Manchester City defender Ruben Dias has been named the Premier League Player of the Season.
The Portugal international, who joined City from Benfica in September, wins his second individual award after being named the Football Writers’ Association men’s Player of the Year last month.
He came out on top after public vote was combined with those of the 20 club captains and a panel of football experts, edging out Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Mason Mount, Mohamed Salah and Tomas Soucek to the prize.
Dias is widely credited with providing City with a defensive solidity that was lacking during the 2019-20 season when they relinquished their Premier League title to Liverpool.
The 24-year-old won 23 of the 32 Premier League matches he played, keeping 15 clean sheets, as Pep Guardiola’s side finished 12 points clear at the top to claim the title for the third time in four seasons.
He also helped the club win the Carabao Cup for the fourth successive year and reach their first Champions League final, where they were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in Porto.
Dias is only the fourth defender to win the prize, after Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic, former City captain Vincent Kompany and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk. He is also just the second Portuguese winner after Cristiano Ronaldo, who won it with Manchester United in 2006-07 and 2007-08.