Denis Irwin names his top three Manchester United players this season, includes Ashley Young

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The United legend has named the three players he thinks will be frontrunners for Player of the Year.

Manchester United legend Denis Irwin has named his three picks for who should be the club’s Player of the Season on the club’s official website.

United are currently fourth in the table after an up and down season under new manager Louis van Gaal, although his remit of returning the club to the Champions League at the first time of asking looks set to be fulfilled.

Several players have proved vital in his first season and while there will likely be numerous candidates for Player of the Year, Irwin has named his preferred three of David de Gea, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young.

The Spanish goalkeeper has enjoyed yet another stellar season in the Premier League, arguably being one of the division’s best 'keepers and potentially even one of the best in the world as well.

“He was the only one of our players who got in the PFA Team of the Year and rightly so,” Irwin said.

“He’s been tremendous for us and has got better and better with every season he’s been at the club. He must be the big favourite to win it.”

In contrast, captain Rooney has had an indifferent season as he has been shunted from his favourite forward position into a midfield role, although he has since returned up front to prove his goal-scoring prowess, and Irwin believes his vital goals make him a contender.

“Wayne has done very well this season,” he said.

“He’s scored a lot of vital goals for us and has been a great leader as our captain as well.”

The more surprising name on the list is Young, who arguably didn’t have a future at United until van Gaal’s arrival. Since then he has impressed throughout the season and Irwin believes he’s been important for the side.

“Ashley has been a huge bonus for us this season,” he added.

“He’s another player who’s had to play in a number of different positions – we’ve seen him on both wings, at left wing-back and at left-back. Wherever he’s played he’s done tremendously well.”

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