Debate: Who is our Player of the Year for 2018?
The polls for Manchester United’s end-of-season awards have now closed, and fans have voted in their many thousands to decide who will be crowned the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year for 2017/18. We asked four of our writers to reveal who they selected and explain their reasons why...
ManUtd.com’s James Tuck...
Why I voted for him: From the moment Matic pulled on the red shirt for the first time in pre-season and looked immediately at home, it was clear we had a class act on our hands. You might have expected the Serbian’s form to have dipped at some point over the course of a long season, yet he has remained the powerful, consistent glue in our midfield; the fact he's our only ever-present outfield player in the Premier League illustrates Jose's trust in him.
Best moment: Understated efficiency is Matic’s hallmark, which makes moments like his spectacular, last-minute winner at Selhurst Park in March all the more memorable. What a strike.
Season in three words: Dominant, reliable, unflappable.
ManUtd.com’s Adam Higgins...
Why I voted for him: Lukaku has underlined his ability to score all kinds of goals and shown he can handle the pressure of leading the line at United in a hugely impressive debut season at Old Trafford. The Belgian’s form in 2018 has been particularly sensational, but he has excelled as the constant spearhead of the Reds’ attack throughout the campaign, chipping in with 27 in all competitions to date and repaying the faith shown in him by Jose Mourinho.
Best moment: There have been many memorable moments and goals to savour, but Lukaku will no doubt look back on the visit of his former club Chelsea back in February as one of the highlights of his season. The striker brushed off the notion that he doesn’t score against the ‘big’ teams with a crucial equaliser, before setting up Jesse Lingard’s winner, and led from the front with a powerful and influential display.
Season in three words: Dependable, powerhouse, goalscorer.
ManUtd.com’s Adam Marshall...
Why I voted for him: Jesse has enjoyed a stellar season and has conjured up some of the campaign’s most memorable moments. From slaloming through the Watford defence, detonating a rocket against Derby County, scoring twice and dancing at the Emirates to heading the winner over Chelsea. This has been the campaign where he has stepped up to the plate and underlined he is no longer a youngster with potential. It’s been realised. The sky’s the limit for the Wembley specialist (here’s hoping for more heroics) for United and also with England at this summer’s World Cup.
Best moment: With the Gunners crestfallen, his sheer exuberance and enjoyment of the game came bursting out when doing his Milly Rock tribute to mark his second goal. It’s sometimes easy to forget that football is supposed to be fun.
Season in three words: Coming of age.
ManUtd.com’s Joe Ganley...
DAVID DE GEA
Why I voted for him: With awards, there’s always a danger that the flavour of the month can triumph over the supreme talents that tirelessly turn in excellence on a weekly basis. David De Gea has been superb for United for four or five seasons now – a period in which he has arguably been the best in the world in his position. From Stoke to Anfield, Arsenal to Seville, the superhuman Spaniard has continued to astound with his remarkable reflexes again this season. He’s United’s best player and has arguably won us more points and matches than anyone else.
Best moment: While on international duty in November 2017, De Gea told reporters in his home country that
“people forget a little” about the players that leave Spain to play abroad. The sight of Sevilla forward Luis Muriel knelt down, clutching De Gea’s right-hand post in astonishment, after the United no.1 had made a breathtaking save to deny his header at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, was a delicious visual representation of someone recognising that they’d just seen unique talent in its purest form.
Season in three words: Utterly brilliant, again.
PADDY AND MAYSIE JOIN THE DEBATE
The subject of who will win the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award came up during Monday night's phone-in on MUTV, and the two ex-Reds on the sofa chose different winners...