Hearts star Shankland receives unanimous backing for award as he's touted ahead of Rangers + Celtic stars

Rangers skipper James Tavernier with teammate Jack Butland, Celtic midfielder Matt O'Riley and Hearts skipper Lawrence Shankland after being nominated for PFA Scotland Premiership Player of the YearRangers skipper James Tavernier with teammate Jack Butland, Celtic midfielder Matt O'Riley and Hearts skipper Lawrence Shankland after being nominated for PFA Scotland Premiership Player of the Year
Rangers skipper James Tavernier with teammate Jack Butland, Celtic midfielder Matt O'Riley and Hearts skipper Lawrence Shankland after being nominated for PFA Scotland Premiership Player of the Year | Jeff Holmes
The Hearts striker is competing with stars from Rangers and Celtic for the award.

The pundits reckon Lawrence Shankland will be rewarded for his tremendous Hearts season with a PFA Player of the Year trophy.

Steven Naismith’s men are closing in on securing third place in the Premiership, and have made the semi-finals of both national cups. A big part of that has been Shankland’s 28 goals across all competitions, and he is rivalling Rangers duo James Tavernier and Jack Butland, plus Celtic’s Matt O’Riley for the coveted award.

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No Hearts star has ever won this award, and only Michael Higdon at Motherwell has won the honour outside of Rangers and Celtic players since the 90s. Former Hearts coach Lee McCulloch reckons the striker who moved to Gorgie in 2022 deserves the award this time around.

He said to PLZ: "I think Shanks [Lawrence Shankland] has had a tremendous season. I think [Jack] Butland has and I think Matt O'Riley started the season as by far the best in the league and has just dipped slightly.

“The Rangers captain [James Tavernier] has 20 plus goals for a right-back. But I just see it Shankland winning it. Jack Butland probably second, James Tavernier third and Matt O'Riley fourth.”

Falkirk midfielder Stephen McGinn reckons Shankland has carried Hearts at times this season, and that’s enough for a nod. He added to Go Radio: "I think Shankland edges it for me.

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“Club captain of Hearts. I think he has carried them on his back this season. Nearly involved in all of their goals with goals and assists. Hearts are sitting clear in third because of Lawrence Shankland. Jack Butland is in it.

“I think he has a shout but I think he is just a really good player and a brilliant signing. But in terms of individual season I think Shankland just edges it."

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