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Arsenal duo nominated for PFA Vertu Motors Fans’ Player of the Month awards

Gabriel Martinelli

PFA Vertu Motors Fans Player of the Month

The PFA Vertu Motors Fans' Player of the Month award nominations for December have been announced with six players from each of the top five professional leagues in England shortlisted for their outstanding performances in December.

Voting is now open for fans to pick one player from each league listed below to win the Player of the Month award – fans can do so on the website. [Hyperlink " website]

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), James Maddison (Leicester City), Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Martin Ødegaard & Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) make up the six-man shortlist for the Premier League.

This month's Premier League shortlist is packed with first-time nominees, as two of Arsenal's young Gunners, Ødegaard and Martinelli, make the list for amassing 11 direct goal contributions between them in the month. Manchester City’s form has seen the re-emergence of goal-hungry Raheem Sterling – with the Englishman netting five in a month where City won all their games. 

Since Antonio Conte's arrival, Tottenham have yet to lose a league game, largely due to Son Heung-min's goals and assists, having grabbed four goals and setting up two in the five games in the month. The midfield duo of Ward-Prowse and Maddison both enjoyed a return to form and they round out the Premier League shortlist. 

In the WSL, Rachel Williams (Tottenham Hotspur), Jessica Naz (Tottenham Hotspur), Deanne Rose (Reading), Vilde Bøe Risa, Alessia Russo and Ella Toone (Manchester United) make the cut for the December shortlist.

October winner Toone is up for the award once again alongside United teammates Bøe Risa and Russo for their performances in their comprehensive victories over Brighton and Aston Villa in December. Tottenham have two nominees this month, with Williams and Naz recognised for their crucial winning goals against Villa and Everton, respectively. Rose's goal gave her Reading side a shock victory over high-flying Chelsea, which earns her a place on the shortlist.

Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth), Ben Brereton-Diaz (Blackburn Rovers), Andraž Šporar, Paddy McNair (Middlesbrough), Colin Kazim-Richards & Luke Plange (Derby County) are the six players up for the award in the Championship.

Two teams, Middlesbrough and Derby, have two nominations each for this month's award. Šporar scored in each of the last three December games while McNair contributed towards four consecutive clean sheets as Chris Wilder's men went unbeaten in December. Kazim-Richards and 19-year-old Plange have formed an unlikely partnership as the Rams went four games unbeaten to end the month.

Frontmen Solanke and Brereton-Diaz are once again amongst the Championship nominees for their goalscoring exploits, with seven goals between them for their promotion-chasing teams.

In EFL League One, the six nominees are Matthew Taylor (Oxford United), James Norwood (Ipswich Town), Ross Stewart (Sunderland), Daniel Udoh (Shrewsbury Town), Connor Ogilvie & Gavin Bazunu (Portsmouth).

Taylor's four goals in December ensured his Oxford side lost just one of their five games while Norwood returned from a long-term injury with a bang for Ipswich, netting three in three for the Tractor Boys.

Stewart ended the year with a brilliant hat-trick against Sheffield Wednesday to wrap up an unbeaten month for his team and Udoh's five-goal contributions for Shrewsbury helped pull them away from the relegation spots. Portsmouth earned two nominees in a disrupted yet successful month, with Ogilvie and Bazunu's contributions to their three clean sheets in three games paramount to their success.

To wrap up the shortlist, Peter Clarke (Tranmere Rovers), Jake Beesley (Rochdale), Mathew Stevens (Forest Green Rovers), Aaron Collins (Bristol Rovers), Stephen McLaughlin (Mansfield Town), Mules Hippolyte (Scunthorpe United) are the six nominees for the award in League Two.

40-year-old Clarke did not miss a single minute for Tranmere in December, who won all four games without conceding a goal. Rochdale’s Beesley received a second nomination this season, scoring four and setting up another in his last two games of the year.

Forest Green have not lost a league game since October, holding an eight-point gap at the top of EFL League Two, and Stevens scored and assisted in both of his side's fixtures in the month.

Collins also scored in his last two games of the year in a highly disrupted month for Bristol Rovers, while McLaughlin played a starring role in each of in-form Mansfield's three victories. Hippolyte rounds off the shortlist with three goal contributions this month for Scunthorpe.

Cast your Player of the Month votes on the website - voting will close on Monday at 00:00 with the winners announced in the week following. 

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