Who's Paddy's favourite for Player of the Year?
Manchester United legend Paddy Crerand believes Bruno Fernandes is the front-runner for this season's Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.
The Portuguese midfielder has enjoyed an impressive first full campaign with the Reds, tallying 44 goal contributions in 55 matches this season, with his efforts helping United to reach the Europa League final and already seal a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.
Despite that, one man that Paddy believes will be hot on the heels of Fernandes for the award is Luke Shaw, who has played arguably the best football of his career so far this season from his left-back role and has instrumental in the Reds' defensive solidity, while also providing at creative spark going forward.
The duo have already been the recipients of a combined total of four of the club's fan-voted Player of the Month awards so far this campaign (two each) and the Reds legend now expects them to run each other close at the top of the polls for an award which you can cast your vote on via ManUtd.com.
As well as discussing his favourites for the prize, Paddy says he is hoping for a strong finish to the campaign on the pitch for United.
“I’m confident that it’ll be a positive end to the season for the team, I really am, and that always makes the Player of the Year awards a more enjoyable occasion,” the ex-Red said in his column in the latest edition of United Review.
“No doubt Bruno Fernandes will be favourite, and rightly so, but Luke Shaw has been tremendous and could run him close.
“Considering what he’s been through at United, dating back to that serious injury he had, I couldn’t be more pleased for Luke this season.”
In addition to the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award, you can also vote for our Goal of the Season with both polls closing this Sunday 16 May at 23:59 BST.
The result of those accolades will be announced later this month, as will the winner of the Players' Player of the Year trophy and the individuals in our Women's side, Under-23s and Under-18s who have been selected by the respective coaches as their top performers in 2020/21.
Paddy is intrigued to find out who will come out on top and has picked out one United youngster who he has been impressed by, who could receive one of the Academy prizes.
“I’ll be interested to see who picks up the Women’s team and Academy awards, as there’s plenty of competition there.
“I watch the Under-18s on MUTV, and the young forward who returned to the club from [Manchester] City, Charlie McNeill, looks like such a natural goalscorer.”
The Reds legend believes the likes of McNeill can be inspired by the achievements of recent Academy graduates such as Mason Greenwood, who reached a century of appearances for United during the Europa League semi-final second leg against Roma.
“I was really pleased to see Mason Greenwood reach 100 senior games for the club out in Rome last week and, for every young player in the Academy, it’s so important to be able to see that path ahead to the first team.”