Marching on Together’s 2019-2020 Player of the Season is…
23 Jul 2020 10:36 am, by YorkshireSquare
The choice for player of the season has been incredibly difficult this season. Every single player to have worn that white shirt has done us proud in helping Leeds United reclaim their rightful place in the top tier of English football. Mateusz Klich’s run of starts continued, 92 games in a row until a sore head saw it come to an end against Derby. Liam Cooper continued to prove his doubters wrong with consistent displays in the best defence in the division. Luke Ayling seemed to take a personal responsibility after the Forest game to drag the team back up, and what about that goal against Huddersfield?
Kalvin Phillips showed why he is one of the most highly rated defensive midfielders in the country, with England call-ups on the horizon. Patrick Bamford returned 16 goals and worked tirelessly up front for the team, closing opponents down and pressing, his work rate relentless. Jack Harrison’s development continued, end product added to this obvious quality. Along with Helder Costa probably the most daunting pair of wingers in the Championship. Even those asked to fill in; Meslier, Alioski and Roberts have made valuable contributions. But those who have gone beyond, stepped up and put in outstanding performance after outstanding performance should be rewarded, so here are our top three…
3) Stuart Dallas
Marcelo Bielsa’s very own Rolls Royce. Not many players could hold their heads up high after the play-off debacle against Derby County but Dallas was certainly one who could with two goals to his name. That performance came from the left back position but his form continued into this season with ‘Mr Versatile’ playing all over the pitch; right back, wing back, central midfield, you name it the Northern Irishman has played there for both club and country. Never perhaps the most gifted player his work rate and dedication have always been recognised by his fellow players. This season, when perhaps chances seemed limited for Dallas following the signings of Harrison and Costa he has been Bielsa’s go to player. Injuries to Ayling, Foreshaw and Alioski have seen Dallas every present this campaign, in a multitude of positions, and one of Leeds most consistence performers wherever he has played.
2) Ben White (Young player of the year)
The loss of Pontus Jansson this summer was a big deal for Leeds United fans, but Victor Orta and Marcelo Bielsa knew what they were doing. Ben White had already been brought in as his replacement. Composed on the ball, plays it out from the back, as robust a centre half you'll find, he if perfect to play in Marcelo Bielsa's system. Despite this there were concerns that White had only played League One and Two football before, concerns quickly alleviated by White as he put in great performance after great performance. White is the only player to have played every minute in the league for Leeds this season. The best centre half at the club since Radebe and Ferdinand? His performances certainly justify the claim. White may not have taken the top award but he certainly gets our young player of the year vote.
1) Pablo Hernandez
There is no question on Pablo Hernández’s ability, on his day he stands head and shoulders above most other players in the Championship. He has been Leeds United’s talisman over the past few seasons, the catalyst for our success. Even when every other player is having an off-day Pablo is there to pull something special out of the bag, to create a chance out of nothing, to score a wonder goal. But this season Pablo had been a bit quieter, hampered by injuries and a change of role in the team moving from the right-hand side to the centre of the pitch.
It looked like Pablo may miss out on the player of the season award to Ben White or Stuart Dallas, but since the restart he has been imperious, used by Marcelo Bielsa in a limited way but to devastating effect. The goal against Swansea the one that surely clinched promotion after sixteen long years. Pablo Hernández will go down in Leeds United history, remembered in the same breath as players such as Bobby Collins and Gordon Strachan. Player who were foundations of the successful teams they played in, who drove Leeds United onto victory. Pablo Hernández is our 2019-2020 player of the season.