Manchester Metropolis centre-back Ruben Dias has been named because the Footballer of the 12 months by the Soccer Writers’ Affiliation (FWA).
Dias, signed from Benfica final yr, pipped team-mate Kevin De Bruyne and Tottenham talisman Harry Kane to the award. He was one in every of 9 gamers from Pep Guardiola’s title-winning crew to be included within the shortlist, with the Metropolis contingent accounting for over half of the votes forged.
The 24-year-old, who has marshalled a defence which has conceded simply 32 targets within the Premier League this season, is the primary defender to win the prize since Steve Nicol in 1989.
He has additionally turn into solely the third participant to win the award in his first season in England, after Jurgen Klinsmann and Gianfranco Zola did so in 1995 and 1997 respectively.
Along with being integral to a fifth Premier League title cost, Dias has helped Metropolis to an EFL Cup win – their fourth in a row – and attain their first Champions League last, which might be performed in opposition to Chelsea in Porto on Might 29.
Dias is the primary defender to win the award since Steve Nicol again in 1989 and he additionally turns into solely the third participant to win the FWA award of their first season in England, following Jurgen Klinsmann (1995) and Gianfranco Zola (1997)
— Manchester Metropolis (@ManCity) May 20, 2021
FWA chair Carrie Brown mentioned: “Ruben Dias turned heads quickly after his arrival in Manchester, a 23-year-old belying his age with fortitude, metal, a relentless drive for perfection and an nearly superhuman capacity to learn and anticipate phases of play.
“This, whereas commendable, wouldn’t alone qualify a participant to win the FWA Footballer of the 12 months award. Considered one of our founding members, Charles Buchan, prescribed the award to recognise and have a good time a participant who ‘by principle and instance’ is taken into account to be the footballer of the yr.
“Pep Guardiola improves gamers, shapes them however at no level, has a brand new signing arrived into one in every of Pep’s already trophy-laden groups and exerted such affect.
“Dias has demanded the best requirements which have resulted within the swiftest of upturns in fortune not solely for Dias himself, however team-mates to his left, proper, entrance and centre.
“Maybe, on this of all seasons, Dias is the chief all of us want.”
Dias has made 31 league appearances for Metropolis this season, serving to Guardiola’s males hold 14 clear sheets, rating him behind solely Aston Villa’s Matt Targett (15) amongst Premier League defenders.
His tally of 88 clearances places him high when it comes to Metropolis defenders, whereas no team-mate on the again has made extra headed clearances (47) than the Portugal worldwide.
He ranks fourth amongst Metropolis defenders for tackles tried (23), boasting a powerful success price of 56.5 per cent, with a duel success price of 59.3.
No Metropolis defender has contested extra aerial duels (98), with Dias profitable 61 of them. He has scored one league purpose to date.
Dias will be capable of play in entrance of his personal membership’s followers for the primary time on Sunday, when Metropolis welcome Everton to the Etihad Stadium.