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Norwich City: Gabriel Sara wins EFL Championship player of the month

Sara started every game as the Canaries went unbeaten in the first month of the season, scoring once and registering two assists.

His only goal was a fine long-range strike in a 4-4 draw with promotion favourites Southampton, but the Brazilian also contributed outside of goals and assits for the Norfolk club.

He and Kenny McLean formed a consistently strong axis as Norwich claimed 10 points from their opening four fixtures, including comfortable wins over Millwall and Huddersfield and a last-gasp victory against Hull City.

Sara also created 19 chances during those four fixtures, with David Wagner’s side second in the Championship at their conclusion.

City’s September started with a miserable 2-1 defeat at Rotherham United, but Sara claimed the award after an electric month, beating off competition from Ipswich Town’s Sam Morsy, the Tigers’ Ozan Tufan, and Andre Vidigal of Stoke.

The 23-year-old was named Norwich player of the season by fans at the conclusion of the 2022-23 campaign, and has carried that form into the new term as his team have surprised many with a fast start in the second division.

He’s done that in spite of a shortened pre-season during which his appendix was removed, and less than two friendly games to prepare.

Wagner, meanwhile, has missed out on the manager of the month accolade, after being shortlisted alongside Sara.

The award has instead gone to Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca, who oversaw a perfect start to the campaign for the Foxes.

They collected 12 points from a possible 12 as they stormed to the top of the league with a series of one-goal wins over Coventry, Huddersfield, Cardiff and Rotherham. Like Norwich, however, they began September with a loss, going down 1-0 to Hull at the King Power Stadium.

That leaves Preston North End top of the table after five Championship games, with City’s bitter East Anglian rivals Ipswich ahead of the chasing pack on goal difference.

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