Bruno Fernandes has won Manchester United‘s Player of the Year award for 2019-20 – despite only arriving halfway through the Premier League season.
The Portuguese playmaker made an enormous impact at Old Trafford after moving to the English side in January from Sporting CP in his homeland.
His excellent performances were the catalyst for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side returning to the Champions League for the 2020-21 campaign, finishing third in the English top flight.
Fernandes told the club’s official website: “Of course you want to win some trophies for the team, for the club and for the fans, but obviously, I’m happy with the individual trophies.
“I know you can say: ‘Oh, I don’t care’ and everything, but it’s always important for a player. You always feel good when you win these kinds of awards, and I am no different. I am really happy. I want to add this to so many trophies for the club and for the fans because I think they deserve it.”
Fernandes beat Anthony Martial into second place to claim the award, voted for by United fans, while Marcus Rashford came third. He inherits the award from Luke Shaw, who was chosen for the 2018-19 season.
According to the club website, Fernandes gained 35.5 per cent of the votes, just ahead of Martial on 34%, while Rashford earned 10.4% of fan selections.
Mason Greenwood finished fourth on 8.3% after his breakout season in senior football, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka got 3.8%, and club captain Harry Maguire finished sixth with 2.4%.
Fernandes was arguably the standout individual player in the Premier League following his January move, as United rose from the verge of the European qualification places to finish third, beating long-time top-four residents Leicester City on the final day to claim their Champions League spot.
He scored eight goals and provided seven assists in 14 Premier League matches in the second half of a campaign that was postponed for months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fernandes notched a total of 12 goals in 22 matches in all competitions for United, as they also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Europa League, suffering defeats to Chelsea and Sevilla respectively.
His form for United has made the club’s initial €55 million (£49m/$65m) investment seem like a bargain, and the club’s supporters are excited to see him link up for an entire season in midfield alongside Paul Pogba and new signing Donny van de Beek.