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Apr 5, 2011

Nani misses out on PFA shortlist

Manchester United winger Nani is the surprise omission from the list of six PFA Player of the Year nominees, although team-mate Nemanja Vidic is in contention.

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Nani just failed to make the cut because of the remarkable spread of votes for so many different candidates.

A source told ESPNsoccernet: "At the start of the season Berbatov was on fire, but drifted away, so it all depends on the time the lads vote. Nani has had a great season and he is in the Young Player of the year along with Javier Hernandez, but it is all about the timing of the vote.

"The players vote in March and a player might be out injured or lost form. Lots of players have had good spells, but they have also dipped at times. The difficulty this year is that so many players have been outstanding, but only in fits and starts. This year, though, it is good that a player like Charlie Adam, from an unfashionable club, is in the final few.''

Although no official annoucement has been made over the shortlist, Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez, Arsenal's Samir Nasri, Gareth Bale of Tottenham, and two players from clubs that have struggled this season, West Ham midfielder Scott Parker and Blackpool talisman Charlie Adam, will fight for the award according to the Daily Mail.

For the past four seasons, Manchester United players have taken the prize voted for by their peers, with Cristiano Ronaldo (2007, 2008), followed by Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney.

Vidic will be hoping to maintain that streak but it is surprising that Nani, whose huge haul of goals and assists this season has been key to United's position atop the Premier League table, has failed to make the shortlist. There are no Chelsea players on the list despite the fact they are potentially third in the table, should their win the game in hand they hold over City.

The lack of an obvious standout this season has made the list a highly anticipated one. Adam and Parker have both starred for teams sitting on the edge of the relegation zone and will be central to the summer transfer rumour mill if their clubs fail to stay up. Adam was the subject of a number of failed transfer bids in January, including two from Liverpool.

Tevez's goals have fired City into the top four while Nasri and Bale have been impressive when fit and on form, and may have had more straightforward claims for the award had their seasons not been disrupted by injury. Vidic, the only defender on the list, has also spent some time on the sidelines although he has arguably suffered more from the injury crisis around him that has made United's defensive record far from imposing this season.

The winner of the award will be announced at a dinner on April 17, along with the Young Player of the Year, for which Nasri, Nani, Bale, Jack Wilshere, Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart and Seamus Coleman of Everton are all nominated.

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