The shortlist for the Premier League Player of the Month award for August has been revealed.
As the only team to maintain a 100% record last month, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Arsenal are the most represented team in the eight-man shortlist. They boast two candidates, while Brighton and Hove Albion, Manchester City, Fulham, Newcastle United, Leeds United, and Crystal Palace have one nominee each.
The winner is likely to be announced on September 16. Supporters can cast their vote here.
Pascal Gross – Brighton and Hove Albion
In what is likely to be Graham Potter’s final full month at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton have made a very impressive start to the campaign. They currently reside in fourth place, and Pascal Gross has played a huge part.
He began the season with a brace away at Manchester United to seal the Seagulls’ first ever win at Old Trafford. He later grabbed an assist for Leandro Trossard in the 2-0 win away at West Ham United, before scoring the winning goal at home to Leeds.
Erling Haaland – Manchester City
Erling Haaland was undeniably the headline signing of the transfer window. Having been chased by almost every top club in Europe, he opted to sign for Man City – his father’s former club.
To say he hasn’t disappointed would be an understatement. The Norwegian has made a mockery of the Premier League so far, sitting comfortably at the top of the league’s goal charts.
He began with a brace away at West Ham, and followed this up with an assist on his home debut against Bournemouth. The week after, he scored again in the thrilling 3-3 draw against Newcastle.
In City’s final two fixtures in August, Haaland reached another level. He bagged a hat-trick at home to Crystal Palace, and notched another treble just four days later against Nottingham Forest.
Five games, nine goals, one assist – Haaland is the clear favourite for the Player of the Month award.
Gabriel Jesus – Arsenal
With Haaland arriving, there didn’t seem to be much room left for Gabriel Jesus at the Etihad Stadium. He made the move to Arsenal, where he has started in fine fashion.
The forward endeared himself to the Gunners fans immediately, scoring two and assisting two on his home debut against Leicester City. He added to both tallies in the coming weeks, setting up a goal in the win against Bournemouth and opening the scoring in the home game versus Aston Villa.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – Fulham
Off the back of breaking the record for most goals in a single Championship season, Aleksandar Mitrovic returned to the top flight with the intention of proving his doubters wrong. Over the last few years, he’s gained a reputation for being a ‘too good for the Championship, not good enough for the Premier League’ player.
If August is anything to go by, we ought to stop hearing that phrase fairly soon. The Serbian kicked off the season with a brace at home to Liverpool, before grabbing a last-gasp winner against local rivals Brentford. He later added to his numbers with finishes against Arsenal and Brighton.
Martin Odegaard – Arsenal
Arsenal’s other representative on the shortlist is Martin Odegaard, who has also enjoyed an excellent start to the season.
His standout performance of August came at the Vitality Stadium, as he netted twice to sink Bournemouth. The following week, he was on the scoresheet again, hitting an equaliser in his side’s win against Fulham.
Nick Pope – Newcastle United
Nick Pope joined the Magpies from Burnley in the summer, and he has made a strong start to his career in the north-east.
The England international began with back-to-back clean sheets, keeping out Nottingham Forest and Brighton. He also received widespread praise for his performance against Man City, during which he made a number of impressive saves.
Rodrigo – Leeds United
Leeds are another who have started the season in good form. In August, the Yorkshire club lost just one of five outings, scoring eight while conceding just five.
Spain international Rodrigo has been the standout for Jesse Marsch’s men, netting on four occasions. He opened his account with a strike against Wolverhampton Wanderers, before striking a brace away at Southampton. This was followed by a fine showing against Chelsea, where he scored one and assisted one in a 3-0 win.
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
Having been given a tough set of opening fixtures, Crystal Palace have done relatively well so far. Wilfried Zaha has, once again, been the main man for the Eagles.
The 29-year-old registered his first goal of the season with at Anfield, and continued this form with a brace at home to Aston Villa. His fourth goal of the campaign was a stunner, curling home from outside the box in a 1-1 draw against Brentford.
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