EA Sports have announced the nominees for the Premier League player of the month award for January, with Aston Villa's Jack Grealish and Leicester's James Maddison among the contenders for the first gong of 2021.
Villa's form was indifferent in January but Grealish's individual performances cemented his status as one of the Premier League's best players. Their captain scored or assisted in four of their five games, including crucial assists in wins over Newcastle and Southampton that kept his team in the chase for Europe.
Maddison will be a direct competitor of Grealish's for England when the Euros roll around in the summer and he did his own prospects no harm in January. He netted in three successive games to kick off the year in style, helping Leicester quietly re-emerge in the title picture.
The playmaking duo are joined by West Brom's Matheus Pereira, who has been pulling the strings in West Brom's scrap for survival, as well as Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan, who has helped Pep Guardiola's team open up a lead at the top of the table.
His teammate John Stones makes the list, as do Arsenal duo Bernd Leno and Bukayo Saka, who earn nominations for their role in Arsenal's turnaround.
The final inclusion may come as a surprise to some as West Ham's Craig Dawson makes the cut. He may be the least sexy player in player of the month history but he was an ever-present throughout a formidable January for the Hammers, whose undefeated start to the year was only ended by Liverpool on 31 January.
Tottenham's Son Heung-min won the October award, while Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes swept up in November and December, but both have endured a relatively quiet start to 2021.
You can vote for your favourite via the EA Sports website.
Source : 90min