The PFA Vertu Motors Fans’ Player of the Month award nominations for October have been made today. Six players from each of the top five professional leagues in England have been shortlisted for their outstanding performances in October.
Chelsea duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell join September winner Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Declan Rice (West Ham), Phil Foden (Manchester City) and Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace) as the six players up for the award in the Premier League.
Unsurprisingly, table-toppers Chelsea have two representatives for the award in goalscoring full-backs James and Chilwell – the pair have managed seven Premier League goals between them so far. Phil Foden has flourished in his new forward role at City while Rice and Gallagher have put in talismanic performances for their respective sides to earn nominations.
September’s winner Salah earns a nomination for the second month in a row, even surpassing his goal tally in September with five this month, including a historic hat-trick at Old Trafford in Liverpool’s 5-0 win against Manchester United.
League leaders Arsenal have had another glittering month in the FA Barclays WSL and earned themselves another three nominations. Kim Little, Katie McCabe and Lotte Wubben-Moy are joined by Fran Kirby (Chelsea) and Manchester United pair Hannah Blundell and Ella Toone.
Like Salah in the Premier League, the winner of the WSL award in September, Kirby, receives a second consecutive nomination for the prize after another outstanding month for Emma Hayes’ Chelsea side.
Little is also nominated for a second time alongside teammates McCabe and Wubben-Moy, who have all made significant contributions to Arsenal maintaining their 100% start in the league. In October, Blundell and Toone were directly involved in all four of United’s goals, which also sees them on to the shortlist.
In the Championship, the six nominees are Karlan Grant (West Bromwich Albion), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham), Jerry Yates (Blackpool), Jamie Paterson (Swansea), Gary Cahill & Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth).
Bournemouth are one of only two teams in the Premier League and EFL who remain unbeaten. Solanke scored in all but one of the Cherries’ five October fixtures, while Cahill has been a crucial addition to a defence that kept four clean sheets in a row in the same month.
Fulham and West Brom are the closest teams to Bournemouth at the top of the table thanks to the goalscoring exploits of nominees Mitrovic and Grant. Blackpool won four of their five games in October, powered by Yates’ four goals, while midfield general Paterson led Swansea’s resurgence this month after a poor start.
Michael Smith (Rotherham United), Harry Pell (Accrington Stanley), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Matty Taylor (Oxford United), Ryan Tafazolli (Wycombe Wanderers) & Conor Grant (Plymouth Argyle) are the six nominees for the EFL League One award.
Braces in comprehensive wins over Portsmouth and Sunderland for Rotherham have earned marksman Smith a nomination this month, while Wigan’s McClean also grabbed four goals in the month to get on the shortlist.
Three crucial goals from midfield for Grant helped Plymouth stay unbeaten throughout October, which Tafazolli and Wycombe replicated. Three goals from Taylor helped Oxford put an inconsistent September behind them with five victories this month, with Oxford scoring at least two in all of them.
In EFL League Two, Matty Jay (Exeter City), Dom Telford (Newport County), Tom James (Leyton Orient), George Miller (Walsall), Tom Conlon (Port Vale) and Robert Milsom (Sutton United) were all nominated.
Apart from the month's first game, Jay has scored in every game in October for Exeter, who had an unbeaten month, including three consecutive victories heading into November. Walsall also went unbeaten in October, thanks mainly to loanee Miller’s five goals in the month.
Telford had an electric end to the month with seven goals in just three games, including a hat-trick against Stevenage. Port Vale skipper Conlon has led the way for the team in October with five goal contributions from midfield, while full-backs James and Milsom have put in stellar performances on both ends of the field.
Fans can vote for the PFA Player of the Month votes via the 90min.com website - voting will close on Sunday 10 October at midnight, with the winners announced in the week following.