Nabil Bentaleb is ROOKIE OF THE FIRST LEG!

With his safe passing game and goal scoring potential he apparently did not only conquer the hearts of all Schalke fans! We welcome Nabil as first nominee for the award as the Bundesliga ROOKIE OF THE SEASON!

#DontCrackUnderPressure

scroll to meet the players
Rookies

Meet the Rookies

  • Ousmane
    Dembélé

  • Nabil
    Bentaleb

  • Naby Deco
    Keïta

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Ousmane Dembélé

Ousmane
Dembélé

Striker

Borussia Dortmund

Birthday: 15.05.1997
Height: 1,78 m
Weight: 67 kg
Nationality: French
Place of birth: France
Nabil Bentaleb

Nabil
Bentaleb

Midfielder

FC Schalke 04

Birthday: 24.11.1994
Height: 1,87 m
Weight: 78 kg
Nationality: Algerian
Place of birth: France
Naby Deco Keïta

Naby Deco
Keïta

Midfielder

RB Leipzig

Birthday: 10.02.1995
Height: 1,72 m
Weight: 64 kg
Nationality: Guinean
Place of birth: Guinea

A diamond in the rough at Stade Rennais FC, 19 –year-old Ousmane Dembele took the first leg by storm in his maiden Bundesliga campaign. Now a senior international with France, Dembele’s talent was obvious from his time in Ligue 1, but the move to Borussia Dortmund has seen him flourish, and he is a regular in a talented first team already.

Decide depending
on the situation

With his turn of pace and mazy dribbling, Dembele regularly contributed with goals and assists in the first half of the season. Dembele’s close control is second to none and his ability to retain possession under pressure continues to wow the crowds. Above all, he is a team player, though, with seven assists already delivered for his teammates in only 15 Bundesliga games. “I always try to decide on the right thing to do depending on the situation,” says the youngster. “If I see that other players are in better positions then I play the pass.”

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Statistics
Data based on matchdays 1-16 in season 16/17
  • 15 Matches played
  • 1023 Total time played
  • 4 Goals
  • 7 Total assists
  • 62,5% Successful passes

Nabil Bentaleb thinks about football 24/7 – so says the man himself: “I’m obsessed with football!” he beams. Football makes the Algeria midfielder tick. Bentaleb looks for possession, distributes quickly, and makes the ball his own. As a short-term loannee from Tottenham Hotspur FC to FC Schalke 04, the move was a real challenge for Bentaleb at first: new players, a new environment, a new league. Against Hoffenheim on Matchday 5 he was culpable as Schalke conceded twice to sink to their fifth consecutive loss. Bentaleb, however, recovered quickly and became a poster boy for Schalke’s recent resurgence.

I'm obsessed with football

The 22-year-old already has a depth of experience. He braved a move from France to England when still in his youth, eventually breaking into Tottenham’s first team. His style combines the requisite steel and strength with sharp technique. The midfielder also has an eye for goal, with his brace against 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Matchday 8 a particular stand-out. With four goals already to his name – as well as a pass completion percentage of 78 per cent – a Schalke line-up without Bentaleb in it already seems unfathomable, after only half a season.

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Statistics
Data based on matchdays 1-16 in season 16/17
  • 16 Matches played
  • 1242 Total time played
  • 4 Goals
  • 78,1% Successful passes
  • 62,8% Successful aerial challenges

It's the 84th minute, and RB Leipzig’s chance for a maiden Bundesliga victory is slipping away from them. It’s Matchday 2, and the mighty Borussia Dortmund are the Leipzig’s opponents. Naby Keita comes on as a late substitute for club captain Dominik Kaiser, and less than five minutes later all eyes are on the Guinean. You could not wish for a better introduction to the Bundesliga. Keita had already fired FC Salzburg to two consecutive Austrian Bundesliga titles, and he is already getting a taste for the step up in competition.

I love our
offensive style

Keita has other qualities alongside his attacking output. He completes an average of 79.9 per cent of his passes, making him one of the best possession players in the Bundesliga. For the fast switches between defence and attack that Leipzig employ, the 21-year-old has the perfect physical attributes. “I love our offensive style,” he says. The right-footed midfielder is not only a thinker, but a driver of the team. On Matchday 12 he scored from outside the box to open the scoring in an eventual 4-1 win over SC Freiburg. The fizzing shot into the corner was a dream goal.

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Statistics
Data based on matchdays 1-16 in season 16/17
  • 14 Matches played
  • 12 Matches played from start
  • 954 Total time played
  • 4 Goals
  • 79,9% Successful passes

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  1. The Rookie award is a prize for the Bundesliga’s stars of tomorrow. Eligibility for Rookie awards is based on two simple criteria: Qualifying players must be 21 years of age or younger at the start of the season, and they must not have played in the Bundesliga in any previous season.
  2. In order to make the choice as objective as possible, the performances of all qualifying Rookies are compared each month using official match data. Based on this data, three top Rookies from three different clubs will be nominated and presented here. After that, it’s up to you – vote for your favorite!
  3. In this first vote, you have the chance to choose the Rookie of the first leg -- the “Hinrunde”-- of the 2016/17 season. In each of the following four months (February to May), three talents per month will be nominated as finalists for Rookie of the Month. At the end of the season, there will be one final vote to determine the first-ever Rookie of the Season.
  4. Each month’s voting will begin during the first days of the following months, usually on the second Tuesday. For example, the vote for the February 2017 Rookie of the Month should begin on or around March 14th. Once voting has begun, you will have exactly one week to cast a vote for your favorite.
  5. Once a player has been chosen as a Rookie of the Month, that player will be ineligible for selection in the following months until the end of the season. However, players previously nominated as non-winning finalists may be nominated again in subsequent months.
  • FC Augsburg
  • Hertha BSC
  • SV Werder Bremen
  • SV Darmstadt 98
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • Eintracht Frankfurt
  • SC Freiburg
  • Hamburger SV
  • TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
  • FC Ingolstadt 04
  • 1. FC Köln
  • RB Leipzig
  • Bayer 04 Leverkusen
  • 1. FSV Mainz 05
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach
  • FC Bayern München
  • FC Schalke 04
  • VfL Wolfsburg
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