Manchester City’s signing of Ruben Dias has had the same affect as Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool and the Portuguese star deserves to be named Player of the Year.
The Portuguese star signed in a £62m deal from Benfica in the summer window. However, he’s repaid that fee already with some solid displays in defence, which has seen Pep Guardiola’s side go in search of the quadruple.
City have conceded just 21 goals in their 30 matches played so far, with Dias’ partnership with John Stones proving a hard nut to crack.
And pundit Robbie Savage had no hesitation in naming the 23-year-old as his outstanding pick for Player of the Year.
“He’s the colossus at the heart of Manchester City’s bid for an astonishing Quadruple. At £61.2 million, he was entitled to make a big impact on City’s defence,” Savage told the Daily Mirror. “He’s been part of 22 clean sheets, and only 18 goals conceded, in 38 games for them.
“John Stones has looked revitalised since the Portuguese centre back arrived at the Etihad. Dias has arguably been a bigger influence on City’s defence than Virgil van Dijk’s on Liverpool. And that’s really saying something.”
Savage felt his City teammate Ilkay Gundogan deserves second place after his most prolific season from midfield.
“He’s scored more goals from open play than any midfielder in Europe this season. When City have played without a recognised No.9, Gundogan has often been the man to step up. And after fighting back from two major injuries, he deserves his success.”
Keeping the top three in the city, Savage feels Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes will make the top three.
“He has been involved in 36 goals, scoring or assisting. He’s arguably made a bigger impact at Manchester United than any signing since Eric Cantona. Now he needs trophies, and major performances in big games, to go with it.”
Savage picks Young Players of the Year
Savage feels it will be an awards double for City too, with Phil Foden his pick as Young Player of the Year.
Foden has scored 11 times and has eight assists this season during an outstanding season.
Savage feels he’ll deservedly claim the gong with Mason Mount of Chelsea and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka third.
Of Foden, he said: “He’s got the lot – 11 goals, nine assists, and his performance in Manchester City’s 4-1 win at Liverpool was out of this world. I would pay top dollar just to watch Foden play – he’s that good.”
On Mount, Savage was also impressed.
“Don’t fall for the spiteful, jealous carping from beyond Stamford Bridge that he’s the teacher’s pet. Mount is a gloriously talented footballer, with six goals and five assists to prove it.”
He was equally praising of Saka too, adding: “It says something for Saka’s maturity that a 19-year-old kid has been the heartbeat of Arsenal’s season. Like Mount, he has scored six and assisted five goals, while I think the Gunners have unearthed a jewel.”