Kai Havertz has beaten off competition from the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Benjamin Pavard, Christoph Baumgartner, Achraf Hakimi and Timo Werner to be named as the May Player of the Month. 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.
Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)
No player netted more times in May than Kai Havertz, who added to his growing reputation with five goals to help Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s top-four push. All of those strikes came away from home – two with his head, two with his left foot, and one with his right foot – and when Havertz got on the scoresheet Leverkusen won. First up was a headed double in a 4-1 win over SV Werder Bremen, closely followed by another brace in the 3-1 success at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Although the 20-year-old missed out against VfL Wolfsburg, he grabbed his 11th goal of the campaign in the 1-0 victory at SC Freiburg.
Already the youngest player to make 100 Bundesliga appearances, Havertz claimed another record with that effort on Matchday 29. He became the first player in league history aged under 21 to score 35 goals. The Germany attacker, positioned more often as the central striker in 2020, now has nine goals in 12 Bundesliga matches this year.
The other nominees
Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
Now thriving in central midfield rather than at right-back, Joshua Kimmich is a vital cog in the FC Bayern München machine. If more proof was needed, the Germany international stepped up to score what he said was the best goal of his career in the Matchday 28 victory at Borussia Dortmund. Kimmich’s clever chip – his third strike of the season – proved the difference in the top-of-the-table Klassiker, and is a major reason why Bayern are on course to become German champions for the eighth year in a row. Big players perform on the big occasion, and Kimmich covered 13.7 kilometres against Dortmund – a record for a Bayern player since such statistics have been tracked.
But that was far from the only contribution the 25-year-old made in May. He also provided assists in wins over 1. FC Union Berlin and Fortuna Düsseldorf, meaning that he had a hand in goals during three of Bayern’s four matches. Kimmich also kept things ticking in the engine room for the defending champions, with 90 per cent of his passes finding a teammate.
Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich)
Prior to the resumption of the Bundesliga, Benjamin Pavard said that, while he had good statistics for his first season with FC Bayern München, he was keen to add more goals. The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner followed up his words with action in May, heading home from two Joshua Kimmich corners in wins against 1. FC Union Berlin and Fortuna Düsseldorf.
The man who replaced Kimmich at right-back won over 72 per cent of his aerial duels between Matchdays 26 and 29, helping the defending champions to a clean sweep of four wins as well as three clean sheets. Boasting a pass completion rate of over 90 per cent in May, Pavard – relegated with VfB Stuttgart in 2018/19 – is becoming a mainstay in the Bayern defence. “Benji is a player who is very consistent,” Bayern head coach Hansi Flick said of the 24-year-old after the Düsseldorf win. “You can always rely on him 100 per cent.”
Christoph Baumgartner (Hoffenheim)
Austria U21 Christoph Baumgartner has emerged as an important player in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s drive for a European place, most notably with his eye-catching first Bundesliga double in the 3-1 win over 1. FC Köln. The 20-year-old played a part in all the goals in that Matchday 28 victory, sliding home the opener, heading in the second, and then – with a gorgeous backheeled flick – laying on the third for Steven Zuber.
It was the first time that Baumgartner – a Hoffenheim academy graduate – had been involved in more than one goal in a Bundesliga game. The attacking midfielder has now netted six times in the league in 2019/20, meaning he’s only one behind Hoffenheim’s top goalscorer Andrej Kramaric.
Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund)
Achraf Hakimi’s second season at Borussia Dortmund has been even more spectacular than his first, and he continued to showcase his thrilling talent – and pace – as he raided down the right in May. The Morocco international got two goals in Dortmund’s four matches, and he is the only player to have featured in all 41 of the club’s competitive games this season.
One of Hakimi’s 35 starts across all competitions came in his team’s first match back after the season was interrupted, when he helped BVB to a 4-0 thumping of local rivals FC Schalke 04. The 21-year-old then grabbed the insurance goal in a 2-0 win at VfL Wolfsburg and – although he was blunted by Bayern – he soon added his fifth league goal of the season. All of them have come on the road, the latest of which was in the 6-1 hammering of SC Paderborn. Officially the fastest player in the Bundesliga, Hakimi was clocked running at 35 kilometres per hour in May, but his record – set earlier in the campaign – still stands at 36.49 km/h.
Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)
RB Leipzig and Germany star Timo Werner took his Bundesliga goals tally to 25 for the season after adding four more in May. He scored two with his right foot and two with his left, while two of those efforts came on the break. On Matchday 27, the former Stuttgart striker got his third hat-trick of the campaign during a 5-0 hammering of Mainz. He had also scored three in the reverse fixture – a crushing 8-0 success in November. No player had got a treble against the same team twice in the same season since Ulf Kirsten went to town on Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1998/99.
After scoring in the 4-2 win in Cologne on Matchday 29, Werner is also the first German player to reach 25 league goals in a season since Stefan Kießling in 2012/13. The last German to hit the mark after 29 games was Mario Gomez in 2011/12. Werner’s speed and direct style make him the perfect player to thrive on the counter attack, so perhaps that’s why 15 of his goals this term have come away from home. Only Gerd Müller, Jupp Heynckes, Edin Dzeko, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have done something similar in the past.
Jadon Sancho (February)
Erling Haaland (January)
Timo Werner (December)
Timo Werner (November 2019)
Serge Gnabry (October 2019)
Amine Harit (September 2019)
Robert Lewandowski (August 2019)
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)