Davie Hay: Commons' goals for Celtic should earn him Player of the Year

NEIL Lennon was incensed when not one of his Celtic stars was put forward for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award last season.

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Liam Henderson and Eoghan O'Connell have followed in James Forrest's foot steps and have graduated up to the Celtic first team
Liam Henderson and Eoghan O'Connell have followed in James Forrest's foot steps and have graduated up to the Celtic first team

But PFA Scotland certainly have their nominations spot-on this year.

Kris Commons, Fraser Forster and Virgil Van Dijk have been outstanding for the Scottish champions.

Kris Boyd has done a great job for Kilmarnock as well, but I am sure the winner will be one of the three Celtic players named on the shortlist.

And I believe the trio have a good chance of lifting some of the other awards that are dished out at this time of the year.

There is a strong case for Commons, Forster and Van Dijk each to be honoured.

But I think Kris Commons will edge it, for the simple fact he has scored so many goals.

These awards have been given to centre backs before.

Paul Elliott of Celtic won the PFA Scotland gong back in 1991. And Charlie Mulgrew walked off with the prize two years ago after playing many of his games in the heart of the Hoops defence.

Goalkeepers have been the recipients of these individual gongs as well. Andy Goram of Rangers won the players' player award in 1993.

But Commons is playing exceptionally well right now and I think his goals will mean that he just sneaks it.

When he first arrived at Celtic back in 2011 he played superbly and scored a lot of goals.

He lost his form after that, for whatever reason, and struggled for a while.

But he has recaptured his best play in recent months.

I think playing just off the front - rather than wide on the left - has suited Commons.

He can perform effectively and score goals when he is operating on the flank. But his current position seems to suit him better.

I think the biggest difference is his level of confidence. Whenever he takes the field now he believes he can hurt teams.

Van Dijk should not be discounted from the running.

He has been nothing short of a revelation in his first season in Scottish football.

The Dutchman is a composed footballer and has been very consistent throughout the 2013/14 campaign. He is a class act.

I am not sure if Van Dijk will be at Celtic next season. I have no doubt he has attracted the attention of a number of clubs.

But I am sure Celtic will put the case that he will have the chance to play in the Champions League - and hopefully the group stages of Europe's premier club competition - if he stays.

Of course, circumstances might dictate he will move on. A big offer may be tabled.

But I think it would be in the defender's best interests to stay at Parkhead for at least another season.

Forster, who is set to travel to the World Cup in Brazil with the England squad this summer, may well move on.

But his time in this country has certainly been beneficial to him. He was well down the pecking order at Newcastle United before he joined Celtic.

Now he is a regular in Roy Hodgson's national squad and has been capped by his country. He has his move to Parkhead to thank for that elevation.

Fraser has been excellent both domestically and in Europe again this season and has a strong chance of winning.

I think that - by virtue of the number of goals he has scored for Celtic in all competitions - Kris Commons will be awarded the Player of the Year title this year.

But personally I would go for Virgil Van Dijk myself.


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