Erling Haaland has beaten off competition from Wout Weghorst, Marcus Thuram, Jamal Musiala, Roland Sallai and Christian Günter to win the Bundesliga Player of the Month award for April.
The official "Player of the Month" award has been created by DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga in cooperation with the Bundesliga's official licence partner EA SPORTS. The Bundesliga's 18 club captains, a panel of experts and fans cast their votes, with the winning player receiving an upgraded player card in FIFA 21.
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
Borussia Dortmund breathed new life into the race for UEFA Champions League qualification in April. VfL Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt looked set to make the top four, but BVB have taken advantage of slips by their rivals with a healthy haul of points themselves. Of course, that was aided by ever-reliable goalscorer Erling Haaland. The Norwegian was at the double when needed, bagging a clinical brace in the crucial 2-0 win away at the Wolves. He also got two as Dortmund saw off SV Werder Bremen and now has 10 braces or better this season, which is the most of any player in the league.
The 20-year-old also claimed a season best on Matchday 28 away at VfB Stuttgart when he became the first and so far only player in 2020/21 to reach the magic top speed mark of 36 km/h (22.37 mph). Haaland is quick, direct and so lethal in front of goal. He had a total of 22 shots in April, which was the most in the division. His resulting goals tally was also a league best alongside Frankfurt’s Andre Silva with four each.
Wout Weghorst (VfL Wolfsburg)
Strikers are judged on goals, especially when they set themselves a target at the start of the season. VfL Wolfsburg's Wout Weghorst actually passed the 14 he set himself so quickly that he had to raise the bar again. After notching his 17th goal of the campaign on Matchday 28, he said he's going for 20. And the Dutchman has now even reached that mark thanks to one of the Bundesliga's most prolific spells in April, with only Erling Haaland and Andre Silva scoring more times.
Weghorst was directly involved in five goals during the last month, scoring three himself and setting up teammates on another two occasions. Given Wolfsburg scored nine times in April, the 1.97-tall striker had a hand in over half of their total.
Marcus Thuram (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Borussia Mönchengladbach coach Marco Rose was able to breathe a sigh of relief in the middle of April after seeing Marcus Thuram's efforts on the pitch. The Frenchman's performances had been a little off previously, which Rose saw as normal for a young player. "Marcus had an amazing start, a great first season. He then got injured towards the end and had to have an operation. We then needed a bit of time to get him back to form. It was a learning process for him," the Gladbach boss explained of the desired upturn in his quick and assured forward.
Thuram has a combined nine goals and assists in the Bundesliga this season, with seven of those being scored without help. Four of those goal contributions came in April alone. The three he netted puts him behind only Erling Haaland and Andre Silva in the scoring stakes, while he also laid on one more for teammates. Thuram looks to be back to his fluent best, getting into shooting positions and having the most attempts of any Gladbach player in April (15). Only two players in the whole league managed more.
Jamal Musiala (FC Bayern München)
It was double joy for FC Bayern München’s 18-year-old wunderkind in the 3-2 win away at VfL Wolfsburg. Musiala bagged a maiden Bundesliga brace while also scoring with a header for the first time in his senior career. His celebrations after that goal explained a special backstory. "The others always laugh a bit about my heading in training because it’s not yet my strength," the midfielder said afterwards. So, to improve, Musiala has been doing extra heading practice under the supervision of assistant coach Hermann Gerland. "Tiger was really happy afterwards and we just had a laugh and joked."
His brace against the Wolves put him third in the April scoring chart across the division and also made him the youngest Bayern player to ever bag one in the Bundesliga at the age of 18 years and 50 days. Only three players in the league's history have ever netted twice at a younger age. It also took his career Bundesliga tally up to six goals and made him the greenest player to reach that mark, as well as the first 18-year-old do get six for Bayern in the Bundesliga.
Roland Sallai (SC Freiburg)
Roland Sallai featured four times for SC Freiburg in April and had a direct hand in four goals, as well as setting a national first. In the Black Forest club's 4-0 win over FC Schalke 04, he scored to make it 2-0 before teeing up the final two for teammates. It was the first time a Hungarian had ever played a part in three goals in a Bundesliga match. It saw him close up to Andre Silva, Erling Haaland, Wout Weghorst and Leon Bailey, who all had five goal contributions in April. However, they all played in one game more than Sallai, with Freiburg's fixture against Hertha Berlin postponed.
The versatile midfielder is having the best season in his three-year stint with Freiburg. "Roland's game has become clearer, less predictable, which is why he's scoring and assisting more regularly," said coach Christian Streich, who didn't just praise his player's finishing but also his all-roundedness. "He can play on the left, he can play on the right, he can be a 9½ in a 4-4-2, he can play in the middle. He can play all over because he has a lot of footballing possibilities."
Christian Günter (SC Freiburg)
As the SC Freiburg left-back, Christian Günter isn't usually mentioned in the same breath as some of the Bundesliga's best strikers. That changed on Matchday 29, though, with his brace in the 4-0 win over FC Schalke 04. It meant he finished April with a record you'd usually associate with a forward like Robert Lewandowski. He had six shots, which led to two goals, meaning he converted with every third attempt. While his coach Christian Streich expressed his delight for his captain, Günter was more modest: "I train hard week after week to be better and more of a threat. I'm glad I could implement that in the game."
The defender is one of his team's key performers, leading as a captain and ever-present. The 28-year-old is the only Freiburg outfield player to have been on the pitch for every minute of this Bundesliga campaign.
March: Filip Kostic (Eintracht Frankfurt)
February: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
January: Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt)
December: Lars Stindl (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
November: Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
October: Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern München)
September: Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim)
Götze: “I want to be the final piece of the jigsaw”
Frankfurt’s headline summer is eyeing a successful season with the reigning Europa League holders.
5 things on Jordan ‘Pefok’ Siebatcheu
We take a closer look at the Washington-born forward set to spearhead Union Berlin’s attack in 2022/23.
Sadio Mane: 10 things on Bayern's Senegal star
He's come a long way since running away from home as a teenager to pursue a career in the sport he loves...