First of all, how do you make the case for player of the season for a goalkeeper?
There are certain types who have had thoroughly superb seasons such as Nick Pope at Burnley.
There are the Brazilian duo at Liverpool and Manchester City who are almost outfield players in their own right.
But would I swap any of the above for our very own Rui Patricio?
Not a chance.
Consistency is the name of the game
You could also say, are there any standout saves that come to mind over the last 12 months that spring to mind?
And the answer again would probably be, “not really”.
But for someone who is as devilishly good looking as our Rui, it’s not about looking good between the sticks.
It’s about consistency.
This is someone who has finished joint 3rd in the golden glove race this season, and yet doesn’t even get spoken about as one of the best keepers in the league.
So why is that?
Of his contemporaries he is the only one to have a statue of himself.
In his hometown of Leira in Portugal, it depicts a save made in the Euro 2016 final against France where he was victorious for his country alongside Joao Moutinho of course.
He’s gonna kick himself
Yet despite all of this there were initial doubts about him due to his kicking.
Those early months of 2018/19 where he was trying to play pinpoint ‘Coady esq’ passes out to Doherty and Jonny just didn’t work for him, and the grumbles from the crowd started as each one that sailed out of play.
Fast forward to the end of this season and he is in the top 5 for long ball passes from a goalkeeper.
It is yet another example of a player improving under Nuno, and this is someone who is a serial winner.
On top of this, he makes very few errors at all.
Compared to someone like De Gea and Pickford, every opposition shot at goal is simply expected to be saved.
That kind of confidence spreads to the defence, and it shows.
In the calamitous Aston Villa EFL Cup game, John Ruddy replaced Rui in goal and you could see the difference.
Yes it was only a cup game that Nuno had no interest in but still, routine goalkeeping is something we have come to expect now and we did not have it that game.
Rui Patricio. Our Number 1
This really is my point in all of this.
Rui Patricio is undoubtedly Wolves number 1 (well 11).
We have not had a goalkeeper this good in a long, long time.
As a shot stopper he has always been one of the very best in Europe, but now he has added footwork and presence to his game and does not get bullied from crosses.
The scar that now adorns his right cheek came from being brave in a relatively meaningless Asia Trophy game 12 months ago.
That kind of bravery and commitment goes a long way.
Man of Mystery
There is also an air of mystery to him too.
He doesn’t do interviews, doesn’t speak English to the press, yet seems to get on genuinely well with everyone.
His love of the Black Country Museum and Peaky Blinders is enough to award him with the coveted Fancast oversized t-shirt alone.
At the age of 32 he has a good 5 years left at least and it could be argued that he hasn’t had as good a season as 2019/20 until now.
If you value consistency, and genuine understated world class, vote Rui.
Vote for Rui Patricio as your Wolves Fancast Player of the Season 2019/20