BUNDESLIGA

Bundesliga: Hoppe among nominees for January's Rookie of the Month

Earlier this week the Bundesliga announced that Hoppe, Ermedin Demirovic and Ritsu Doan are the contenders for January’s Rookie of the Month award.

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Bundesliga: Hoppe among nominees for January's Rookie of the Month

Matthew Hoppe is having a breakout season with Schalke 04 in his first year with the first team. The 19-year-old has scored five goals in 10 appearances in the 2020/21 season in the Bundesliga and he was rewarded with his first professional contract in the first week of January. He will remain at the club until 2023 even though they are in last place with a record of 1-5-14 and eight points.

"Everything changed so fast probably in the span of a month-and-a-half, two months," Hoppe told bundesliga.com in a Media Round Table this week. "There have been some moments where I've been able to take a step back and look at what's happened. Yeah, it is crazy. Like, my dream is coming true and so it's been special for me."

Hoppe started 2021 showcasing his talent and scored a hat-trick against Hoffenheim on matchday 15 to end Schalke’s 30-game winless streak against them. One week later, the 19-year-old scored the only goal for Schalke in the 1-3 loss against Eintracht Frankfurt.

"I think it was something that came naturally to me because I would get a lot of goals growing up and I think I was normally one of the better players on my team," Hoppe said. "When I went out to the Barça academy with Sean McCafferty, I was actually playing midfield, kind of like a No.8 or No.10 position, and then he made me go in at striker.

Candidate for Rookie of the Month

Due to his amazing performances in January, the Bundesliga included him as one of the three players nominated to win Rookie of the Month. The other candidates are Ermedin Demirovic from SC Freiburg and Japanese winger Ritsu Doan from Arminia Bielefeld. To elect the winner the Bundesliga takes in consideration 40% of votes from the fans, 30% from the clubs and 30% from experts and journalists.