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Thanks to their impressive performances in December, Englishmen of Nigerian descent will compete side by side for the monthly prize
Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun has been shortlisted for the Premier League Player of the Month award December 2, 2020 alongside Chelsea’s Faustino Anjorin and Southampton’s Nathan Tella.
The Anglo-Nigerian trio are among seven talents who made the cut decided by the Premier League Soccer Development Panel when coaches nominated the best performance of an opposing player in each of the league’s matches.
In the month under review, the 19-year-old Balogun scored the Gunners’ winning goal 2-1 over Leicester City. In that span, too, he played three internationals for the Emirates Stadium giants, while finding the net once in two substitute appearances in victories over Rapid Vienna and Dundalk in the Europa League before playing a marginal role in the defeat of Mikel Arteta 4-1. to Manchester City.
Anjorin, 19, contributed to the Blues’ 2-1 loss to Leicester City before finding the net twice and bagging two assists in Manchester United’s 6-1 annihilation to leave Chelsea on top of the league. Premier League 2 Division 1 at the end of 2020. It also made its full Champions League debut in a 1-1 draw against Krasnodar.
For Tella of Southampton, his only Division 1 game was memorable, scoring four goals in the Saints’ 5-2 win over Leicester City. The 21-year-old who had become a regular face in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first team also came in as a substitute during the England senior team’s 1-0 loss to Pep Guardiola.
Harvey White (Tottenham Hotspur), Brad Lyons (Blackburn Rovers), Harr Chapman (Blackburn Rovers) and Lewis Bate (Chelsea) complete the final cut as the panel will choose the winner who will take over Manchester’s Liam Delap headband. City, which won. the award in November.
“Nathan is a player and a person that we are proud of, who remains the same in terms of attitude regardless of whether he is with the first team or with the B team,” coach Dave Horseman said of Tella’s performances according to Southampton website.
“The game against Leicester showed the importance of the B-team concept as it allowed them to perform well using the same principles and philosophies as the first team.
“He plays with rhythm and energy with and against the ball and is direct in his thoughts and actions.”
Born in England, Balogun, Anjorin and Tella who have played for England at the youth levels are eligible to represent three-time African champion Nigeria at the senior level.