Iwobi seeking to become fifth Nigerian player to win EPL player of the month award

Everton star to battle De Bruyne, Rashford, Billing, Ramsey and Hojbjerg for monthly award

Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi tops the list of six players that have been shortlisted for the Premier League Player of the Month award after producing outstanding performances in September.

The Everton forward has caught the eye in a new, deeper central-midfield position, helping Everton hold Liverpool to a goalless draw before setting up a goal against West Ham that gave the Toffees their first win of 2022/23.

Iwobi’s performances put him in contention to win the award for the first time in his career.

If he does, he will be the fifth Nigerian player to win the award after Austin Jayjay Okocha who is the first Nigerian to be so honoured after winning it in November 2003 while starring for Bolton and Peter Osaze Odemwingie who won the award thrice.

The former Stoke City and West Brom player won in September 2010, April 2011 and February 2012 while playing for the Baggies.

Others are Odion Ighalo in December 2015 and Kelechi Iheanacho who picked the award in March 2021 after scoring four times for Leicester City in the four Premier League games he featured in that month.

Iwobi will be up among others against Bournemouth’s Philip Billing who scored half of AFC Bournemouth’s September goals, sparking a 3-2 turnaround win at Nottingham Forest with a screamer before also netting in a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United.

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Jacob Ramsey of Aston Villa and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford are also in the running for the award.

De Bruyne moved two clear at the top of this season’s assists chart, setting up three of Manchester City’s four goals scored in September while Rashford was directly involved in a league-high four goals in September, assisting the winner at Leicester and playing a part in all three goals as Manchester United ended Arsenal’s perfect start.

Hojbjerg helped Tottenham Hotspur extend their unbeaten start to the season, scoring the opener in a 2-1 win over Fulham before setting up a goal against Leicester City.

Ramsey set up Aston Villa’s goal in their 1-1 draw with Man City before going one better by scoring the winner against Southampton. His displays have too earned him a maiden nomination.

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