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Man City boss Pep Guardiola takes dig at Liverpool as Jordan Henderson named Player of the Year

Jordan Henderson, Kevin DeBruyne, Pep Guardiola

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola made headlines of Friday when he was asked if any of his players had the potential to earn the Professional Footballers Association Player of the Year award.

The Spanish manager noted the award was already destined to the Cityzens’ biggest rival: Liverpool.

“No no, it will be won by a Liverpool player,” Guardiola told the BBC on Friday when asked about his thoughts on the award. “When we won the Premier Leagues it was won by a Liverpool player. When they win the Premier League I’m pretty sure they are going to win the player of the season, so this award is always for Liverpool.”

Guardiola hasn’t been shy about airing out his frustrations to the press, and this time is no different.

Only hours later, Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson was awarded Player of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association. The Reds captain scored four goals and laced five assists across 30 matches, but some writers argued he was undeserving of the award.

Guardiola believes his star midfielder, Kevin DeBruyne, is deserving of the award. The Belgian was beat out for the award by Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah during the 2017-18 season, despite Manchester City becoming the first English Premier League team to muster 100 points in a season.

DeBruyne has 11 goals to his name and a Premier League-best 19 assists this season — marks that would make a likely winner of the award. Henderson doesn’t come close to those numbers but has been regarded as an even-keeled presence in the midfield.

Guardiola’s frustration is understandable. Not only did his players lose a POTY award two years ago, but they did last year as well when Raheem Sterling (17 goals, 10 assists) was outdone by Liverpool center back Virgil van Dijk.

It’s worth noting that Guardiola is referring to the PFA award, not the FWA, which is voted on by the media. If Henderson wins the PFA award, it would be the third straight season in which a Liverpool player has won Player of the Year.