Manchester City centre-back Ruben Dias has been chosen as the best Premier League signing of the 2020/21 season by 90min readers in an online poll.
Dias commanded an enormous 65% of the final vote when 7,354 people made their choice between the Portuguese centre-back, Liverpool forward Diogo Jota, Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Newcastle striker Callum Wilson.
City may have agreed a deal valued in excess of £60m to buy Dias from Benfica last summer, but the rising star has proven to be worth every penny as he has hit the ground running in England.
But not only has he slotted into the City team, he has become a leader straight off the bat. Dias would have been forgiven had he needed a first year to settle into a new environment, a new club, new league, new culture, yet he was being lauded in a matter of weeks.
His impact has been such that Aymeric Laporte, previously recognised as one of the top centre-backs in the Premier League, could no longer command a regular place, while Dias has also helped turn John Stones back into a much better player that City once knew.
With a team built on a solid defensive structure, City lifted the Premier League trophy at the end of the season and Dias became the first defender in 32 years – since Liverpool’s Steve Nicol in 1989 – to win the prestigious FWA Footballer of the Year award.
The other players have all had excellent first seasons at their respective new clubs.
Albeit limited by injury, Jota scored nine goals in 19 Premier League games for Liverpool, while Wilson scored 12 times for Newcastle and contributed to a number of important wins that helped keep them up. Martinez, meanwhile, kept 15 Premier League clean sheets in his first full season of his career as a number one goalkeeper.
But Dias had far more of an impact than all of them and thus has deservedly one 90min's coveted signing of the season award.