Meireles rewarded by fans
Liverpool midfielder caps fine debut season with supporters' prize
Last Updated: April 21, 2011 6:51pm
Meireles: Has become a fans' favourite after sparkling debut season at Anfield
Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles has been recognised for his impressive performances this season with the PFA Fans' Player of the Year award.
The 28-year-old 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.
But he has played an increasingly influential role in his debut Premier League campaign, turning in a number of sparkling displays.
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The Portugal international started to find his best form after Kenny Dalglish replaced Hodgson in early January and he opened his goalscoring account in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.
The strike against Everton signalled a run of five goals in six matches, and he has now beaten off competition from the likes of likes of Arsenal's Samir Nasri, Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United and Chelsea's David Luiz to claim the coveted PFA prize vote for by fans.
"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."