Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has started the 2020/21 season with the same imperious swagger and dazzling creativity that we have come to expect from him.
The 25-year-old is a Fantasy Premier League player's dream, scoring four goals and providing four assists from midfield in the space of just six outings already this season.
While wearing the captain's armband, Grealish put in an outstanding display against Liverpool at the beginning of October and racked up an incredible five goal contributions as Villa humbled the champions 7-2 at Villa Park.
Having also averaged 3 dribbles, 2.8 key passes ten key passes and 4.2 free-kicks won per game in the current Premier League campaign, Grealish has, somewhat unsurprisingly, been one of the most outstanding Premier League talents of the season so far.
And his effervescent, highly influential performances have earned him a place on the shortlist for the GIVEMESPORT Fans' Player of the Month award.
Joining Grealish on the list are Karl Darlow, Ben Chilwell, Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, five players who have all enjoyed eye-catching openings to the new season.
But given what the Villa playmaker offered to his side in October, he has every chance of scooping the individual accolade.
Away from personal awards, though, there is a bigger prize in Grealish's crosshair: a place in Gareth Southgate's England starting XI.
With the exception of right-back, a position which England are so stocked in that they could probably fill an entire XI comprising solely of players in that position, attacking midfield is one of the most competitive within the squad.
That Grealish and James Maddison have only earned three England caps between them attests to the depth of options Southgate has at his disposal.
Southgate's seemingly unwavering faith in Mason Mount has been one of the fundamental reasons behind Grealish's lack of England action, but the continued selection of Chelsea's fleet-footed midfielder has left England fans frustrated of late.
Though Mount is regularly selected in Frank Lampard's starting XI, his statistical return is dwarfed by Grealish's output.
In a footballing world in which statistical analysis is becoming increasingly prominent and used to substantiate visceral feelings about certain players, the case for Grealish's inclusion is as stark as they come.
On his first start for the Three Lions against Wales last month, it only took 26 minutes for the Villa trainee to show Southgate one of the core weapons in his armoury. Grealish weaved inside from the right flank and caressed a delightful cross onto the head of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who converted the most gilt-edged of chances with a thumping header.
It was quintessential Grealish at his very best, showcasing his guile in possession and laser-like precision crossing in the space of just a few short seconds. But his impact in the friendly fixture wasn't enough to earn him a single minute of playing time in the Nations League fixtures against Belgium or Denmark.
Understandably, this left fans and pundits in exasperation, contemplating how much Grealish has to achieve to receive the international recognition his Premier League form so richly deserves.
Earlier this week Sky Sports pundit Joleon Lescott spoke on behalf of most England fans in discussion of Southgate's reluctance to hand the Villa star a proper opportunity to impress.
"For whatever reason, Grealish is not getting enough minutes.
"He definitely deserves more opportunity and needs more minutes to showcase what he can do.
"Everyone wanted him in the squad and he deservedly got his place," added Lescott. "But he didn't get many minutes in the last games, and it looked like England were struggling [against Denmark].
"Does he start ahead of Raheem Sterling or Marcus Rashford down the left wing? Possibly not. But there's definitely a role for him, to get him into the team - in advanced midfield or down the right side."
No player in England's top-flight has been fouled more times than Grealish this season, per Whoscored, as his close control, agility and quick-feet continue to bamboozle defenders on a weekly basis.
Only Harry Kane has provided more assists while Harry Kane and Bruno Fernandes are the only two players above him in the key pass charts. Those stats alone would suggest that he is the most creative outlet available to Southgate, which makes his peripheral status such a bone of contention for so many.
His inclusion in the latest England squad ahead of the games against Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland raises fresh questions over how Southgate can - or if he is even willing to - incorporate Grealish into his system.
Based on how the nominee for GMS' Fan's Player of the Month award has excelled this season, it can only be a matter of time before Southgate succumbs to the ethereal charm of a talent the likes of which are seldom seen in the England squad.
Does Grealish get your vote? Have your say in the GIVEMESPORT Fans' Player of the Month award below.News Now - Sport News