Victor Boniface wins Bundesliga Rookie of the Month for August 2023


Bayer Leverkusen striker Victor Boniface saw off Xavi Simons and Noah Atubolu thanks to your votes to be named the Bundesliga's Rookie of the Month for August 2023.

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.


Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Three games, three goals and one assist – Boniface could hardly have done more in the first few weeks following his move to Bayer Leverkusen. The 22-year-old, who joined from Belgian outfit Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, has displayed the power and desire that Die Werkself had previously been lacking. And with three wins from three competitive fixtures, Xabi Alonso’s team are all the better for it. His 14 shots (11 of which came in the 3-0 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 2 alone) is a league-high, as well as his 54 contested duels.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, the Nigerian has come in for plenty of praise, with Köln boss Steffen Baumgart even telling Sport Bild he would have signed Boniface over Harry Kane were he in charge at Bayern München. World Cup winner Lothar Matthäus, meanwhile, also mentioned Leverkusen’s new star and Kane in the same breath, saying, “We’ll see plenty of goals from him this term – I can even see him competing with Kane for the top scorer crown.”

August's other nominees

Noah Atubolu (Freiburg)

Following the departure of Mark Flekken, who joined English Premier League side Brentford during the summer, Freiburg boss Christian Streich quickly made it clear that 21-year-old Atubolu would replace the Netherlands international in goal. Before the start of this campaign, the Germany U21 shot-stopper had made just three first-team appearances, with two seasons in the 3. Liga as Freiburg II’s goalkeeper his only previous professional experience. However, despite the step up in level, Atubolo has settled in fantastically between the sticks for the Black Forest club.

In August, he was one of just five goalkeepers to keep a clean sheet in the top flight – nobody managed two shut-outs – and saved 83% of the attempts he faced – a number only bettered by Borussia Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel (91%) and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Kevin Trapp (89%). For a Freiburg native who has been on the club’s books since 2015, Atubolu’s start to life in the Bundesliga has been a dream come true. “I’m Freiburg through and through and have already been through so much here. There was always a clear development plan for me, and I am delighted it has been carried out. I am excited for more,” he said upon signing a contract extension in July.

Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig)

“We have been able to sign an exceptional talent,” exclaimed RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl upon the loan capture of Xavi from Paris Saint-Germain. Last season at PSV Eindhoven, Simons scored 19 goals and provided a further nine assists, playing a crucial role as his side finished second in the Dutch Eredivisie. It didn’t take long for the 20-year-old to prove his worth in the Bundesliga, either, scoring once and providing two assists in August (all in the 5-1 victory over Stuttgart).

Simons has already built up an impressive understanding with Leipzig’s key man Dani Olmo, who netted a hat-trick in the eye-catching 3-0 Supercup triumph over Bayern München at the Allianz Arena, and the Netherlands international’s contribution goes much further. Having covered an average of 11km per match in August, as well as 31 sprints, the youngster leads the way in both categories for Leipzig, while he has demonstrated his all-round play by completing 83% of his attempted passes and winning 50% of his contested duels.