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Nastasic misses out on PFA Young Player nomination

Michael Regan

He may well have turned heads in what is his debut Premier League season but Matija Nastasic has missed out on being nominated for the PFA Young Player of The Year shortlist.

The Serbian arrived at City last summer following just a single season in Serie A with Fiorentina but if there were thoughts that he would be eased along he quickly established himself in the side following a debut away at The Bernabeu in the Champions League, consigning Joleon Lescott - who himself turned in such an impressive season in 2012/13 - to a season more or less consigned to the bench (more of which in this piece).

The players nominated are Gareth Bale, Christian Benteke, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere, and whilst it is difficult to argue against the merits of either Bale or Benteke, have either of the remaining four really turned in better seasons than Nastasic? True, Hazard and Lukaku have flashed at periods throughout 2012/13 but Welbeck, as manfully as he has played, has truly struggled in front of goal.

His on-field demeanour is very much an understated one. Not for Nastasic an overly vocal presence, or no-nonsense in the tackle but he often goes through games where you barely notice him, which, rather than for a striker or a midfielder, is a genuine sign that they have a command of and are in control of the game. His lack of headline grabbing play may have been what (incorrectly) has cost him the votes his play surely deserved.

There were also no City players named to the main PFA Player of The Year shortlist that was also announced yesterday.