Last season's winner Erling Haaland is on course for just 24 goals this season, and for someone who's established a reputation of being a superhuman goalscorer, that won't be enough for a second PFA crown, though the Norwegian is still a 10/1 shot.

We've seen Virgil van Dijk back to his best this season after his career-threatening knee injury which seemed to signal the end of the Dutchman as a truly elite defender, and Van Dijk is fourth favourite at 6/1, while team-mate Mohamed Salah is 8/1.

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