Mahrez shortlisted for African Footballer of the Year

Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez has been rewarded for a great 2015 with a place on the 37-man shortlist for the African Footballer of the Year.

2015 performance

Mahrez has had a year that he surely won't forget for a while. His side were bottom going into the new year, destined for the drop, but then one of the greatest Premier League comebacks happened.

Mahrez played a big part in the Foxes' survival and has certainly taken last season's form into this season. Nominated for last month's Premier League player of the month after topping the scoring and assisting charts, he has deserved all the plaudits he's attained so far, tearing the league's defence's and midfield's apart on several occasions.

He's lost his early season form in the last few games but it's surely just a minor blip and he'll undoubtedly find his form again, ready to power Leicester towards the top-half finish they so desperately want.

Premier League contingent

Mahrez is joined on the shortlist by ten other Premier League players. This shows the English football's influence on African football in the last few years. Last year's winner, Yaya Toure, is one of the eleven Premier League players on this year's shortlist and he opitimises the influx of African players in the English leagues. 

The scouting of African players in the Premier League has also clearly improved as three of the shortlisted players have recently moved to teams in the Premier League. The Premier League players on the shortlist are: Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Andre Ayew (Swansea), Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa), Christian Atsu (Bournemouth), Dieumerci Mbokani (Norwich), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke), Max Gradel (Bournemouth), Sadio Mane (Southampton), Victor Wanyama (Southampton) and Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace).

At some point next month the shortlist will be reduced to ten men, most probably without Mahrez included, until it will be reduced to five and then lastly, three. For the second year running, Yaya Toure will be flying the flag of the Premier League, heading into the final ceremony as one of the strongest favourites.