An incredible season for a trio of Manchester City members has not gone unnoticed by the Premier League.
Ruben Dias has been named Premier League Player of the Season, teammate Phil Foden was named the Young Player of the Season, and Pep Guardiola earned Manager of the Season honours.
Since signing during the fall transfer window in 2020, Dias has been a revelation in central defence for a side desperate to fill the void left by the departure of Vincent Kompany.
The Portuguese centre-back was robust, versatile, and an absolute force in a rock-solid defence.
City had just one victory in their first three games, including a crushing 5-2 defeat to Leicester City before Dias arrived.
The former Benfica defender came in and was a commanding presence with his strength and versatility.
Dias became a mainstay in defence, helping the Citizens earn 15 clean sheets in 32 games.
Alongside defence partner John Stones, Pep Guardiola’s side conceded a mere 32 goals all season in the Premier League.
Throughout 2020-21, Dias led the league in blocked shots, and clearances completed and headed clearances.
He was second in aerial duels won and passes completed.
Dias beat Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah for the award.
The Foden effect
Phil Foden had himself an exceptional 2020-21 campaign.
The 21-year-old from Stockport was a pivotal part of his team’s success with timely goal involvements throughout the season.
Foden was involved in 14 Premier League goals in his 17 EPL starts and another 11 as a substitute.
Like Dias, he stepped into the shoes of a City icon and quickly made fans fall in love with him.
Taking over for David Silva was no easy feat, but Foden was a lightning rod for a City side that thrived in the second half of the season, running away with the league title.
Foden is the second recipient of this award, after Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, who won this honour last season.
The other nominees were Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Illan Meslier, Marcus Rashford, Mason Mount, Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka.
Pep in City’s step
Pep Guardiola produced another exceptional campaign as City boss this season.
The Spaniard will go down as one of the best managers of all time, but he refuses to rest on his laurels.
When Guardiola got this team on track, they were virtually unstoppable.
Since taking over in the summer of 2016, City have found another gear.
They’ve won five Premier League titles and three in the past four seasons.
In 2020-21 the Citizens scored the most goals in the league (83) and conceded the fewest (32).
Across the campaign, they also produced an incredible 15-match winning streak in mid-season.
Guardiola beat out Marcelo Bielsa, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers for the managerial award. (JSL).