Michael Carrick and Rafael will give star signing Robin van Persie tough competition for Manchester United’s Player of the Year, according to legendary midfielder Bryan Robson.
Van Persie has taken to Old Trafford like a duck to water since his £24m summer move, but has not scored since victory over Everton on February 10 – a whole eight games ago.
And Robson believes Carrick and Rafael have come to the fore this season after hugely impressing for United on their way to a 15-point lead over title rivals Manchester City.
"Obviously, the way Robin van Persie has come into the club from Arsenal and the way he has played makes him a strong candidate,” he told match-day programme United Review.
“But I believe Michael Carrick and Rafael are both running him very close.
"Michael has had a great season and it speaks volumes that Sir Alex has played him in more or less all our games. He is a very intelligent footballer and has done excellently all season.
“Rafael has really progressed and has had a great campaign as well, so it’s a close call between those three, for me."
Carrick was invited back into the England fold at the start of the season – after two years out of recognition – and has played all but one of United’s Premier League games.
And Rafael has become the Red Devils’ undisputed number one right-back, contributing three goals and three assists – including a scorching half-volley against Queens Park Rangers last month.
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