Rachel Daly and Erling Haaland win PFA player of the year awards | PFA Player of the Year awards

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England and Aston Villa’s Rachel Daly and the Manchester City striker Erling Haaland have won the Professional Footballers’ Association players’ player of the year awards.

Chelsea’s Lauren James, Daly’s Lionesses teammate, and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka were named as the PFA young players of the year in the awards voted for by their peers.

Daly and James were key performers for England in their run to the World Cup final earlier this month, but the accolades they received at the PFA’s 50th anniversary awards event in Salford were based on their performances last season.

Saka was voted the men’s young player of the year after a terrific season for club and country, while Ian Wright, a star of the club’s past, picked up the men’s PFA Merit award.

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Jill Scott, who won 161 caps for England and retired after the Lionesses won the Euros last summer, received the women’s Merit award.

Daly’s victory in the senior women’s player category came after she scored 22 goals in the Women’s Super League for Aston Villa last season – a remarkable achievement for a player who featured at left-back in the Lionesses’ successful Euros campaign last summer.

Rachel Daly celebrates one of her 22 goals for Aston Villa last season.
Rachel Daly scored 22 goals for Aston Villa last season. Photograph: Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC/Getty Images

The 31-year-old saw off competition from Sam Kerr, Frida Maanum, Guro Reiten, Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw and Ona Batlle.

James, who featured in the World Cup final as a substitute after a red card in the last 16 against Nigeria meant she was suspended for the quarter-final and semi-final, was a key player for Chelsea as they won the domestic double.

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Haaland enjoyed a stunning debut season for Manchester City, scoring 52 goals in all competitions as they won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

The 23-year-old was voted as the Premier League’s top player, seeing off competition from his teammates John Stones and Kevin De Bruyne, as well as from Arsenal duo Saka and Martin Ødegaard and the former Tottenham striker Harry Kane, now at Bayern Munich.

“It’s an honour to win this prestigious award. To be recognised by your competitors is a great feeling and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me,” said Haaland.

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“It was an unforgettable season for the team and for me personally. Winning the treble was something I never imagined, so to achieve that with such a special group of players was an amazing feeling.

“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.”

Saka secured the young player prize after enjoying his finest season to date, scoring 14 goals for Arsenal and contributing 11 assists. He was also one of England’s star performers at the World Cup in Qatar last winter.

To mark the awards reaching a half century, the PFA also handed out individual player prizes for the Championship, League One and League Two for the first time.

Chuba Akpom was voted as the second tier’s top player, after top scoring with 28 goals for Middlesbrough. His fine form earned him a summer move to Ajax.

Conor Chaplin, whose 26 goals spearheaded Ipswich’s promotion push from League One, won that division’s award, while Bradford’s Andy Cook was League Two’s players’ player of the year.

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