Brandon Williams, Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata are among those at Old Trafford to have been discussing the club’s standout performer
Bruno Fernandes has been a talismanic presence for Manchester United in 2020-21, but he may be set to miss out in the club’s Players’ Player of the Year poll as Luke Shaw’s renaissance at left-back catches the eye of those around him.
The Portuguese playmaker has been the undoubted star for the Red Devils this season, with a further 28 goals and 17 assists added to his remarkable tally.
His efforts have helped to put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in contention for a runner-up finish in the Premier League and Europa League glory, but they are no one-man team and it could be that a more unsung hero gets the nod when a prestigious prize is handed out at Old Trafford.
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What has been said?
United’s official website has been asking a number of first-team stars to pick out their Player of the Year, with Brandon Williams saying: “I think I can’t narrow it down to one because there have been so many.
“I’d probably say Rashy [Marcus Rashford], Luke and Harry [Maguire] are my top three. We’ve got three games left so whoever performs best in those three games will take my vote.
“Bruno has been a very key player but I think it’s those three because I don’t think they get the credit they deserve. Bruno gets all the goals and assists and everything but the defence has improved so much.
“The way Luke has performed, he’s got himself involved in the attacking play and, with Harry’s leadership, it’s everything he does off the pitch as well. I call Player of the Year for training as well all season and not just on the pitch. Bruno can be fourth.”
Juan Mata added: “We were speaking about it in the dressing room and joking with Bruno and Luke. Probably, for me, they both deserve it. Luke has been, especially over the last months, very, very consistent and given us a lot from his position, offensively and defensively. But Bruno, for me, has been the more consistent player in the team. Always, even when he is not having the brightest day, he is creating something for us.
“To be honest, I think he was Player of the Year as, since he came here, he’s been fantastic. He’s a great team-mate and a great guy and I’m very happy for him. He deserves it.”
Scott McTominay said: “Who gets my vote? Probably I’d say Luke Shaw. He’s just been top; really, really good. Like really, really good. It’s no surprise to me that he’s been that good.”
Who else has had their say?
It may be that Fernandes finds more support within United’s attacking pool of players, with Shaw getting the nod from most of those that he operates alongside in a much-improved defensive unit.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka said: “I gave my vote to Luke but I think Bruno was up there as well. Luke has been the standout for me, putting in the performances and that pushes me as well, to compete with him, to bring the best out of both of us. He’s been positive throughout, making the most of every game. He’s not taken his foot off the pedal. He’s kept pushing himself until the whistle goes and also he helps the team as well.”
Eric Bailly added: “I don’t want to say but you know, we have many players who improved this season. Harry, Victor, Luke Shaw – I’m very happy for him. He’s improved a lot. And Bruno Fernandes, he’s changed a lot of things since he came.”
Swedish centre-half Victor Lindelof has said: “I think Luke Shaw has been brilliant. Obviously, Bruno has been brilliant as well. Rashy, as well, scoring and assisting some great goals for us.
“It is very difficult, I’m not sure, but it has to be one of those three, I think. If I have to go with one I will go with Bruno as I think he’s been absolutely brilliant, unbelievable, with his goals and assists. Even if I want to give it to a fellow defender, I can’t deny Bruno’s stats, goals and assists.”
United will be back in action on Tuesday when playing host to Fulham.
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