After scoring three and assisting four throughout the month of December, Bruno Fernandes recently won his fourth Premier League Player of the Month award in 12 months, becoming the first player in history to do so and placing him in joint sixth place on the all-time list.
The Portuguese sensation has been an absolute revelation since joining Manchester United on January 30 last year, when they were languishing six points adrift of a Champions League spot and a whopping 14 points off third place Leicester City.
Seven months, 14 appearances, eight goals, seven assists, and two Player of the Month awards later, the Portuguese sensation had single-handedly — albeit with the assistance of the occasional penalty — dragged United to a 3rd place finish.
Since then, Bruno has racked up a further 11 goals, seven assists, and two Player of the Month awards, leaving him in sixth place on the all-time list, tied with Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, Alan Shearer, and Jamie Vardy. Illustrious company indeed.
In honour of his incredible achievement, we take a closer look at the top five Premier League Player of the Month award winners.
Robin Van Persie, 5 awards
At the peak of his powers, Robin Van Persie was the most feared striker in the Premier League.
‘The Flying Dutchman’ netted 96 goals in 194 top-flight appearances across an eight-year period for Arsenal, before controversially joining Manchester United for £25 million in August 2012, where he would go on to record a further 48 goals in 86 Premier League appearances.
He was the crucial ingredient in United’s last Premier League-winning team, lifting the trophy back in 2012–13 and bagging 26 Premier League goals in the process.
The revered hitman won his first Player of the Month award back in November 2005, after eight goals in eight starts, however, he would have to wait just under four years for his next award, which he picked up in October 2009. His last three awards came in October 2011, December 2012 & April 2013, a period of time when the left-footed hitman was in his absolute prime.
Wayne Rooney, 5 awards
Of course, Wayne Rooney had to be on this list. The second top scorer in Premier League history with a massive 208 goals, England’s all-time leading goalscorer with 53, winner of five Premier League’s, three league cups, one FA Cup, one Europa League, one Club World Cup, and last but not least, the 2008 Champions League.
The talented Scouscer really has done it all, rubber stamping himself as one of the finest footballer’s English football has ever seen. Considering his long list of achievements, it is strange that many ask the question as to whether he ever fully realised the enormous potential he displayed during his breakout performances at Euro 2004.
Bursting onto the scene at 16-years-old manchild with his 30-yard screamer against Arsenal, the wonderkid went on to score 15 Premier League goals in two years for boyhood club Everton, before joining Manchester United for £25 million on transfer deadline day in August 2004 and in the process becoming the most expensive teenager in football history in the process.
In February that season, he would go on to win his first Premier League Player of the Month award, before winning further awards in December 2005, March 2006, October 2007, and January 2010, at which point it looked a surefire bet that the scouser would sit head and shoulders above the rest on this list.
However, during the last eight years of his Premier League career, the ex-England captain didn’t win a single Player of the Month award, perhaps adding weight to the claims that he may not have reached the lofty heights that were expected of him when Clyde Tyldsley uttered the words: “Remember the name, Wayne Rooney!”
Harry Kane, 6 awards
It’s crazy to think that Harry Kane is still only 27-years-old. It feels as though he has been scoring goals since the dawn of time. In fact, it was as recent as November 2014 when England’s future icon scored his first Premier League goal against Aston Villa, breaking into the first team due to the poor form of Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor. As we all know, he seized the opportunity with both hands.
Two months after scoring his first Premier League goal, Kane was winning his first Player of the Month award in January 2015, before going on to retain the award the following month, becoming the first player to win back-to-back awards since Cristiano Ronaldo achieved the feat in November & December 2006.
The Spurs talisman won further player of the month awards in March 2016, February 2017, September 2017, and December 2017, however, he has not won the award in the last three years, despite scoring 154 Premier League goals in 224 appearances. He is already ninth on the Premier League all-time top scorers list, and with 32 goals in 51 appearances for England, he looks set to break every record in the book.
Steven Gerrard, 6 awards
Steven Gerrard would certainly swap his six Player of the Month awards for just one Premier League winners medal. Liverpool’s heartbeat for so many years came as close as ever to that elusive Premier League title in 2013/14, before heartbreakingly slipping and allowing Demba Ba to nip in, silence the Kop and leave the Reds’ title challenge in tatters.
Mr Liverpool won his first player of the month award back in March 2001, before going on to win a historic treble later that season, lifting the FA Cup, League Cup, and UEFA cup.
However, it’s the 2004/05 season that he will remember most fondly. Winning his third player of the month award in December 2004, Liverpool’s inspirational captain would go on to lift the Champions League trophy in Istanbul later that season, after historically dragging his team back from 3–0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties in arguably the greatest Champions League final of all-time.
In April the following season, Gerrard would win his fourth Player of the Month award, and headed to the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff, the following month, where he would score two goals in an epic FA Cup final — the second of which a 40-yard blockbuster — en route to the Anfield side beating West Ham on penalties and lifting the trophy.
His other awards came in March 2003 and March 2009 before winning his final gong during that unsuccessful title challenge in March 2014.
Sergio Aguero, 7 awards
At the summit of this list is Sergio Aguero. Man City’s number 10 has scored 180 goals in 268 Premier League appearances, won four top-flight titles, five League Cups and one FA Cup, proving to be nothing short of a phenomenon since moving to the Etihad from Atletico Madrid for £35 million in August 2011.
Surprisingly, the little Argentine had to wait over two years for his first Player of the Month award, which came in October 2013. Later that season, Aguero wrapped up his second Premier League title, taking full advantage of Gerrard’s slip and Liverpool’s capitulation.
Winning further awards in November 2014, January 2016, April 2016, January 2018, and February 2019, one has to wonder just how many more awards he would have won had injuries not gotten in the way.
His last award came in January 2020 and we haven’t seen much of him since. Now aged 32 and approaching the twilight of his career, with persistent injuries continuing to take their toll, whether he can add another Player of the Month award to his collection remains to be seen.