FIRST, a confession. I have two sons who have spent much of the last 48 hours singing about how a certain Motherwell striker is the best they’ve ever seen. His first name’s Kevin, and his second is Van Veen, if you aren’t familiar with the ditty.

So, I have a little skin in this game. Any neutral observer though must also recognise that Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell’s claim that his red-hot forward would be a deserving recipient of the Premiership player of the year award was a legitimate one.

Van Veen’s brilliantly taken goal against Kilmarnock on Saturday was his 25th goal of the season. Any striker who reaches such a number must be in the conversation when it comes to handing out the individual gongs at the end of the campaign. But Van Veen’s achievement is all the more remarkable when placed into the context of Motherwell’s largely abject season before Kettlewell’s appointment.

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When club legend Steven Hammell lost his job as manager after a dismal Scottish Cup exit at Raith Rovers in February, Motherwell sat joint bottom of the Premiership and had been in wretched form. Van Veen wasn’t so much feeding off scraps as surviving on crumbs, but somehow, his goal at Starks Park that day was his 14th of the season.

Since Kettlewell’s appointment, Motherwell have improved hugely, of course, and a large part of their revival has been built around squeezing even more out of his talismanic frontman.

Having ploughed a lone furrow for the most part up top to that point, he has now mostly been paired with either Jonathan Obika or Mikael Mandron, who have taken on their fair share of the spade work and allowed Van Veen to concentrate more on getting into areas where he can hurt the opposition.

The results have been spectacular. He has added another 11 goals to his tally, with 10 of those coming in his last seven games. He was virtually unplayable against Kilmarnock, with his confidence clearly sky-high, and Ash Taylor and Joe Wright will likely testify they have rarely had a tougher afternoon all season.

So, just as Michael Higdon’s goalscoring exploits were rewarded 10 years ago with the PFA Scotland Player of the Year Award, there is every possibility that Van Veen will follow suit and become the latest Motherwell forward to scoop the prize. And if he does, given his colourful personality, there is every possibility that he might also follow in Higdon’s footsteps by ending up in the slammer after celebrating.

There are of course other worthy candidates standing in his way. Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi is the only man in the country who has currently outscored van Veen, and he has been sensational for Celtic.

His goal yesterday to clinch the title for his team was his 30th of the campaign, and was the perfect example of his brilliance. He might not take too many touches, but he tends to make them count.

He has the obvious advantage of playing in a team that create a high volume of scoring opportunities, but his movement is levels above anything else the Premiership has to offer, and he is arguably the best finisher in the league too.

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An interesting question to ponder is if Kyogo and Van Veen swapped places, would Kyogo score the same amount of goals as Van Veen has in this Motherwell side? Van Veen would fancy himself to bag a decent amount in a Celtic jersey, for sure, and it could be argued he has had to work a lot harder for his goals than Kyogo generally has.

That’s not to take anything away from Kyogo, who Van Veen himself readily admits is the better player. In fact, he called him the best player in the league after the recent meeting between the sides at Celtic Park.

I don’t necessarily agree with that statement, with Kyogo’s teammate Callum McGregor the outstanding player in the division for me. He too has a strong claim for his sterling contribution to Celtic’s success, as does the outstanding Reo Hatate. Cameron Carter-Vickers too has been a rock at the back.

Elsewhere, Rangers captain James Tavernier’s consistently outrageous goal return from right back always has him in the mix despite a disappointing season overall for the Ibrox men, while Hearts skipper Lawrence Shankland has also hit 25 goals for the Gorgie side.

If any of these players was to be voted as player of the year for any of the various awards, they would be worthy recipients. And it could be argued that most of them are better players than the big Dutchman overall. But for me, Van Veen’s exploits are all the more impressive given that he has achieved what he has for a team that has spent the majority of the campaign languishing near the foot of the table.

Motherwell’s second top scorer is Blair Spittal, who hit his fifth of the season against Kilmarnock at the weekend. These are awards for individual excellence, and as that stat shows, no individual has contributed so much or been just so critical to his team as Van Veen has.

Without him, Motherwell would surely still be in the thick of the relegation dogfight. Instead, they will survive comfortably, and they have Van Veen to thank for that.

For those reasons, and in a futile attempt to compete somewhat with Van Veen in the affections of my own children, the big man gets my vote.