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Who should claim the Player of the Season Award?

No matter how instrumental certain individuals are for their club throughout the campaign, narrowing it down to name a best player for the season can always be a headache. In every league, football fans and pundits can’t help but draw up a shortlist of their own in their head. Even if they fail to admit to it, we all have that one favourite that stands out above the rest.

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In the Absa Premiership, its’s no different, as I take you inside the head of Jesse Nagel and say who I think deserves the league’s best individual accolade.

Siphesihle Ndlovu

Now hang on, by no means am I saying Siphesihle Ndlovu is my favourite for the Player of the Season award, but only a fool would leave him out of their shortlist. The Maritzburg United midfielder’s performances have not gone unnoticed this campaign, earning his first call-up to the Bafana Bafana national team by coach Stuart Baxter. The 21-year-old has scored four league goals, provided three assists and has scooped a handful of Man of the Match awards. In the process, Ndlovu has guided the Team of Choice to a potential spot in a CAF competition for next season – what would have been seen as unimaginable at the start of the campaign, especially as the club are yet to test themselves in a continental tournament since they were founded.

Musa Nyatama

Another name who should be on your shortlist, and certainly makes mine, is Orlando Pirates’ Musa Nyatama. There’s no doubting the talent that the 30-year old possesses, with his coach, Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, once referring to him as “Musalinho”. Nyatama is considered by many as the engine behind the Ghost Ship’s success this season, and with six Man of the Match awards, the Bucs midfielder is certainly proving his worth. The former Bloemfontein Celtic man was also awarded as the Absa Premiership Player of the Month for March. It’s so tight that it can go in anybody’s favour for the Player of the Season award, but one thing is for sure, Nyatama IS the signing of the campaign.

Percy Tau

Now, a footballer who needs no introduction. The fans’ favourite. Undoubtedly Mzansi’s next brightest talent. It’s Mamelodi Sundowns superstar, Percy Tau. The 23-year-old is the first name on Pitso Mosimane’s team sheets, and considering the fact that he has contributed to 22 goals this campaign, how can he not be? Tau is the division’s top scorer in the league with 11 goals – level with Polokwane City’s Rodney Ramagalela – and has provided a further 11 assists. To get the figures that Tau is getting, you have to be special. This boy is, and with Sundowns currently leading the way at the top of the PSL standings, the favour is certainly swinging in Tau’s way.

All three players have impressed me massively this term, and if I’m honest, I didn’t expect things to be this tight. However, the time has come to arrange the podium in the correct order. In third place, midfield prospect, Ndlovu, takes bronze for me.

That isn’t an easy decision to make, but picking who should claim the award between Nyatama and Tau is proving to be even more trickier. It’s extremely close, but it’s got to be the Sundowns magician. As prolific as Nyatama has been, he didn’t hit the ground running from day one, while Tau has been as consistent as they come. For that reason, I feel the Player of the Season award should be handed to Sundowns’ little maestro.

Written by Jesse Nagel