Van Persie heads list for PFA prize
Arsenal striker Robin van Persie will be the clear favourite after being named among the nominees for PFA Players' Player of the Year award.
The prolific Dutchman, who has scored 34 goals this season, heads a six-man shortlist revealed by the Professional Footballers' Association for their top award.
The Manchester City trio David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Joe Hart, Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker and Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney make up the rest of the list. The winner will be announced at the union's prestigious annual awards night on Sunday.
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor assessed each of the candidates as the list was announced. He said that he feels Van Persie, 28, has now started to show his true potential after being hampered by injuries in the past.
Taylor said: "He has been amazing. When you think of (Dennis) Bergkamp, (Ruud) van Nistelrooy, (Marco) van Basten - he is in that mould of absolutely top-class strikers that Holland, quite phenomenally, manages to produce."
Aguero has made a big impact at the Etihad Stadium after arriving in a club-record £38million deal last summer, and Taylor said: "He has been a major player for Manchester City and I am not surprised there is talk of Real Madrid wanting him. I think Manchester City should work hard to keep him because he is a joy to watch."
Silva has also been an inspirational figure for City during their Barclays Premier League title challenge, with his form earlier in the season particularly outstanding.
Taylor said of the Spaniard: "He is like Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas. He is a playmaker, a magician - and I think some of his team-mates call him Merlin."
The 23-year-old Aguero is also among the nominees for the PFA's Young Player of the Year Award, alongside Tottenham winger Gareth Bale.
Bale's Spurs team-mate Kyle Walker, Arsenal prodigy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck and Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge make up a six-man shortlist.