Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley questions Gavin Bazunu's League One team of the season snub as keeper honour goes to Plymouth stopper Michael Cooper

Danny Cowley admitted surprise at keeper Gavin Bazunu’s absence from the EFL League One team of the season.
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The Manchester City loanee missed out on the accolade as Plymouth No1 Michael Cooper picked up the 2020-21 honour.

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And he’s set to depart at the end of the campaign with that standing significantly bolstered following a series of eye-catching displays for both club and country.

That has seen clubs from the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A and Championship emerge – with Sheffield United and Preston the latest teams to be linked with the stopper – as the battle to snap him up for next season intensifies.

Meanwhile, Man City fans were calling for his return to the Etihad following stand-in keeper Zack Steffen’s performance for the Citizens during their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool earlier this month.

The fact that Pompey are no longer in contention for promotion could have let Bazunu down, with the League One team of the year predominantly made up of players from teams still in the hunt to go up, with Ipswich’s Wes Burns the exception.

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Cooper’s record of 22 clean sheets in 51 Pilgrims games also compares more favourably to the Irishman’s record of 17 shut-outs from 44 Pompey appearances.

Pompey keeper Gavin BazunuPompey keeper Gavin Bazunu
Pompey keeper Gavin Bazunu

Nevertheless, Cowley is adamant Bazunu is by far the keeper keeper in the third tier as he questioned how these awards are determined.

He told The News: ‘I think anybody who has seen Gavin play 44 games this season would know he’s the best goalkeeper in this division.

‘Significantly, it’s not even close. For me, he will go on and become a world-class goalkeeper.

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‘I don’t know how they get picked to be honest, I don’t know who picks them.

‘I just want to know if it’s someone who has been to a significant number of games – that’s the reality, isn’t it?

‘I don’t know how it gets voted for because there’s nobody that couldn’t have seen it (his ability) in how many games there are.’