David de Gea's exceptional, occasionally vital performances in Manchester United's goal have today been recognised by his peers. The Professional Footballer's Union has announced the shortlist for their Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards, and De Gea is in the running for both.
Announcing the shortlist, the PFA's website said:
Whilst earlier in the season some of the Old Trafford faithful were frustrated with the manner of the team's performances, the three-times European champions still managed to grind out results and this was in small, part due to de Gea. The United goalkeeper at times has looked unbeatable, consistently producing match-winning saves at pivotal moments. In November this resulted in the Spanish international being voted the PFA Fans' Player of the Month.
Should De Gea win, he'll become the tenth United player to pick up the award, following in the footsteps of luminaries including Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo. Interestingly, only two United players have won the award twice. Ronaldo is one ... can you name the other? Answer below.
De Gea's competition for the full award are Chelsea's Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, Tottenham's Harry Kane, Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez. Hazard, Kane and Coutinho are also up for Young Player of the Year, along with De Gea, Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois and Liverpool's notorious libertine Raheem Sterling.
United's other double-winner is Mark Hughes, who picked up the gong in 1988-89 and 1990-91.