Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has been named the Premier League’s player of the month for January.
The Germany international was expected to have to fight for his place in the City team this season, but his performances have gone from strength to strength, contributing to a formidable run of form for Pep Guardiola’s side.
They have won ten matches on the spin to open up some breathing space at the top of the Premier League table, and six of those victories came in a January that saw Gundogan stand out from the crowd.
Not exactly renowned for his goalscoring prowess, the City number 8 netted five times in six league starts, including an impressive double against West Brom at The Hawthorns that inspired them to a thumping five goal win.
He fired in a goal of the season contender against Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium, skipping past Andros Townsend before angling a strike into Vicente Guaita’s far corner.
Gundogan also opened the scoring against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, beating Edouard Mendy from the edge of the area with a driven strike that got City on their way to a comfortable away win.
A series of impressive displays were enough to see him fight off stiff competition for the award. While Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes wasn’t nominated after winning the award in November and December, Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish was one of the leading contenders, while Leicester’s resurgent James Maddison was also in the running.
Man City teammate John Stones was also named on a star-studded eight-player shortlist – but it’s Gundogan who takes the crown.
He will be hoping to keep up his imperious form as he looks to win the Premier League for the third time since his move from Borussia Dortmund in 2016.