Georginio Rutter made a name for himself by scoring his first Bundesliga goal just three minutes into his Hoffenheim debut, and his trajectory has skyrocketed ever since. But what else is there to know about the young French attacker?
Club: Leeds United
Country: France (four U21 caps)
Born and raised in the north-western French town of Plescop in April 2002, Rutter spent much of his youth career at local club Vannes before being snapped up by Rennes, located 70 miles to the east, at the age of 15 in 2017.
His progress was swift and in the 2019/20 season he scored one goal in four UEFA Youth League appearances for the U19s, as well as hitting five goals and one assist in 12 outings for the Rennes reserves. Rutter was soon a permanent fixture with the pros and after being an unused member of matchday squads on a number of occasions, he made his senior debut in Ligue 1 in September 2020, the first of four top-flight outings in France, as well as finding the net on his UEFA Champions League debut in December that year in a 3-1 defeat by Sevilla.
Having tracked the promising teenager for a while, Hoffenheim made their move in January 2021, agreeing a four-and-a-half-year deal on deadline day. The Sinsheim club didn't have to wait long for a return on their investment. Rutter made his Bundesliga bow as an 87th-minute substitute against Werder Bremen three weeks later – and just three minutes after taking to the pitch he lashed in a thunderous left-footed strike to seal a 4-0 victory.
Still just 18 at the time, Rutter nevertheless became a mainstay in the Hoffenheim side and made 33 Bundesliga appearances in 2021/22, scoring eight times and providing two assists. All of which earned him a place among the 2021 Golden Boy award nominees, a call-up to the France U21 squad – with the first of four caps to date coming in March 2022 – as well as an early contract extension at Hoffenheim through to June 2026. He joined Premier League side Leeds United in January 2023.
It is perhaps no wonder then, that Rutter seems to be permanently in a good mood. "I think it comes from my parents, my upbringing," he said. "It's important for people who look up to me. It's just the way I am. I'm a very warm-hearted person. I almost always have a smile on my face."
Plays a bit like: Serge Gnabry
Part centre-forward, part jet-heeled winger, there is something very Gnabry-esque about watching Rutter play – even if he wears 'Georginio' on the back of his shirt as he believes it "suits his style better". He is among the 50 quickest players in the Bundesliga with a top speed of 34.54 km/h (21.46 mph), so his pace, direct running and mesmerising dribbling make him a handful for any defender. Add into the mix that he is equally comfortable out wide as he is through the middle and it becomes clear just why Rutter is so highly regarded.
Did you know?
Going into the 2022/23 winter break, Rutter had 11 career Bundesliga goals to his name from 57 appearances. And despite scoring almost half of those with his right foot (five), the attacker says he is actually better with his left, with which he has struck three times: "I think my left foot is my stronger foot, but I'm extremely confident with my right foot as well. I'd say I'm two footed, but a bit stronger with my left foot."
What they're saying
"My qualities come to the fore in one-on-one situations. I can outfox a lot of opponents with my speed. I'm not scared of losing the ball. Those are all attacking attributes that make the game attractive." - Rutter on his strengths
"Georginio's development over the last year with us has been breathtaking. He's one of the most promising young players in European football and his move to Hoffenheim has helped him progress considerably. Despite his young age he already has an unbelievable blend of athleticism, technique, speed and an eye for goal." – Hoffenheim sporting director Alexander Rosen
"He's still young and still has a lot of work to do. Georginio has huge potential but he's nowhere near finished yet." – Hoffenheim coach Andre Breitenreiter
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