Former Manchester United defenders Jaap Stam and Gary Neville share different views on who should be the club’s Player of the Season. Neville picked goalkeeper David de Gea, while Stam went with five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
United had a poor season, finishing in a lowly sixth position as they went another season without winning a trophy. Due to their underwhelming campaign, the contenders for United’s Player of the Season were few and far between.
Neville has explained why he would pick De Gea. Speaking on the club’s official website (via the Manchester Evening News), the former player-turned-pundit said:
“How many times has David De Gea won it since Sir Alex left? I’m going to go for De Gea, to be honest with you. The only other two I could think of would be Fred and Ronaldo. We’d be in dire straits without Ronaldo’s goals, but I think, without De Gea, we’d be dead! I could say Ronaldo. I’d go De Gea, Ronaldo, then Fred, in that order.”
However, Stam explained why he would pick Ronaldo ahead of De Gea, saying:
“I would give it to Ronaldo. I think since he stepped in, there’s been a lot of people saying things, and sometimes there’s been a lot of criticism as well. But I think it’s unbelievable. If you’re 37, I believe, and you’re still performing, producing and scoring … I think he’s open for criticism, but he’s helping other people out as well. He’s doing his best from him. He’s trying to lead the team, so I think he deserves it.”
Cristiano Ronaldo ended 2021-22 season as Manchester United’s highest goalscorer
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United last summer but hit form from the get-go. The 37-year-old ended the season as the club’s leading goalscorer, bagging 24 goals and providing three assists in 38 appearances across competitions.
That includes 18 strikes in the Premier League, finishing only behind Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (23 goals), who won the Golden Boot.
De Gea, meanwhile, had a great season in goal for Manchester United. The Spanish international played all 38 games in the Premier League, keeping eight clean sheets. The former Atletico Madrid shot-stopper, though, made 128 saves in the league, which was the third-most in this season’s competition.