Rio Ferdinand hits out at Bukayo Saka decision as Cristiano Ronaldo left out
Rio Ferdinand has hit out at the decision to include Bukayo Saka on the Premier League Player of the Season shortlist over Cristiano Ronaldo.
The shortlist for the 2021/22 Premier League Player of the Season was announced last week.
Given Manchester City and Liverpool are the two sides fighting it out for the Premier League title, it is not at all surprising to see the two clubs dominate the shortlist.
From City, both Kevin De Bruyne and Joao Cancelo have made the final eight, whilst Liverpool have Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold up for the award.
Elsewhere, West Ham, Arsenal, Tottenham and Southampton have one nominee each.
Bukayo Saka is in from Arsenal and, whilst he is unlikely to be named Premier League Player of the Season, looks a shoo-in for the Young Player of the Season prize.
West Ham, meanwhile, have Jarrod Bowen, Tottenham Heung-min Son and Southampton, somewhat surprisingly, are represented by James Ward-Prowse.
And, despite scoring 19 in the league this season, Cristiano Ronaldo did not even make the shortlist this year.
This has led to Rio Ferdinand questioning why Saka made it onto the shortlist ahead of his former teammate:
“Saka’s in the in the Player of the Year nominees?” said the ex-defender – who played alongside Ronaldo for six years – on his Vibe with Five YouTube show.
“I wouldn’t have had Saka in there yet, as well as he’s done. I wouldn’t have had him over Ronaldo, no, not this season. “Ronaldo should be in ahead of three of four of those guys in there. He probably doesn’t win it but in terms of nominees, it’s laughable.
“He’ll take it as a disrespect but these are the things that fuel him, he’ll be thinking, ‘How dare you?’ If it’s based on stats, he’s like, ‘I’ve banged in more goals than most of them on that list other than Salah, so what are you talking about?’”