The first GIVEMESPORT Fans’ Player of the Month awards of 2021 are here and, in this instance, we’re looking at the best performances in the Sky Bet Championship.
January is always a testing time for clubs in the EFL and the second tier arguably sees the most frantic fixture list with FA Cup football coming into the equation.
Throw in the unprecedented circumstances this season has provided and you get quite the potent mix for players and managers to deal with, though the six footballers below seem to have done so with aplomb.
Here, we take a look at the six Championship players who impressed us so much that they’ve earned nominations for the GIVEMESPORT Fans’ Player of the Month award.
All stats courtesy of Whoscored.
Nominee: Seny Dieng
Dieng became QPR’s number 1 stopper at the start of the season and hasn’t looked back ever since.
The winter window saw him linked with the likes of Arsenal and Leeds United but there were no concrete offers and QPR will be delighted about that.
The Hoops embarked on decent form in January with their away form particularly pleasing as Dieng recorded clean sheets against the likes of Cardiff City and Luton Town.
Nominees: Grant Hanley, Darragh Lenihan
Norwich City continued their promotion challenge in style during January and Hanley was a key part of their good form.
The likes of Teemu Pukki, Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell obviously get the lion’s share of the headlines but without the likes of Hanley at the back, the Canaries wouldn’t be where they are.
He helped the Yellows record four clean sheets in January.
Blackburn bolstered their play-off challenge in January with some impressive results.
Many have marvelled at their attacking potency this season in the Championship and rightly so but it was their defensive work that really earned them the points in January.
Skipper Lenihan was crucial in that as they recorded three clean sheets with him in the side, with two of those matches seeing 1-0 scorelines in favour of Rovers.
Nominee: Matt Crooks
Rotherham United really upped the ante in the relegation battle in the Championship with some excellent form for Paul Warne’s men.
Matt Crooks enjoyed a fine time of it, as well, with him regularly breaking lines and linking up nicely with Millers forward Michael Smith.
They’re dovetailing well and Crooks scored three and set up another in a strong month, with big performances coming against Stoke City, Middlesbrough and Derby County.
Nominees: Lucas Joao, Ivan Toney
Reading forward Joao was back in the Royals’ side after a recent injury and underlined the quality he brings with a stellar January.
Veljko Paunovic’s men have been one of the stories of the season with their play-off challenge and last month suggested they are going to be there for the rest of the campaign.
Joao scored four goals and set-up another one during the month of January.
Joao, though, is chasing Toney in the Golden Boot race with the Brentford star continuing his exemplary form in front of goals for the Bees.
Thomas Frank’s side really are hitting their stride at the moment and will be eyeing the title, with Toney leading the charge.
He scored six goals and added three assists in the month of January, with a hat-trick coming in the 7-2 demolition of Wycombe Wanderers.