By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger believes Cesc Fabregas deserves to win the PFA Young Player of the Year award but has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to win the main prize if his Spanish midfielder does not.

Both players were shortlisted in both categories on Monday. Wenger argues his protégé should scoop the junior gong but accepts that the success of Manchester United and Chelsea this season may help decide the main winner.

"Player of the Year has some big candidates and some of them have done exceptionally well but I feel Cesc deserves to be in there," said Wenger. 

"Certainly he deserves to win the Young Player of the Year award and, at his age, it is a fantastic honour just to be nominated for Player of the Year. Of course I support him in that, he is a fantastic player but you have to respect that players from Manchester United, who are top of the League, and Chelsea, who are in all the competitions, might have the edge on us."

If Fabregas was taken out of the equation, Wenger's mind would be split between one player from each side with the Old Trafford man just in front.

"Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba would be my one and two," said the Arsenal manager.

"You don't expect Ronaldo to score so many goals and he can provide too. But as well I have huge respect for what Drogba has done. He has scored in some very big matches also he has played in nearly all the games. It is very difficult to separate them really."

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Richard Clarke 17 Apr 2007