bundesliga

Marco Reus named December's Bundesliga Player of the Month

The Bundesliga paused for its annual winter break in December and there were a handful of players determined to see the year out with a bang, but your votes saw Marco Reus beat off competition from David Alaba, Yannick Gerhardt, Joshua Kimmich, Max Kruse and Robert Lewandowski to pick up the award for a third time.

The award, created by the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga in cooperation with the Bundesliga’s official licensing partner, EA SPORTS FIFA 19, is decided through a two-stage selection process that considers both the players' individual performance data and a vote by fans and experts.

Winner

Marco Reus (29, MF, Borussia Dortmund)

Good things come in threes... for Marco Reus as well? The Borussia Dortmund star has already been chosen as Player of the Month twice this season – in September and November. Can he make it three in four months by taking December’s award too? The numbers definitely speak for him.

In December, Reus scored in all three of Dortmund’s home games. In addition, he made the opening goal in the Revierderby win over Schalke. With six assists in total, no one has been directly involved in more goals (17) this season.

Other candidates

David Alaba (26, DF, Bayern Munich)

December could hardly have gone much better for Bayern Munich. Five games, five wins, and only one goal conceded. The defending champions climbed back into second place, and they are now hot on the heels of leaders Dortmund after closing the gap at the top.

David Alaba played a decisive role in that. The Austrian with the great left foot was a constant in the record champions’ team during this period - starting all five matches. He won 57 per cent of his tackles, as Niko Kovac's side conceded just once in December, while he also hit the post twice at the other end, as well as scoring in the 4-0 win over Hannover.

Yannick Gerhardt (24, DF, Wolfsburg)

Under Wolfsburg coach Bruno Labbadia, Yannick Gerhardt has finally found his position on the pitch. The versatitle left-footer had in the past been shunted between left-back, defensive midfield and an attacking wing-back role, without really becoming a permanent fixture. This season, however, he has almost always played in the number eight position – and has paid back Labbadia’s faith in him in the process.

Gerhardt didn’t miss a minute of action in December, and he was ususally one of his team’s top players. In the 3-2 win in Augsburg on Matchday 17, the Cologne midfielder even got the winning goal – his first in 2018. For Wolfsburg, who in each of the past two seasons had only just avoided relegation, it was a third victory in a row. The Wolves went into the winter break fifth in the table, and Gerhardt is optimistic that their strong form can continue. “We want to do as well as possible. If in the end a European place is within reach, then why not?”

Joshua Kimmich (23, DF, Bayern Munich)

Joshua Kimmich is perhaps the player of the Hinrunde for Bayern. The 23-year-old has worked his way up the hierarchy at the record champions, and it’s now hard to imagine life without him on the pitch. Indeed, he is the only outfield player at Bayern who has yet to miss a minute in the Bundesliga this season.

In December he played three times in central midfield and twice at right-back, providing three of his seven assists in that month alone.  His best game was in the 4-0 success against Hannover, when scored his first goal of the season, made another, and also played a part in the other goals.

Max Kruse (30, FW, Werder Bremen)

The players at Werder Bremen were undoubtedly not happy with their return in December. Only four points from five matches will have dampened their hopes of qualifying for Europe next season. Max Kruse, however, was nonetheless in good form in December and impressed with his efficiency.

The 30-year-old scored two goals himself and made two more in the final five games of the year. In total, Kruse was involved in 37 attempts on goal in December – more than any other player in the Bundesliga. “Goals and assists make up only a small part of his game,” Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt said of his playmaker. “Max can stir up an opposing defence like hardly any other player.”

Robert Lewandowski (30, FW, Bayern Munich)

The way the top of the scoring charts currently looks is something of a surprise. After all, the name that has dominated the list for the last three years is missing: Robert Lewandowski, currently fifth in the ranking. Yet the Bayern striker is still having a strong campaign, with 10 goals and five assists.

In December alone, the 30-year-old scored three goals and made one more. On Matchday 14, in the 3-0 win over Nuremberg, Lewandowski scored more than one goal in a Bundelsiga game for the 50th time. Only Gerd Müller (87 times) and Jupp Heynckes (51) managed that more often.

Previous winners

Marco Reus (November 2018)

Jadon Sancho (October 2018)

Marco Reus (September 2018)

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