Paul Merson Believes Bruno Fernandes Shouldn't Be Named PFA Player Of The Year
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Paul Merson believes Bruno Fernandes should not win the PFA Player of the Year award despite his sensational performances for Manchester United.
In just a year, the former Sporting CP man has had a transformative effect on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side and has an impressive 25 goal involvements in the Premier League this season - 15 goals and 10 assists.
He's earned rave reviews all over the shop and Merson had been impressed by what he's saw - even if he doesn't think it's enough to warrant him winning the individual accolade.
"I really do like Bruno Fernandes. I love what he's done at Manchester United. People say he cannot be compared to Eric Cantona until United do what that side did in terms of trophies, but what more can he do?
"He is doing his job and doing it unbelievably well. All he can do is create chances and score goals, and that's exactly what he's doing, but he can't defend all at the same time.
"He's not the one letting in soft goals every now and then. He can only keep doing his job to the best of his ability and he has carried a massive football club on his shoulders. That takes some doing, believe me."
Only four players have scored 10+ goals and provided 10+ assists for Man Utd in a single Premier League season:- William Hill (@WilliamHill) February 21, 2021
:flag_tt: Dwight Yorke
:flag_fr: Eric Cantona
:flag_black: Wayne Rooney
:flag_pt: Bruno Fernandes
Bruno joins the list in his first full season. #MUFC pic.twitter.com/3DhElJXsO1
Instead, it's Fernandes' compatriot Ruben Dias who Merson thinks should get the ultimate recognition.
In his first 22 Premier League appearances, Dias has tasted defeat only once - keeping 13 clean sheets and conceding just nine goals.
With City now ten points clear at the top of the table and on course to lift a third Premier League title under Guardiola.
"However, I look at Ruben Dias and think, 'wow'," the Arsenal legend continued.
"Did you ever see Man City conceding the least amount of goals in a season in this league? I think he's starting to get the reputation of someone like Virgil van Dijk.
"When you watch him now, I think players are fearful of him. They get him in a one on one situation, and they think they cannot get past him. He's got that fear factor.
"At the moment, I can't look past him for (the) player of the season.
"I always think, when you are talking player of the season, you have to pick someone who has won the league.
"It's a team game and you've got to pick a player from the team that's won it. You never get (the) man of the match from a losing team.
"That's why I'm going with Dias. He has made Man City a far better team than what they were last season."
Should Dias end up winning the PFA Player of the Award, he would follow in the footsteps of centre-backs Van Dijk, John Terry, Gary Pallister, Paul McGrath, Colin Todd, and Norman Hunter.