The shortlist for the English Premier League’s African Player of the Month of November has been released by organisers, New African Soccer.
In a statement released by Publisher and Awards Director Tunde Adelakun, Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony, Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and Crystal Palace’s Yannick Bolasie made the final three for the month.
Adelakun said that it was difficult to ignore the exploits of Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony at Swansea City. “Bony has led the line well for Swansea, and has led them through a difficult round of fixtures in November”, he said.
Bony featured in all four of Swansea’s November games in the League, scoring twice; in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City and in the 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace.
A gradually re-emerging Yaya Toure did not miss the attention of the Award organisers, and he earned his place in the shortlist for only the first time this season.
“Yaya Toure has endured a very shaky start to his season at Manchester City. Some have said it was probably due to fatigue from the World Cup, plus the huge controversy around his birthday issues during the pre-season, but although still nowhere near his best, we are starting to see Yaya Toure coming back, and he fully deserves his place on the shortlist” Adelakun explained.
Toure has played all 90 minutes in all four of Manchester City’s games in November, scoring two crucial goals in the process - an equaliser for Manchester City against Swansea en route to a 2-1 comeback win, and breaking the deadlock against high-flying Southampton in a 3-0 demolition of the Saints.
What might come as a surprise inclusion in the shortlist is Crystal Palace’s DR Congolese Yannick Bolasie. With Crystal Palace having an inconsistent run in the Premier League, Adelakun explained the choice of Bolasie in the shortlist.
“Our Awards are not only for goalscoring, nor are they only meant for the so-called big teams or big names. Rather, we want to see work rate and effective passion for the game, and we think Bolasie has displayed that” he said.
“Bolasie has been a thorn in the flesh of many defences in November. His pace, width and trickery was always a delight to watch, and when his team is winning, it is a real spectacle” he added.
Voters are welcome to make their choices from these three players via the New African Soccer website (newafricansoccer.com) or their Twitter account (@NASmagazine).
The winner will be announced by Thursday 4 December.