Thanks to their impressive performances in December, the Englishmen of Nigerian descent will face each other neck and neck for the monthly prize
Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun was shortlisted for Premier League 2 Player of the Month in December 2020 alongside Chelsea’s Faustino Anjorin and Southampton’s Nathan Tella.
The Anglo-Nigerians are among seven talents who made the selection decided by the Premier League Football Development Panel as coaches named an opposing player’s best performance in each of the league games.
In the month under review, 19-year-old Balogun scored the winner of the Gunners’ 2-1 victory over Leicester City. During that span he also made three senior caps for the Emirates Stadium giants, while finding the net once in two substitutes in wins over Rapid Vienna and Dundalk in the Europa League before playing a marginal role in Mikel Arteta’s men’s 4-1 defeat. in Manchester City.
19-year-old Anjorin contributed to the Blues’ 2-1 loss to Leicester City before finding the net twice and winning two assists in Manchester United’s 6-1 decimation to leave Chelsea atop the Premier League 2 Division 1 at the end of 2020. He also made his Champions League debut in a 1-1 draw against Krasnodar.
For Southampton’s Tella her only Division 1 game has been memorable – scoring four goals in the Saints’ 5-2 triumph over Leicester City. The 21-year-old who had become a regular face in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first team also came as a substitute in the senior team’s 1-0 loss in England flight to Pep Guardiola.
Harvey White (Tottenham Hotspur), Brad Lyons (Blackburn Rovers), Harr Chapman (Blackburn Rovers) and Lewis Bate (Chelsea) complete the final cup as the panel will choose the winner who will take over the tiara from Manchester City’s Liam Delap who won the price in November.
“Nathan is a player and a person that we are proud of, who stays the same in terms of attitude, whether with the first team or the B team,” said coach Dave Horseman of the performance of Tella by Southampton website.
“The game against Leicester showed the importance of the B team concept as it enabled them to perform well using the same principles and philosophies of the first team.
“He plays with pace and energy with and against the ball and is direct in his thoughts and actions.”
Born in England, Balogun, Anjorin and Tella who played for England at youth level are eligible to represent Nigeria three times African champion at senior level.