After a crazy start to the new Premier League season, November has provided an element of normalcy.
Manchester United are winning games again, Aston Villa haven’t thumped anybody 7-2 and the teams traditionally at the top of the table are generally proving superior to the ones at the bottom.
Indeed, the Premier League is starting to take shape more in line with logical assumptions, barring the odd exception here and there, and within that some players are beginning to truly thrive.
Honouring those who blossomed the most last month, below is our rundown of the November nominees for the GIVEMESPORT Fans’ Player of the Month award.
Nominee: Hugo Lloris
Premier League goalkeepers will be delighted to see scorelines in the top flight calm down somewhat compared to the first few weeks of the season, when every game looked in danger of becoming a multi-goal thriller. It’s got a little easier for the division’s shot-stoppers and clean sheets have become a lot more common, especially for our first November nominee – Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris.
Chelsea supporters are probably scratching their heads wondering why Edouard Mendy hasn’t made the shortlist despite making Frank Lampard’s side suddenly seem like virtually impervious title contenders, but ultimately Lloris finished the month with a perfect record – ten saves made and three clean sheets kept in as many games – whereas the Blues No.1’s returns were blotted slightly by his only concede of the season against Sheffield United.
Kasper Schmeichel, Lukasz Fabianski, Illan Meslier and Sam Johnstone all deserve mentions for impressive saves hauls, but ultimately Lloris was the Premier League’s least penetrable goalkeeper in November.
Nominee: Aaron Cresswell
November witnessed the rise of Leicester City’s action-packed centre-half Wesley Fofana – certainly one to watch at just 19 – while Antonee Robinson’s offensive contributions have no doubt played a part in making Fulham look competitive at Premier League level and West Brom’s Darnell Furlong topped the charts for both aerial duels won and interceptions.
But Aaron Cresswell’s form for West Ham this season has been nothing short of exemplary and after another month that saw him combine solidity in defence with impressive contributions in attack, we had no choice but to acknowledge the Irons stalwart with a nomination.
Cresswell was part of a backline that conceded just one goal in three games throughout the November period, the Hammers picking up maximum points in the process, but he also contributed going forward with five key passes and two shots. In fact, no defender has registered more key passes than the former Ipswich Town man this season.
Nominees: Bruno Fernandes, Pedro Neto
Jack Grealish continued to delight throughout November but ultimately became a casualty of the time period we’ve looked at, with his goal-and-assist display versus Southampton falling into last month’s remit.
There was no such issue for Bruno Fernandes, however, who powered his way to being the most identifiable candidate for the November award, having finished the month with four goals and two assists to his name. The Portuguese is becoming something of a one-man band at Old Trafford and seems to be involved in virtually every Manchester United goal at the moment.
Meanwhile, we’ve also given the nod to Wolves’ Pedro Neto. A left-field suggestion, perhaps, but it’s often overlooked that the Portuguese attacker is just 20 years old. Despite his youth, November saw Neto score against Southampton and Arsenal in two important games for the Molineux outfit, while completing four key passes, five shots and five interceptions.
Spare a thought for Hakim Ziyech, who has really come into his own after being stuck on the sidelines for the first part of his Chelsea career, and West Brom’s Matheus Pereira, who is never far from doing something magical. Keep up the good work, and they might well make December’s shortlist.
Nominees: Diogo Jota, Jamie Vardy
Edinson Cavani has exploded onto the scene over the last month with three goals and an assist, including an incredible second-half performance against Southampton that inspired Manchester United’s 3-2 comeback, but something just doesn’t feel right about nominating a player who didn’t actually start a single Premier League game last month.
Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy has caught our eye, however, having scored twice and assisted twice throughout November and perhaps most impressively of all spread those goal contributions across three different games. He’s unsurprisingly been well amongst the shots as well, averaging three efforts at goal per match in November.
Meanwhile, we simply couldn’t leave out Liverpool’s Diogo Jota, who is surely the strongest candidate for the signing of the season in the Premier League. November saw him work his socks off to help the Reds clinch a vital point at the Etihad, before scoring in the 3-0 romping of Leicester with a superb header and netting an equaliser in Liverpool’s draw with Brighton.
You can cast your vote for November’s Player of the Month below, or by visiting https://www.footballfancast.com/fan-awards.