Robert Lewandowski, Yuya Osako, Marcel Sabitzer, Jadon Sancho, Jonathan Schmid and Timo Werner are the nominees for the Bundesliga's August Player of the Month prize. The award, created by the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga in cooperation with the Bundesliga’s official licensing partner, EA SPORTS FIFA 20, is decided through a two-stage selection process that considers both the players' individual performance data and a vote by fans and experts.
FC Bayern München’s Robert Lewandowski has enjoyed perhaps his best ever start to a Bundesliga season. His haul of six goals from three games is the best by any player for 14 years and sees the four-time Torjägerkanone winner lead the Bundesliga scoring chart, which he has topped for the last two seasons. The Poland captain averages a goal every 45 minutes, which is the best rate in the league for a player to score more than one goal. The striker is always good for a record, and he set another on Matchday 1 against Hertha Berlin when Lewandowski became the first player ever to score on the opening weekend for five consecutive seasons.
Yet the 31-year-old has not just been creating headlines on the pitch, having recently extended his contract with the record champions until 2023. “FC Bayern has become my sporting home. I’m convinced we’ll achieve plenty more in the coming years. I’m proud to be a part of this club,” he said of his extension. Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reserved special praise Poland’s record goalscorer and appearance holder: “For me, Robert is the best centre-forward in the world.”
Yuya Osako has been Werder Bremen’s standout performer so far this season. The Japan international is the club’s top scorer with three goals in three games, already equalling his total from 21 appearances in 2018/19 and flourishing in his new role behind the two centre-forwards.
On Matchday 3 against Augsburg, Osako bagged the second brace of his Bundesliga career, and his first for Werder. It was a man-of-the-match performance having scored the opening goal and eventually the winner in the 3-2 victory. Thanks to him, Bremen were able to secure their first three points of the season. “For me, Yuya is an unbelievably good player,” said Werder head coach Florian Kohfeldt after the game. “He scores goals and is a playmaker at the same time.” Despite his excellent performance and the praise he received from all sides, Osako himself remained humble: “It was a very good game and I enjoy taking responsibility on the pitch, but it’s now about showing this level week after week and not getting too carried away right now.”
Marcel Sabitzer has played a large part in the fact that RB Leipzig are top of the table after three Matchdays. The Austrian particularly starred in their opening game at Union Berlin, scoring a goal and setting up a further three in the 4-0 win. Those three assists in August have him top of the league standings together with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
Under Julian Nagelsmann, Sabitzer has become one of the central figures at Leipzig. The 37-time Austria international has played every single minute under the new coach, whose style of play suits Sabitzer. “I get a lot of freedom around me and that’s good for me,” the 25-year-old explained. “I like how the coach lets us play and I want to pay him back for that out on the pitch.”
Sancho continues to develop at Borussia Dortmund, and that’s despite the fact that last season’s top assist-provider’s performances were already seen as almost world class. Sancho has had a hand in at least one goal in each game this term, scoring two himself and setting up a further three. As he was in 2018/19, he is again top of the assists chart alongside Leipzig’s Sabitzer. The England international is also Dortmund’s most prolific source of goals alongside top scorer Paco Alcacer.
Sancho set a Bundesliga record on Matchday 2 at Köln when he became the youngest-ever player to reach 15 goals in the league, at the age of 19 years and 151 days. His equaliser at the RheinEnergieStadion allowed BVB to turn the tide in a hard-fought game, coming from 1-0 down to win 3-1. His goal on Matchday 1 at home to Augsburg was equally as important as he put Borussia on course for victory with his trike to put them 2-1 ahead.
Jonathan Schmid returned to Freiburg from Augsburg this summer and has been playing like he was never away. The right-back has played every minute this season for the Black Forest club, whom he had previously left in 2015. He has been particularly key in attack with eight shots on goal – the second most for Freiburg. The Frenchman has also registered a goal from those efforts, finding the back of the net from outside the box on Matchday 1 against Mainz.
For Schmid, the move to Freiburg is a return home. “Freiburg was always my home and is a special club,” he told SWR Sport. “I’m now very happy to be back here. It’s very special here, it’s like a family and everyone fights for everyone else. That’s the most important thing here in football, for the club and the fans.” Schmid is among the reasons why Freiburg have started the season with two wins from three and are spending the first international break of 2019/20 in sixth place.
Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)
Timo Werner is enjoying perhaps the best form of his career at RB Leipzig. The striker has found the back of the net five times, scoring in each of the three Bundesliga matches so far, which is the longest scoring run he’s ever had. He is currently second in the league’s scoring chart, while his current tally is a personal best after three Matchdays. The Germany international averages a goal every 47 minutes this season, including the first hat-trick of his career on Matchday 3 at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Those three goals came just days after Werner signed a contract extension until 2023. “Of course this process was protracted, but I wanted to be completely certain I can take the next steps in my development at this club,” the 23-year-old said of his new deal. “And you sometimes you need a little longer to make the right decision. Now I can fully concentrate on having another season that’s as successful as possible with our team.” And Leipzig have enjoyed a perfect start to that mission as the only team to win their first three Bundesliga games, thanks above all to Werner’s goals.
Kai Havertz (May 2019
Kai Havertz (April 2019)
Max Kruse (March 2019)
Julian Brandt (February 2019)
Leon Goretzka (January 2019)
Marco Reus (December 2018)
Marco Reus (November 2018)
Jadon Sancho (October 2018)
Marco Reus (September 2018)