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​Man Utd defender Smalling: Valencia is player of the year, not Zlatan

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has admitted he voted for Antonio Valencia in United's player of the year award.

Smalling, who won the Players Player award last year, revealed he put Valencia ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has scored 28 goals for United this season, because he was the most consistent performer in the team.

Valencia has been a rock at right-back for Jose Mourinho this campaign, making 28 Premier League starts and captaining the side in both Europa League semi final legs against Celta Vigo.

"I think Antonio has been so consistent, at times he's been our outlet, whether he's been playing at right-back or on the right wing," Smalling told MUTV.

"He's been so dependable as well, not just in an attacking sense, but also when he's been defending.

"Any winger or striker that comes up against him has to get around him. That means they have to be stronger or quicker than him, and neither of those is easy!"

"Antonio would be a worthy winner in my eyes."

United will have their annual awards ceremony on Thursday night at Old Trafford.

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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