Men's Team

Lescott and Onuoha have their say on Player of the Season finalists

Lescott and Onuoha have their say on Player of the Season finalists
Former City duo Joleon Lescott and Nedum Onuoha have cast their eye over the final three in our Etihad Player of the Season voting.

Every member of the squad has played a significant part in an incredible season so far, which makes singling out one particular star an unenviable task.

Nonetheless, over 95,000 votes have already been cast, with Ruben Dias, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez edging out their teammates in a tightly fought contest.

Speaking on We’re Not Really Here ahead of our Premier League clash with Chelsea, Lescott and Onuoha analysed each of the top three and their standout seasons.

ETIHAD PLAYER OF THE SEASON | VOTE NOW

“Could it have been anyone else? Yes. But the fact that it is those three doesn’t really surprise me,” Lescott declared.

“They’re exceptionally talented and consistent, that’s the defining factor for me, they have all played well but who has played to the maximum for the longest time, I would say those three.”

“(Ruben) Dias is a natural born leader you can see it and hear it, I still don’t believe his age!

“They say a defender’s best years are around 27 or 28, well if that’s the case then nobody will be close to him by then.

“He’s not doing anything you wouldn’t expect but he does them every time. The consistency he’s set is ridiculous.

“He has played so many games, and to maintain that level and fitness is a skill in itself.”

WATCH: Guardiola: Champions League final a different game

The importance of Ilkay Gundogan’s role in the team has never been questioned since his arrival in 2016, but he has added to that with a particularly fruitful campaign in front of goal, doubling his previous highest goal return.

For Onuoha, his purple patch of 11 Premier League goals in 12 matches from mid-December to mid-February was vital in helping City on our way to the summit at a crucial stage in the season.

He said: “This was a guy who, when he came from Dortmund, had made a name for himself, so to double his tally as it stands and do it at the biggest moment for City.

“That midsection when he was doing this and was the form player in the league, that form helped propel us to the top of the league.

“And it was the way he did it, still involved in the general play but taking chances getting up there and being involved in build-up play.”

WATCH: Sterling confident City can seal title

Algerian winger Mahrez has also stepped up whenever called upon, with two recent match-winning performances against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League semi-finals providing a case in point.

Lescott believes the Algerian brings a unique skillset to the team whenever he steps across the white line.

“He is one of my favourites, he’s different to the rest of the front line,” he admitted.

“He wants to go past defenders and sit players down, he wants to expose you.

“His left foot just looks cultured. In terms of talent, he has it all and I’d go as far to say that he has one of the best touches I’ve seen.”

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It was a disappointing day at the office for Guardiola’s men on Saturday afternoon, who would have guaranteed a third Premier League title in four seasons with victory over Chelsea.

However, the champagne is back on ice for a few hours at least, with Thomas Tuchel’s side snatching a late 2-1 victory to cement their own top four claims.

City can still be crowned champions as early as Sunday afternoon if Manchester United are beaten away to Aston Villa, and Lescott remained upbeat despite the defeat.

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“It's still is going to happen, it could even be done by Monday. As long as you end up with the trophy no one remembers how many points you win it by.

“We have bad games. When we play well we don’t lose the game, it happens.”

Onuoha agreed, and insisted that the standards set by the team mean a positive response to this setback is almost inevitable.

He said: “I think if they would have played well but lost there may have been more to take from it.

"It is a blip but I always feel more comfortable after City lose because I expect a reaction the next game.”

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