Bruno Fernandes has told Manchester United’s official website that he has been impressed with Leeds United duo Patrick Bamford and Raphinha – when discussing which Premier League players had impressed him ahead of the illustrious PFA end-of-season awards. The Portuguese superstar, of course, is in line to win the Player of the Season award himself, but suggested that Raphinha and Bamford might be considered for it too.
It has been an excellent season for Leeds. With three Premier League matches to play – which are certainly winnable given we have beaten Burnley, Southampton and West Brom in the reverse fixtures – the Whites are looking good to finish in the top half of the Premier League table. Burnley away from home, though, is a tricky test for any top-flight side – with Sean Dyche’s side the opponents on Saturday.
Bamford has been sensational. The 27-year-old has scored a whopping 15 goals in 35 Premier League games and laid on an impressive seven assists. While the golden boot is probably out of his reach, he has completely eclipsed pre-season claims that he would struggle in what is his first proper season in the Premier League. He has been the attacking heartbeat that has helped Leeds stay well above a relegation dog fight.
Raphinha, meanwhile, has also starred in his first Premier League campaign. Joining the club from Rennes last summer on deadline day, he has clocked up six goals and seven assists in 27 Premier League matches – but not only has he shown impressive end product in the final third, but it is the flair and skill that has resonated with Leeds fans. Pick a moment Leeds fans will remember most about Raph from this season, and it is probably the Brazilian turning Gary Cahill inside out.
Both players have impressed to the extent that they are being linked with bigger clubs. The Athletic suggest that Liverpool have taken a look at Bamford, while we reported recently that Italian journalist Gianluca Longari had been told Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United were all interested in Raphinha. Now, both have earned unlikely praise from Manchester United’s Fernandes – on their official website:
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“I think it’s difficult to choose one,” Fernandes said, when asked which player is most-deserving of the POTS title. “For me, being the best player in the Premier League, you have to be the best from since we started to the end, and not coming and start playing in December or January and start doing well in that moment.
“Everyone knows Kevin De Bruyne is one of the best for me. If we go to the Liverpool squad – Salah, if you say he’s playing well or not, he’s still scoring goals. Harry Kane is still doing really well in the Tottenham team.I think Raphinha of Leeds is doing very well. It’s difficult to choose one. I think Bamford from Leeds is also scoring a lot of goals, 14 I think this season already [now 15 in the Premier League], which is really good.”