Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is one of six players from the Premier League to be nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award following his impressive performances in a seemingly relegated side.
Pickford the only goalkeeper nominated in attacker-dominated line-up
Pickford faces stiff competition for the award, which is voted for by fellow players, with other nominees including Tottenham attacking pair Harry Kane and Dele Alli, Burnley centre-back Michael Keane, Manchester City winger Leroy Sane and this season's current Premier League top scorer Romelu Lukaku.
Despite Sunderland's poor performances leaving them rock bottom of the league and all but relegated with a ten point gap separating them from safety, Pickford has continued to perform to a high standard and has kept his side in several games for far longer than they should have been.
David Moyes has been full of praise for the 23-year-old since he took the place of Vito Mannone in between the sticks, saying that he believes Pickford "should become the young footballer of the year."
First senior England call-up sign of things to come
Pickford's 24 appearances in all competitions for the first-team this season led to his first senior call-up to the England national team in November 2016, although he is still waiting for his first senior cap despite being an experienced member of the under-21 side.
Gordon Taylor OBE, the PFA's chief executive described the awards night as "one of the biggest night's in football's social calendar" and added that "there can be no greater personal accolade than that of being recognised by your peers."
With the young goalkeeper marked as Sunderland's most valuable asset, their imminent relegation to the EFL Championship will likely mean that he will be moving to another team in the Premier League come the summer transfer window, with Everton, Manchester City and Arsenal all reportedly interested parties.