With only three matchdays last month, Premier League clubs had to make the most of their chances to either climb up the table or consolidate their respective positions. That’s not to say October wasn’t an entertaining month in the top flight – there were just three scoreless draws throughout the 30 games, albeit surprisingly including Manchester City’s trip to Liverpool.
But away from the teams and onto the individuals – here are the six Premier League stars nominated for the PFA Bristol Street Motors Fans’ Player of the Month award for October…
He may lack the playmaking abilities demanded from managers at the very top of the Premier League but Mat Ryan is no doubt one of the division’s best glovesmen when it comes to the nuts and bolts of the trade. He’s been crucial to Brighton’s success since their promotion to the top flight and even more so during the month of October, keeping three clean sheets and making the most saves of any goalkeeper in the Premier League as the Seagulls recorded three consecutive 1-0 wins.
Scintillating attacking football defined Manchester City’s 2017/18 title win but they’ve been far more solid defensively this time around, conceding a miserly three goals in the Premier League so far this season. Fernandinho has played a huge part in that sitting just in front of the backline, ever-present as City went through October without allowing any goals into Ederson’s net. Add a goal and an assist against Burnley and it was a great month for the Brazilian.
Ross Barkley dons the No.8 shirt at Chelsea and there’s certainly been something Frank Lampard-esque about his recent performances. October brought three goals and three assists in the Premier League, the England international serving as an offensive driving force from midfield to support the likes of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata in attack. It was a coming-of-age month for the former Everton star, who had previously become a little lost at Stamford Bridge.
Equally as pivotal as the aforementioned Ryan in Brighton’s October successes, Shane Duffy has been a key element of Chris Hughton’s side since first joining the club in 2016. Similar to Ryan, Duffy’s very much a throwback to more traditional times, putting his head where it hurts and making the most clearances of any Premier League player in October to ensure each of Brighton’s games last month ended in a clean sheet.
Anthony Martial hasn’t always enjoyed his time at Old Trafford but the Frenchman’s really come into his own over the last month with four Premier League goals from just three appearances. More than just sheer output though, the quality of the Manchester United attacker’s finishing has really stood out – chiefly the delicious curlers against Chelsea and Everton.
It’s not often a player gets nominated for a monthly award after making just a single start but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s impact from the bench throughout October was simply superb. With braces against Leicester and Fulham, alongside one assist versus the latter, the Gabon goalscorer was involved in one goal every 12 minutes during last month’s pair of substitute outings. Also netting against Crystal Palace last weekend, Aubameyang’s return for October stands at five goals and one assist from just 135 minutes’ worth of top flight action.