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Monthly Archive May 17, 2024

Premier League 2023-24 Awards: MVP and Rookie of the Season

As we say goodbye to a 2023-24 Premier League season full of ups and downs, Luis Miguel Echegaray presents awards to the players and teams that have excelled, and those that have lived up to the hype and expectations. Who was the MVP of the season and who was the best new player of the season? Luis Miguel Echegaray gives his analysis, ratings and opinions.

Rodri – Player of the Season

The parameters we use to measure a footballer’s value are based on a number of factors including goal contribution, leadership qualities and growth, among others. But what happens when a player’s importance is multifaceted and has subtle influence that is sometimes overlooked even by the league itself?

Rodrigo Hernández Cascante, the best player in his position in the world and my Player of the Season winner. As City lift the trophy with one hand and seek a historic fourth consecutive league title, Rodri’s presence in midfield will be crucial to their success. Manchester City can win without striker Haaland, but it’s uncertain when they don’t have Rodri. It’s clear when you look at how things have gone this season, with City’s three league defeats (at Wolves, Arsenal and Aston Villa) not without the Spanish international due to suspension. He also has an unbeaten record of 49 Premier League games.

Rodri is like the engine of Guardiola’s team. Guardiola said he is irreplaceable and can play in any era. There’s nothing fancy about Rodri’s game. He is a constant watcher, making sure his team finishes the game without needing attention. This season, in addition to scoring 7 goals and 9 assists in 33 league games, he is also the midfielder with the highest pass success rate (92%). In fact, according to this statistic, Rodri ranks among the top five midfielders in Europe who have played at least 25 games.

The 25-year-old Spanish midfielder has seamlessly adapted to the pace and physicality of the Premier League since his arrival from Atletico Madrid in 2019. His imposing presence in midfield, combined with his intelligence and passing ability, make him a vital cog in Pep Guardiola’s well-oiled machine. Rodri’s composure on the ball allows City to control possession and dictate the tempo of games, while his tactical discipline ensures that they remain solid at the back. But it is not just defensively where Rodri shines. He has also shown an eye for goal this season, scoring important goals against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea as City continue their march towards another title.

Destiny Udoji – Rookie of the Season

Players must be 23 or under and complete at least 1,500 minutes in their first season in the Premier League to be eligible for these awards as a ‘rookie’.

Despite being plagued by injuries, Udoji’s impact on the pitch is undeniable. His outstanding performances in both attack and defense earned him a place in Tottenham Hotspur’s starting XI from day one of the season. He quickly adapted to the pace and physicality of the Premier League, demonstrating his extraordinary defensive abilities through timely tackles and interceptions. But it wasn’t just his defensive abilities that stood out; Udoji also showed great composure and vision in possession, often launching attacks from deep in midfield. As Udoji settled into his Tottenham role, he continued to improve in each passing game. His chemistry with the other midfielders and forwards is evident as they link up seamlessly to create scoring opportunities for the team. He even contributed crucial goals and assists when called upon, further cementing his importance to the team. Off the field, Udoji has also proven to be a valuable asset. His positive attitude and strong work ethic rubbed off on his teammates, earning him the respect and admiration of the team. Despite being a young player himself, he has shown natural leadership qualities.

Fullbacks have three responsibilities in Big Ange’s system: attack with intensity; defend with agility, reflexes and physicality, so they are important. Sometimes, when in possession, they join the midfield to make people forget about their full-back identity, and Spurs have two great players in Pedro Polo and Udoji who can do that when fit. Udoji turned 21 in November and has already made 30 appearances for the club, scoring two goals and providing three assists. It’s impressive to have so much content available in a first campaign. Unfortunately, his injury will rule him out of the match on April 21, but the good news is that he is expected to join the team for pre-season this summer.

The future looks bright for this young talent, and fans are eagerly anticipating what he will bring to the table next season. Here you can get more great-quality Tottenham kit 24/25 for less money!