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Fernandes' excellent form has continued into the current season as he has scored 22 times and registered 13 assists in 38 appearances across all competitions.
The United star has scored 15 times in the league and is second in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot, only two goals behind Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah.
Richards has spoken about the "unwritten rule" when he was at Manchester City where they wouldn't vote for a rival player to be named Player of the Year.
However, the 32-year-old Sky Sports pundit admitted that he defied the norm when he voted for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007 and Wayne Rooney in 2010.
And Richards believes that he would have found himself "going against the unwritten rule again" if he was still in the dressing room during Fernandes' season.
The former City right-back wrote for The Daily Mail: "There was an unwritten rule in Manchester City's dressing room during my career when it came to picking the PFA Player of the Year.
"If someone from Manchester United was in the running but Liverpool or Chelsea had candidates who had performed to a similarly high level, your vote would go to Stamford Bridge or Anfield.
"Politics such as this goes on in every dressing room across the land: you don't vote for a rival.
"Of course, there were exceptions when you had to acknowledge brilliance.
"I remember that I did vote for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007 and Wayne Rooney in 2010 -- to do anything else after such outstanding campaigns would have been ridiculous.
"Had I been in that same dressing room now, I would have found myself going against the unwritten rule again."
Richards added: "There are many fine candidates this year, not least Ruben Dias and Ilkay Gundogan, but the outstanding footballer of 2020-21 is Bruno Fernandes.
"His numbers at this stage of the campaign are frightening for a midfielder: 15 goals, 10 assists.
"Involved in a goal, either scoring or setting up, every 84 minutes. Fernandes has created 71 chances and I don't believe United would be in the top four without him.
"The real mark of an outstanding player is what he does to others in the team and Fernandes has dragged improvement out of those around him.
"He also has a reputation now. If I'm not watching United and I hear they have scored, I have one thought: it's Bruno."
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson, on the other hand, has argued that Fernandes should not be named Player of the Year this season.
Featured Image Credit: PA/Sky Sports
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