Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has won the club’s prestigious Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award for 2019/20, outshining his teammates despite only arriving halfway through the campaign and playing just 22 games in all competitions.
Fernandes lifted the whole squad when he arrived in January and was the catalyst for a much improved second half of the season that resulted in a third place Premier League finish, Champions League qualification and semi-finals in the FA Cup and Europa League.
Fernandes’ own performances yielded 12 goals and nine assists, taking his personal tally of direct goals contributions in a United shirt to 21 as he hit the ground running.
“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,” the 25-year-old told ManUtd.com.
“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 only narrowly beat Anthony Martial to the prize. The Frenchman enjoyed a resurgent season back in his favoured number nine shirt, scoring 23 goals in all competitions – the first time in his career he had broken through the 20-goal barrier in a season.
Fernandes is the second Portuguese player to win the Sir Matt Busby award after three-time former winner Cristiano Ronaldo (2003/04, 2006/07, 2007/08). Other former winners include Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Goalkeeper David de Gea won it a record four times in five seasons between 2014 and 2018, while Luke Shaw became the first Englishman to win it in a decade last year.