The Premier League Player of the Month award is always fun, recognising the best performer from the previous month.
And in recent times, it has gone to some unexpected recipients.
November’s winner was Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire. Having been the subject of mocking and taunting for his displays, the England international has enjoyed something of a turnaround to his career at Old Trafford.
And 2023’s final award went to Bournemouth forward Dominic Solanke. The former Liverpool man was previously written off as a flop but has since proven himself to be a capable striker at the top level.
Plenty of lesser-known names have scooped the gong in the past. Heck, Peter Odemwingie has three of them (yes, really).
By contrast, some of the league’s greatest ever are still yet to get their hands on the prize. Here are seven past and present Premier League gems who have never won the Player of the Month award.
Kevin De Bruyne
Since returning to England back in 2015, Kevin De Bruyne has been arguably the league’s finest player. In 241 league appearances for Manchester City, the Belgian has racked up an astonishing 65 goals and 103 assists – only Ryan Giggs and Cesc Fabregas have set up more goals.
On top of this, he is one of only seven players to win multiple PFA Player of the Year awards, and one of three to win it back-to-back.
He claimed the honour for the 2019/20 season after equalling the league’s assists record and was commended again the following year after leading the Cityzens to their fifth Premier League title.
And yet, he is still awaiting his first Player of the Month award. Surely a player of his talent won’t have to wait much longer?
De Bruyne isn’t the only Man City legend to be snubbed for the prize. Ivorian powerhouse Yaya Toure also dodged the honour throughout his eight seasons in the English top flight.
In his pomp, the former Barcelona midfielder was a near-perfect player. He had everything you could possibly want from a midfielder – he was strong, technically brilliant, an excellent passer, an unstoppable dribbler, a capable defender, a deadly set-piece taker and a serious goal threat.
The peak of his career at the Etihad Stadium undeniably came in the 2013/14 campaign. Toure was the driving force behind Man City’s second title win in three years, netting 20 goals and providing a further nine assists.
From one Ivorian to another, as Didier Drogba joins the list.
The striker is one of the most iconic players in Chelsea’s history, having bagged numerous goals on the biggest stage. His 164 strikes fired the Blues to four league titles, seven domestic cups and a Champions League.
His collection of individual prizes isn’t too bad, either. He has two Premier League Golden Boots to his name, two PFA Team of the Year appearances, a FIFPro World XI inclusion and a place in the Premier League’s Hall of Fame.
As the backbone of the great ‘Invincibles’, Patrick Vieira is without a doubt one of the finest to ever put on the red shirt of Arsenal. During the Frenchman’s nine years in London, the Gunners enjoyed great success, lifting three league titles and four FA Cups.
Following the retirement of club legend Tony Adams in 2002, Vieira was entrusted with the captain’s armband. This proved to be an inspired decision by manager Arsene Wenger, and he is now remembered as one of the greatest captains of the Premier League era.
Despite never earning a Player of the Month award, Vieira was given plenty of recognition throughout his time in England. The midfielder was named in PFA Team of the Year on six occasions – only Steven Gerrard (eight) has more appearances.
When N’Golo Kante first arrived in the Premier League in 2015 for a modest £5.6 million fee, no one could have envisaged what was about to come. He signed for Leicester City, who had narrowly avoided relegation the previous season.
The defensive midfielder instantly became one of the division’s most sought-after players. His ball-winning ability, relentless energy and technical quality helped the Foxes pull off the unlikeliest of underdog stories, winning the league title at odds of 5,000/1.
The following summer, Kante signed for Chelsea, who had just finished tenth. His arrival helped close a 31-point gap between the Blues and the summit, as they won their most recent league title. The midfielder was named the PFA Player of the Year for his efforts.
The Frenchman had more success in all competitions, lifting a Champions League, an FA Cup and a Europa League with Chelsea, as well as a World Cup with France. He now plies his trade in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad.
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Peter Schmeichel is on this list – only nine goalkeepers have received the honour. However, you’d still expect the Dane to be one of them.
Schmeichel is considered by many to be the Premier League’s very best goalkeeper. He sits 11th on the all-time clean sheets list with an impressive 128 in 350 appearances.
He had spells in England with Aston Villa and Man City, but his best years came with Manchester United. During his eight seasons with the Red Devils, he got his hands on ten major trophies, including a historic treble in 1999.
Of the 34 ‘100 club’ members, only five have never won the Player of the Month award. Of the 25 PFA Player of the Year winners in the Premier League era, only five have never won the Player of the Month award. Les Ferdinand is the only one to fall into both categories.
Remembered affectionately at Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, the forward is the division’s 12th-top scorer, accumulating 149 goals in 351 outings.
His personal best season was his debut campaign at the Magpies. Having joined from QPR that summer, he struck 29 goals in all competitions, inspiring his side to a title challenge and being named PFA Player of the Year.
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