The shortlist for the Bundesliga’s Player of the Month award for December has been announced.
The six-man shortlist is made up of two players from table-toppers Bayern Munich, another two from third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, and then one each from Borussia Monchengladbach and Freiburg.
Here is a closer look at each of the nominees.
Who’s shocked? I’m not.
Robert Lewandowski once again starred for Bayern in the last month. After drawing a blank in the 3-3 draw against RB Leipzig, the Poland international netted the equaliser against Union Berlin, then bagged consecutive braces against Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen. He scored literally every goal for the Bavarians in those three games.
Lewandowski will be looking for his second Player of the Month award of the season, having already scooped the prize for his performances in October.
Leipzig may have managed to keep Lewandowski quiet, but they were powerless to prevent Thomas Muller from adding to his goal tally. The World Cup winner struck twice in a man-of-the-match performance for Bayern to ensure a draw against their title rivals.
It was a month of stepping up in the big games for the 31-year-old. In their clash against Leverkusen, Muller recorded an assist for Lewandowski as Bayern returned to the top of the table.
He may have gone viral for a beautiful goal against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, but it was his playmaking which got him on the shortlist for the award.
The German registered assists in all four of Leverkusen’s league fixtures last month, helping his side to nine points from a possible 12.
Arguably the leading candidate for the award, Lars Stindl has carried Monchengladbach through December with four goals and one assist.
He began the month with an assist for Breel Embolo in the club’s 2-2 draw against Freiburg, before rescuing a point against Eintracht Frankfurt with a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw – including two strikes in injury time.
Stindl was also able to convert from the penalty spot in his side’s 2-1 defeat at home to Hoffenheim.
Freiburg have hit a good run of form in recent weeks, and it’s largely thanks to Vincenzo Grifo.
The Italian has had a superb month, netting three and assisting a further two in four outings. His standout performance was in the 4-1 triumph over Hertha Berlin, where he opened the scoring in the seventh minute, and later assisted teammate Manuel Gulde to make it 3-1.
Prepare to feel old and hopeless. The final nominee was born in May 2003. Yep, May two-thousand-and-three.
The teenager scored his first two league goals of the season last week, first putting Leverkusen 3-1 up against Hoffenheim, then adding a fourth in his side’s thrashing of Koln.