Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has voted for Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling as his PFA player of the year, saying title rivals City had several candidates for his vote. 24-year-old ex-Reds forward Sterling has scored 15 times for City.
"I did what I thought and I thought he deserves it," said Van Dijk, with players unable to vote for team-mates. "He's had a fantastic season. I could have voted for Bernardo Silva as well, and another couple of players from City. "But I am just being honest. I think he has improved a lot as a player. We will see if he wins it."
Van Dijk has been a key part of a Liverpool side boasting the division's best defensive record this season. Liverpool currently sit two points above Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, having played one game more, as Jurgen Klopp's side aim for the club's first league title since 1990.
"I think all of the teams of the league would love to be in our position right now. We are in a great situation," added Dutch international Van Dijk, who joined the Anfield club for £75m in January last year and is regarded as a strong candidate for the player of the year award himself.
"It could have been better but it is how it is. We still have a chance to win the title and a chance to win the Champions League. "It can become a fear when you read all the media and social media. In this situation you need to be very strong mentally."
The awards ceremony takes place on Sunday 28 April.