Ruben Dias has been named the Football Writers’ Association’s Player of the Year, an award which is often a sign of who will be named the Premier League Player of the Season.
At least it was until the past two seasons.
Dias follows up Jordan Henderson’s win last season and Raheem Sterling before that, who claimed the writers’ honor in years that the PL’s top honor went to Kevin De Bruyne and Virgil van Dijk, respectively.
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Prior to that, the awards were the same were six seasons, as Mohamed Salah, N’Golo Kante, Jamie Vardy, Eden Hazard, Luis Suarez, and Gareth Bale swept the honors.
Will there be a difference this season?
Maybe, maybe not Dias has undoubtedly reshaped Man City’s defense, late-season lax play aside. And the top contenders amongst his teammates — Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan — missed time with injuries.
Harry Kane and Bruno Fernandes could be obstacles, as could Mason Mount.
Anyway, here’s Dias, via ManCity.com:
“It means something special because normally, the ones who finish the plays are the ones getting the spotlight but me receiving this prize is a major example of our team and the way we work, the way we build our game,” Dias said. “It reflects all the togetherness we have on the pitch, the spirit in the team and how we perform. With these players, for me to be receiving this award, it shows how we play like a family.”
Kane felt like the odds-on favorite to claim the award, though Spurs’ failure to win much of anything could’ve swayed some would-be voters. Will his players still honor him, or go for another defensive-minded player?