As the World Cup approaches it is time to hand out the third Bundesliga Fanatic Player and Goal of the Month awards of the season. With four matchdays to cast an eye over, there was no shortage of deserving candidates in both categories. So, who caught the eye the most in October?
Player of the Month: Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)
As the Bundesliga season hots up and as the World Cup approaches there has been no shortage of star performers- some looking to cement their reputation and others looking to grab the attention and a place perhaps in the finals in Qatar. RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku falls into the former category and will surely be making Didier Deschamps’s final cut despite the huge pot of talent France has at its disposal.
In October the 24-year-old returned to his best form after a relatively quiet start with five goals in five games as well as one assist. Die Roten Bullen won three and drew twice in October with the attacking impulse of Nkunku a key factor. He scored twice against Bochum and headed the equaliser against Mainz. Another late goal came against Augsburg (a superb free kick) with his fifth of the month helping Marco Rose’s side down Bayer Leverkusen on matchday 12.
If reports are to be believed, Chelsea are not even going to wait until the summer before making their expected move to sign the attacker. Such has been his spectacular form and the Blues’ struggles that an €80 million bid could be coming Leipzig’s way in the winter transfer window.
Honourable mentions: There were two players under serious consideration before Nkunku got the nod here. Jesper Lindström with his four goals and one assist would have been a more than worthy nomination with Bayern Munich striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting also having a good month in October as he shows that the traditional number nine role at the club is not extinct with the loss of Robert Lewandowski.
Goal of the Month: Gerrit Holtmann (Bochum v Union Berlin MD10)
Trawling through the goals from the various October matchdays was by no means a painful task but whittling them down to a shortlist before choosing a winner was. Normally it is an individual wonder strike or a mazy run and finish that grabs the Goal of the Month award, but this is a real team effort this month even though Gerrit Holtmann got the final touch. Who knew that bottom side Bochum could play such one-touch, tiki-taka, (old) Barcelona-esque football?
The main contenders were Dejan Ljubicic’s strike for Köln against Dortmund, Lars Stindl’s thunderbolt against Köln. Leroy Sané’s goal versus Freiburg was great as was Jesper Lindström’s breakaway and chipped finish against Bayer Leverkusen. Moussa Diaby‘s opener for Leverkusen against Schalke was also a rare moment of joy for the Werkself in October.