McAuley reckons the Argentina international was probably Albion's best performer - earning his vote when it came to a dressing-room ballot to find the club's best overall performer.
"I voted for Claudio," said McAuley.
"I just felt in the games he played, coming into a different country, having to settle in, not being 100 per cent with the language, he has been fantastic. At the start of the season he was on fire for us.
"He does a great job in front of us. We have him on a piece of string doing the hard work really - when he does that it makes our life easier. But any number of the lads could have won awards.
''Rom (Lukaku) has come in and been fantastic, Claudio too. You can go through the club. It's a mark of where we are."