Has a Liverpool Player Ever Been Premier League Player of the Season?

There are several player of the year awards handed out every season but our focus here is specifically the official Premier League Player of the Season prize. The nominees for the 2023/24 prize were announced on the 9th of May, 2024 and can be seen below.

Player Club Games Goals Assists
Phil Foden Man City 32 16 8
Erling Haaland Man City 28 25 5
Alexander Isak Newcastle United 27 20 1
Martin Odegaard Arsenal 33 8 8
Cole Palmer Chelsea 31 21 9
Declan Rice Arsenal 36 7 8
Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 34 2 2
Ollie Watkins Aston Villa 35 19 12

Note that stats are correct as of the 9th of May 2024

As you can see, there is one Liverpool play among the eight nominees, with Mo Salah perhaps a surprise omission. The Egyptian has struggled since a return from injury in the spring but, even so, boasts 18 goals and 10 assists from 30 games. A haul of 28 goal involvements from 30 matches puts him right up there with the best in the league but his poor form in the lead-up to the nominations has probably counted against him.

We are prepared to put our neck on the line here and say that we do not believe Van Dijk will win the award this season. As usual, the Dutch Rolls Royce has been superb for the Reds, Liverpool losing only four times all season and keeping eight clean sheets. His summary on the official Premier League nominations post states that he has completed “the third most passes in the league and been dribbled past only twice all season, while his 186 duels won are the second most of any centre-back.”

Even so, Liverpool, barring a minor miracle in the final weeks of the season, will probably finish third in the league. Moreover, they look like conceding far more goals than Man City and Arsenal over the course of the campaign, so it is almost impossible to see VVD being crowned Premier League Player of the Season.

Assuming the big man doesn’t cause a huge upset when the winner is announced, this is another piece of silverware that will be eluding the Reds this term. But has a Liverpool player ever won the official PL Player of the Season prize?

Has a Liverpool Player Ever Won the PL Player of the Season Award?

The Premier League began in the 1992/93 season but this award was first handed out in the 1994/95 campaign. Alan Shearer, then of Blackburn Rovers, was the first recipient of the award, which is quite fitting as he remains the competition’s all-time leading goalscorer. But let’s get to the point: have any Liverpool players been named the PL Player of the Season in the years since?

There have been four Reds to have won this coveted prize over the years and the most recent of those seems a great place to start, not least as we were just discussing his merits. The last Liverpool player to land this honour was Virgil van Dijk, the Dutch defender’s imperious form earning him the prize in 2018/19.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Reds did not win the league title that term. Although they amassed a whopping 97 points and lost just once all season, they fell agonisingly short, with Man City earning 98 points despite losing four times.

VVD was virtually unplayable all season though as the Reds conceded just 22 goals in their 38 PL contests. That was the best defensive record in the top flight and the Dutch leader was at the heart of things, literally and metaphorically. His pace, power, reading of the game, composure, leadership and passing had many fans, and some pundits too, talking about him as possibly the gratest centre back of all time.

That might have been pushing it somewhat but even so, Van Dijk was named in the PL Team of the Season, won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, was part of Liverpool’s Champions League-winning side (and was named Defender of the Season in that competition too) in what was a stellar 2018/19. He also came second in the 2019 Ballon d’Or.

Mo Salah – 2017/18

Mo Salah
Mo Salah (Eric The Fish | Wikipedia)

The Egyptian King has been nominated for this award a number of times but his only win came in 2017/18. Liverpool fans will know full well that, once again, this was not a title-winning campaign for the Reds, but it was certainly a glorious one for Mo.

The deadly striker notched 32 goals, including four in one game against Watford. It was enough for him to land individual glory but once again Liverpool fell short. City won the title again, with an insane 100 points, with the Reds well down the table in fourth, managing “just” 75 points despite Salah’s handsome haul.

Salah was immense though, scoring over 38% of Liverpool’s league goals and adding 10 assists as well. That gave him a very impressive 42 goal involvements from 36 league games, whilst in the Champions League he added 10 goals and five assists in 13 games as the Reds made it to the final.

Luis Suarez – 2013/14

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez (vverve | Bigstockphoto.com)

Uruguay international Luis Suarez was a controversial figure, with multiple instances of him biting opponents and an eight-game ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra just some of his darker moments. But what a player he was!

He took the Reds to within a Steven Gerrard slip (although in truth it is not fair to pin the outcome of the whole season on that one moment) of the Premier League title in 2013/14, scoring 31 goals in just 33 league games. The Reds netted 101 top-flight goals and were a joy to behold going forward, with Suarez’s teammate, Daniel Sturridge, the PL’s second-top scorer.

Suarez, who netted three hat-tricks (including a four-goal haul against Norwich), mesmerised defenders and the goals he scored were supplemented by the space his brilliance created for others in the Liverpool side. He was credited with 13 official assists but in reality, the fear and havoc he created were responsible for many more than that.

Michael Owen 1997/98

Michael Owen
Michael Owen (Brian Minkoff-London Pixels | Wikipedia)

Liverpool’s first recipient of the Premier League Player of the Season award was Michael Owen, all the way back in 1997/98, before he really announced himself on the world stage with that stunning goal for England against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup. Before all that though, Owen proved what incredible potential he had by scoring 18 PL goals for the Reds.

That tally was enough for him to share the league’s Golden Boot that season, whilst he also won the PFA Young Player of the Year award. Owen was just 17 when the season began but his pace, movement and natural finishing ability were evident from the off.

The Reds finished third in an unusual season, where the title was won with just 78 points and a side was relegated with 40. No side scored more than 73 goals and Liverpool got just 68, with Owen playing a huge part despite his tender years. The young striker added to those 18 PL strikes with a further 12 assists and was a worthy winner of the Player of the Season.