The PFA Young Player of the Year award is up for grabs with six candidates on the short-list.
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has given his verdicts on the sextet in the frame
DARREN BENT (Charlton): What a start to his Premiership career. Darren has made the step up from The Championship with Ipswich with apparent ease, stepping into a hard-working Charlton side and scoring the goals which have gone such a long way towards ensuring The Addicks have again held their own in the top flight. I've been particularly impressed with his attitude, his movement off the ball and, most of all, the way he's made the most of what have not always been the greatest of chances. He's been very impressive throughout the season, he's sharp and alert and is certainly one for the future. I think he deserves his opportunity for England and it's nice to think he's in Sven's thoughts and maybe the next manager's thoughts.
CESC FABREGAS (Arsenal): People seem to have been talking about him for some time, a bit like with Wayne Rooney, and yet you tend to forget they're still only youngsters. Cesc is just 18 years old and yet the maturity he has showed has been remarkable, especially being asked to fill the huge void created by the departure of Patrick Vieira to Juventus. Not only that, but he then has the audacity to go head-to-head with Patrick in the Champions League and be more than a match for the great man. It was almost certainly a case of the young gun totally out-shooting the old gun in that fabulous game at Highbury against Juventus. I thought it was one of the best performances I've seen from any player this season. It's never easy moving from one country to another, especially at such a young age, but he's adapted without a fuss and there's going to be a lot more to come from him - and that really backs up Arsene Wenger's supreme judgement.
ANTON FERDINAND (West Ham): He's got a lot of his older brother's qualities about him; the way he moves, the way he defends, and some of the same silky touches too. I'm really impressed with the way he has adapted to life in The Premiership, just as West Ham have done as a club. Some people maybe expected the likes of West Ham and Wigan to struggle but it's been quite the reverse, and a lot of the credit for that is down to youngsters like Anton. Alan Pardew has got a really good young side when you think of the likes of Dean Ashton up front alongside Marlon Harewood and young Anton at the back alongside other good young players. I think it's a team for the future and he's very much a big part of that. I'm glad he's reflecting West Ham's success because he deserves that...and he's certainly going some way towards reaching the heights of his older brother.
AARON LENNON (Tottenham): Another young talent who has made a big impression on The Premiership and whilst Spurs deserve a pat on the back for that, I've also got to pay tribute here to Leeds United and their academy because a number of good young players have come from there, and he's a typical example. As a former winger myself there's nothing better than, as with Thierry Henry, seeing somebody not only with his skills but the speed he's got and the way he can get past defenders. It's nice he has been given the opportunity and Martin Jol has been rewarded for the faith he has put in youth as Tottenham have had such a successful season. Again, I think it's great that we've got so many good young players coming through.
CRISTIANO RONALDO (Manchester United): He arrived here with a reputation every bit as big as his box of tricks. His skills have never been in doubt and he's always been a big favourite with supporters, but he did have certain problems early on: not particularly regarding his temperament, but he would often go to ground too easily and he would create an antagonism among some players for doing that. Again I think, very much like Wayne Rooney, he's showed a great deal more maturity and I think we've seen that in the way he played in the Carling Cup final for Manchester United and in other big games. He's a big-game player but he's also doing it more in every game. With a seasoned-pro like Ryan Giggs in there with him, he's now maturing and he's the Manchester United of the future. With the likes of him there and Wayne Rooney, United fans must be savouring every match to come.
WAYNE ROONEY (Manchester United): Once in every generation comes along something special. Like the great Duncan Edwards before him, Wayne is that special one. I can remember watching Duncan in his early days and even though he was merely a boy, he played like a man. It's the same with Wayne. I think it's a credit to David Moyes at Everton that he was introduced gradually and a credit to Sir Alex Ferguson for the way that he's handled him since. He's got such superlative skills and you just hope it can all be held together. If he can stay clear of injury and he continues to develop the way he has, there's no end to what he can achieve. We must all remember though he's still a young man and we should not have too high expectations of him because he's got a long way to go - but he'll get there if he's looked after properly.
-----Newcastle United Fan-----
Xbox360 Tag - GhostHunterUk