​Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has explained why he voted for Manchester City's Raheem Sterling instead of making a 'tactical' choice in the race for the PFA Player of the Year award.

Many have suggested that Van Dijk and Sterling are the two front runners for the award, having both been incredibly important to their respective sides' Premier League challenge.

Players cannot vote for their own teammates, while award favourites often make tactical choices to further their own chances of success. However, speaking to BT Sport, Van Dijk insisted that he did not want to let his ambitions to claim the award influence his pick.

Raheem Sterling

He said: "I think obviously other players in the league are voting, and i'm not going to vote tactically, that's not who I am. I just want to vote for who I think has had a fantastic season.

"There are a lot of players on the ​Man City team that I could have voted for, and people should think that there's a lot of players on our team that they could vote for as well.

"I think [Sterling] has improved a lot as a player, and he's up there."

Sterling himself claimed to have voted for ​Tottenham Hotspur's ​Harry Kane, but looked completely stunned to hear Van Dijk had voted for him.

"No way? Don't say that. Oh wow," Sterling laughed, jokingly defending his decision not to return the favour for the Dutchman.

The City man has enjoyed a sublime campaign, racking up 15 goals and 11 assists to cement his place as one of the Premier League's finest attacking talents.


Only ​Mohamed Salah and ​Chelsea's ​Eden Hazard have been involved in more goals in the division this season, and many fans have suggested that he will stroll to the PFA Player of the Year award as a result of his stunning form.

He will likely face competition from Van Dijk, who has been a dominant force at the heart of Liverpool's title challenge. He is yet to miss a league match for the Reds and will be desperate to lift the trophy at the end of the season.