The Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie has been named the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year.
Robin Van Persie has scored 27 Premier League goals this season for the Gunners his most fruitful campaign for the club – and was humbled to be recognised by his peers.
“If other people are saying it, it is special, but it is even more special if your opponents are saying it,” he said. “It is very special because you are playing against them week in, week out and every single player does everything to win, and in the end, if they make up their minds that I’m the best player, it is a big honour.”
The 27- year- old Van Persie may have picked up the top individual honour but he was quick to point out it would not have been possible without his Arsenal team-mates.
“Without them I could not have achieved it,” he said. “For example, Theo Walcott, he has given me more than 12 assists and I do really appreciate that.
“Now I am [confident]. To be fair, when I first went there I wasn’t really as confident and I wasn’t really sure I could do it. It took a bit of time but after a couple of months I slowly realised I could do a good job there.”
The young player of the year award went to the Tottenham Hotspur and England full-back Kyle Walker. The 21-year-old Spurs defender beat Sergio Agüero and Danny Welbeck to win the trophy and it came as quite a surprise to the former Sheffield United man. “I was a bit surprised because defenders don’t normally get these awards and get the limelight as much as the centre-forwards,” he said.
“If you look at the people I was in with, then it is a great honour to get the award and hopefully there is more to come.
“It is always an honour to be selected by the people you play against and, like I say, hopefully I can get a few more of these and some medals with Tottenham along the way.”
Van Persie was the only Arsenal player present in the Premier League’s Team of the Year, whereas Walker was one of three Spurs men, with the midfielders Scott Parker and Gareth Bale also included.
The England and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart was selected and there were also places for three of his team-mates, defender Vincent Kompany and the midfielders Yaya Touré and David Silva.
Wayne Rooney was the only representative from Manchester United, joining Van Persie in attack. Newcastle United, the surprise package of the season, were represented in the XI by the Argentina defender Fabricio Coloccini.