Nedum Onuoha was named Thomas Cook player of the month for March today at a special lunch at the City of Manchester Stadium.
The England Under-21 skipper has been consistently impressive at the centre of the Blues defence alongside City captain Richard Dunne, whose own performances made him a contender along with goalkeeper Shay Given.
But Nedum's composed and authoritative displays at the back last month following his determined fight to claim a regular place in the starting line-up edged the award for the talented 22-year-old.
Modest Onuoha said: "It was always a matter of waiting for my chance and then taking it. With someone like Richard Dunne next to me the work gets shared - a lot of other players did well last month as well. We're not individuals but a unit at the back, the four of us and the keeper."
The judges said: "Naturally there were several candidates for the top prize starting at the back with Shay Given, who has yet to concede at home in the Premier League since arriving from Newcastle and was the hero in the penalty shoot out in Aalborg.
"Skipper Richard Dunne also caught the eye on more than one occasion in the six games last month as he returned to the kind of form that has seen him pick up the player of the year trophy on four successive occasions.
"But in the end the panel unanimously plumped for the man who plays alongside Dunne at the heart of the defence. After a lengthy spell on the sidelines his patience, dedication and hard work have been rewarded with an extended run in the side and he has barely put a foot wrong in a string of impressive performances."
Reserve player of the month is centre-half and FA Youth Cup-winning captain Ben Mee. Player of the month for the Academy is being held over with the squad away in Texas for the Dallas Cup.