The chaos of deadline day—or just the expectation of it—means voting for Liverpool’s player of the month for a much improved January arrives a little late, but when it comes to looking back on a month where the club took a major step in the right direction on the pitch, it’s better late than never. So now, belatedly, it’s time to decide who joins Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Leiva, and Adam Lallana as one of Liverpool’s players of the month for the 2014-15 campaign.
For January, the two clear frontrunners are Philippe Coutinho, who earned 25 points from Man of the Match voting across Liverpool’s eight games, and Mamadou Sakho, who earned 23. Following every match, Liverpool Offside readers rank the performances of the players, and at the end of the month the players are given five points for being named Man of the Match through to one for coming in fifth. Of the two frontrunners, Coutinho was named man of the match twice and Sakho earned that honour once.
Other contenders for January are Lucas (16 points, one Man of the Match award), Lazar Markovic and Emre Can (both with 10 points and one man of the match award), Raheem Sterling (seven points), Simon Mignolet (six points, one Man of the Match award), and Martin Skrtel (six points). None, though, seem likely to seriously compete with Coutinho and Sakho for Player of the Month honours, which means it’s a choice between selecting the first repeat winner or the fifth new Player of the Month.