Liverpool’s Raul Meireles has capped an increasingly impressive debut season in England by being named the PFA Fans’ player of the year.
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The 28-year-old midfielder arrived in late August from Porto in an £11.5million deal and took a while to settle after being played in a number of positions by then manager Roy Hodgson.
It was not until Kenny Dalglish replaced Hodgson in early January that the Portugal international started to find his best form, opening his account in the Merseyside derby which signalled a run of five goals in six matches.
Those performances earned him the February PFA player award and he beat off competition from the likes of Arsenal’s Samir Nasri, Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov, former Reds team-mate Fernando Torres and Chelsea’s David Luiz to claim the season award.
"Raul has always had the ability he has shown recently," said Dalglish.
"Maybe he’s settled down a little bit and is more comfortable and confident because he is playing well but there’s been nothing drastic [tactically] for any of the players really.
"It is fantastic to see Raul doing so well. He has always been a talented footballer, he’s always had what we are seeing now but it’s been trying to get it out and it is coming out now and he’s scoring goals."