Man U trio leads Europa Player of the Season shortlist
Zlatan Ibrahimović, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba have been shortlisted for the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League Player of the Season award.
All three were inspirational in Manchester United winning the competition last term, a triumph that completed the English giants’ set of major UEFA club trophies.
Mkhitaryan and Pogba were on target in the 2-0 victory over Ajax in the Stockholm final, while Ibrahimović had scored five goals, including a round of 16 hat-trick against Saint-Étienne, before sustaining a serious knee injury late in the quarter-final second leg versus Anderlecht.
Mkhitaryan’s strike against Ajax was one of six he managed in United’s successful campaign, despite not making his first European outing of 2016/17 until matchday four. Fellow midfielder Pogba started all 15 of José Mourinho’s side’s UEFA Europa League fixtures.
The award will be presented for the first time during the UEFA Europa League group stage draw in Monaco on 25 August.
How the players were shortlisted
The jury was composed of the coaches of the 48 clubs in last season’s group stage, together with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA’s member associations. The coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own teams.
Jury members selected their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. The three players who received the most points, in alphabetical order, are:
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Manchester United, currently unattached)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United)
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)