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David De Gea named Manchester United player of year for record fourth time

MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United named goalkeeper David De Gea as Player of the Year for a record fourth time on Tuesday night, but sources told ESPN FC that Jose Mourinho will consider reinstating Sergio Romero for next month's FA Cup final.

De Gea took home the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award as the fans' choice at the club's awards dinner, after also receiving the honour in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Spaniard also won the players' player of the year award.

"It's difficult to say with words what Manchester United means for me," De Gea said. "For anyone. It's amazing to play for this club, with the history of this club, for the fans, for everything. It's amazing to be part of this club.

"It was a bit hard at the beginning but I believed in myself and I work hard and train hard and, until now, I am proud of myself too. Of course, I want to say thanks to everyone. I didn't expect to win one but now I have won it four times so it's amazing for me. Thank you."

Romero has been unavailable since picking up an injury playing for Argentina during the March international break, but could return in time to face to Chelsea on May 19.

He had featured in every round of the FA Cup this season before missing the semifinal victory over Tottenham earlier this month, and sources said Mourinho had planned to start the 31-year-old at Wembley before his injury. De Gea started in his stead, helping United to a 2-1 win, with third choice Joel Pereira on the bench.

Mourinho kept faith with Romero for last season's Europa League final, a game that secured United's participation in this season's Champions League.

And sources said Mourinho will give Romero, who is also hoping to be part of Argentina's squad at this summer's World Cup in Russia, as much time as possible to get over his injury before deciding who will start in the final.

De Gea was joined in the awards on Tuesday by 21-year-old Scott McTominay, whom Mourinho picked as his player of the year at the dinner in a surprise move.

"A huge thank you to the manager for what he's done for me, both on and off the pitch; he's been an incredible figure for me," McTominay said. "It's been an incredible year for me and I want to keep pushing forward now."

Tahith Chong was named young player of the year, while Demetri Mitchell won the top award for the reserve team.

Nemanja Matic won goal of the season for his half-volley from distance at Crystal Palace in March.

Michael Carrick, who is retiring from playing at the end of the season, was presented with a special recognition award in acknowledgement of his services to the club.

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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