RB Leipzig's Xavi named Bundesliga Rookie of the Month for April!


Xavi has been awarded April's Bundesliga Rookie of the Month prize, presented by Sorare. The RB Leipzig magician won the vote ahead of teammate Benjamin Šeško and Mainz sensation Brajan Gruda.

Get the lowdown on the Bundesliga Rookie award, presented by Sorare!

Specific criteria must be met in order for a player to qualify as a Rookie. He must be younger than 23 on Matchday 1 of the new season and cannot have started a Bundesliga match in any previous campaign. Furthermore, players can have accumulated no more than 450 minutes of action before the start of the Bundesliga season in question. That means that youngsters who have only made brief appearances in their careers so far and who have not yet had the chance to fully showcase their talents, still have the opportunity to be named Rookie of the Month, presented by Sorare.

The monthly winners receive one of the coveted Bundesliga Rookie trophies, before vying for the Rookie of the Season prize. As well as the fans (40%), Bundesliga clubs (30%) and a panel of Bundesliga experts (30%) are part of the voting process.

April winner

Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig)

The RB Leipzig hierarchy must be patting themselves on the back having decided to bring in Xavi on loan from Paris Saint-Germain this season as the Netherlands international has been one of the transfers of the 2023/24 campaign. Named Rookie of the Month for December, his win for April comes despite him not having scored a goal in the month. He did, however, set up two goals for his team as he started all four league games, playing the full 90 minutes three times. He had 13 attempts on goal and set up teammates on 10 occasions – both team-high tallies.

Xavi’s blend of qualities make him so hard for opposing teams to keep tabs on. His average of 27 sprints per game means he keeps the tempo of his team’s play high, and allied with his dribbling, he is a significant threat. His 84 percent successful pass ratio – particularly with most of them being made in the frenetic final third – is hugely impressive too.

Other nominees 

Benjamin Šeško (RB Leipzig)

Benjamin Šeško has been on fire in the second half of the season. After smouldering in the Hinrunde as he switched from bench to starting XI and back again, the Slovenia international has been one of the stand-out performers of the Rückrunde, with April his best month yet. He started all four league games, and scored in every one. Only teammate Loïs Openda found the net more frequently in April (five). Šeško showed his clinical edge, needing just seven attempts for his strikes as he radically exceeded the xG of his chances (1.8). His shot efficiency of 2.2 is behind only Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz (2.4) and Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Robin Hack (2.3) in April league-wide.

Šeško averaged only 27 touches per game last month, but when he does have the ball, his 6’4” (1.95m) frame makes it tough for opponents to get it from him. In April, he won 57 percent of his duels. But do not be deceived by his physique, he can move too. He made a team-high 118 sprints in the month, and his 35.5km/h (22mph) top speed was bettered by only three players in the Bundesliga in April, including Openda (36.1km/h, 22.4mph).

Brajan Gruda (Mainz)

Brajan Gruda is one of the discoveries of the season. He made just two brief appearances in 2022/23 as he mostly featured for the club’s U19 side. This term, he is an established first-teamer. He scored twice in April in the wins over Darmstadt (4-0) and Hoffenheim (4-1), which is one more strike than he got in the whole of debut campaign. He was ruthless too, putting away both of his big chances in the month.

The 19-year-old has huge potential, and his teammates are giving him the chance to show it by often passing the ball to him. He had 52 touches per game on average, while his combative qualities enabled him to win 52 per cent of the challenges he made – he averaged a healthy 25 duels per game. He is also blessed with pace that saw him clock a top speed of 34 km/h (21.1mph) in April as he averaged 30 sprints a game. There is still room for improvement, but as he showed in April, Gruda has all the tools to become a top Bundesliga player.

Previous winners

March 2024

Maximilian Beier (TSG Hoffenheim)

February 2024

Maximilian Beier (TSG Hoffenheim)

January 2024

Ian Maatsen (Borussia Dortmund)

December 2023

Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig)

November 2023

Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

October 2023

Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

September 2023

Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

August 2023

Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Find out more about Bundesliga awards