Did Ruben Dias rob Harry Kane of the PL Player of the Season award?
Ruben Dias has been named the Premier League Player of the Season for his contributions to the defense for Manchester City.
The 24-year-old Portuguese international completes an individual award double in the first-ever season in England. Football Writer’s Association awarded the central defender with an award last month. He also earned a spot in the Professional Football Association’s Team of the Year very recently.
However, this has not gone down well with a few sections of football fans, who believe that Harry Kane deserved to win the player of the season award after he had a fantastic season with Tottenham Hotspur.
[embedded content]How big of an impact did Ruben Dias have on Manchester City’s defense? What did Kane offer to Tottenham’s attack?
Ruben Dias joined Manchester City from SL Benfica in a deal worth €68 million ahead of the 2020/21 season. He not only provided the depth, but also stabilized the defense for Pep Guardiola’s team.
The absence of Aymeric Laporte in 2019/20 had cost Manchester City the title. The Portuguese central defender slotted right into the team with no hassle and provided the calmness and leadership that was needed at the heart of the defense. He formed an excellent centre-back partnership with John Stones.
In 32 league appearances, Ruben Dias had 15 clean sheets for Manchester City in the English Premier League.
However, only clean sheets cannot be justified for his selection for the award. Phil Jones had better statistics than Ruben Dias in 2017/18 when Manchester United finished second in the English Premier League.
- Matches Played: 23
- Cleansheets: 15
- Blocks per 90: 1.51
- Aerial Duels percentage: 74%
- Matches Played: 32
- Cleansheets: 15
- Blocks per 90: 1.42
- Aerial Duels percentage: 68.2%
On the other hand, despite having one of the best stat-lines in the English top-flight, Harry Kane missed out on the prize. Harry Kane scored 23 goals and had 17 assists in the 2020/21 season. He defeated Mohammad Salah to win the Golden Boot despite playing fewer games than the Egyptian international.
This season, Harry Kane was more consistent than in the last. We can see that through his xG/90 numbers. His xG/90 of 0.37 in 2019/20 is inferior to his xG/90 of 0.60 in 2020/21.
He also contributed defensively and had better statistics, when compared to some of the other top strikers in the English Premier League.
- Interceptions per 90: 0.44
- Blocks per 90: 0.88
- Clearances per 90: 1.20
- Goals/Assists: 37
- Interceptions per 90: 0.26
- Blocks per 90: 0.41
- Clearances per 90: 0.32
- Goals/Assists: 27
Dominic Calvert Lewin
- Interceptions per 90: 0.16
- Blocks per 90: 0.97
- Clearances per 90: 0.97
- Goals: 16
Tottenham Hotspur scored 66 goals in the 2020/21 season. Out of the 66 goals, Harry Kane accounted for 34.84% of the goals. The English international had scored 32% of Spurs’ goals in 2019/20. Also, Harry Kane increased his percentage of assists from 5% in 2019/20 to 28% in 2020/21.
Because of the increased contribution from Kane, Tottenham Hotspur scored ten goals more than that the previous season.
Coming back to the Portuguese center-back, Ruben Dias assisted Pep Guardiola’s side in a more pragmatic approach adopted by Pep Guardiola in 2020/21.
Manchester City conceded fewer goals in 2020/21 (32) than they did in 2019/20 (35). Dias was one of the reasons behind the increase in clean sheets at Etihad in the 2020/21 season as well.
Manchester City accounted for 19 clean sheets compared in 2020/21 to 17 in the previous campaign without Ruben Dias. He has been an excellent signing for Manchester City.
You also have to talk about the impact that he has on the team. The team conceded just 21 goals in 32 games when he was on the pitch. When he wasn’t playing, they conceded 14 in six games. That’s a big jump.
To conclude, we can say that both Ruben Dias and Harry Kane were worthy contenders for the Premier League Player of the Season award.
However, Ruben Dias’ commanding display throughout the season – coupled with the impact he had on the title-winners – earned him the award in 2020/21.
Having said that, it would’ve been just as fair if the Premier League had decided to give the award to Harry Kane, who had a sensational season with Tottenham.
What are your opinions on the Premier League Player of the Season award? Have your say below!