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Paul Merson Believes Bruno Fernandes Shouldn't Be Named PFA Player Of The Year

Paul Merson Believes Bruno Fernandes Shouldn't Be Named PFA Player Of The Year

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.

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"I like to go with someone [for the player of the year] who has had an effect on a team winning something," Merson told Sky Sports, as per Pundit Arena.

"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."

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Instead, it's Fernandes' compatriot Ruben Dias who Merson thinks should get the ultimate recognition.

The 23-year-old joined Manchester City from Benfica for a club-record £65 million in September and has filled the void left by former captain and legend Vincent Kompany in incredible fashion.

In his first 22 Premier League appearances, Dias has tasted defeat only once - keeping 13 clean sheets and conceding just nine goals.

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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.

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"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.

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"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.

Topics: Manchester City, Bruno Fernandes, Football, Manchester United, Paul Merson, Premier League, Ruben Dias

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.