Six Bundesliga stars who’ll own the league’s restart
The Bundesliga is back.
This season has already been one of the most competitive and dramatic in years. Five teams in a battle for the title. Big names battling to beat the drop. Seven weeks to decide it all.
The Bundesliga’s brand of pulsating, attacking football is punctuated with explosive young and developing talents who mix it up with the very best in the league. Those promising stars will have the chance to decide their team’s fate.
With such an array of talent, we had the hard job of singling out the players who will have the biggest impact over the remaining fixtures. Some players narrowly missed the cut and we could’ve included multiple stars from some teams. In the end, we decided to go for one from teams at the top and bottom of the table. Here are the stars you won’t want to take your eyes off.
Erling Haaland | Borussia Dortmund
Where else can we start but with the man who has taken the footballing world by storm since he joined Dortmund back in late December.
He’s been a star name to FM fans for a couple of years; quite simply, if you haven’t tried to sign him for your club then get straight on it. This boy means goals. In real life he’s scoring at a rate of more than a goal a game and will need to carry on at that level if Dortmund are to close the four point gap to FC Bayern München at the top of the table.
It’s not like Der BVB have an easy return to action either with a local derby with Schalke 04 and a top-of-the-table clash against Bayern inside their first three matches. Haaland’s already shown though that he can cut it at the highest level of the game despite his age; his speed, technique and finishing ability are a match for any defender. If Dortmund are to lift their first title in eight years, they’ll need Haaland to be their talisman.
Alphonso Davies | FC Bayern München
One man who will be doing his best to stop a Dortmund title win is Bayern’s Canadian international, Alphonso Davies. He turned a few heads when Bayern paid $13.5 million to Vancouver Whitecaps for his signature but he’s made that deal look like an absolute bargain with his performances for Die Bayern. Before the abrupt halt to the season, he put in some top calibre displays from left-back, an unnatural position to him a couple of seasons ago. However, he’s shown that he still loves to get forward when he can with a goal and three assists in the league so far this season.
Davies’ standout attributes are his Pace and Dribbling ability which makes him a potent threat on the counter-attack. His Bayern side have a decent lead at the top of the table and it’ll be a tough ask for any team to overhaul them while they have a player as dynamic and solid at both ends of the pitch as Davies in the team.
Marcus Thuram | Borussia Mönchengladbach
Borussia Mönchengladbach were the early surprise package of the season, topping the table for much of the first half of the campaign. Their vibrant, attacking style was a perfect fit for Thuram, who signed for the club last summer. Marcus, the son of France great Lillian Thuram, lived up to his family name with a string of strong showings before the winter break as he scored six times and formed a potent forward trio with Breel Embolo and Alassane Plea.
Thuram’s form fell away slightly in the second half of the season, partly as a result of Gladbach mixing up their formation but the enforced break could well have rejuvenated the striker. Gladbach are just six points off top spot and if Thuram can reproduce the form he showed earlier in the season then they could have a big role to play in the title picture.
Timo Werner | RB Leipzig
Timo Werner is having the season of his life. He’s been the main man for RB Leipzig this season with 21 goals to his name, putting him just behind Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski in a two-horse race for the top goalscorer award. He’s got a great combination of technical and physical attributes including his pace and finishing which makes him the perfect example of a Pressing Forward. It’s no surprise that the very best teams in Europe are poised with their chequebooks at the ready but he has unfinished business with Leipzig.
Die Roten Bullen sit third in the table five points off top spot under the tutelage of their wonderkid manager Julian Nagelsmann. Leipzig also have a favourable run-in as Dortmund represent the only top-six side that they’ll face before the end of the season. With Werner leading the charge, they could well be Bayern’s biggest challengers for the title.
Milot Rashica | SV Werder Bremen
It’s been a difficult season for SV Werder Bremen who haven’t been able to repeat the good form they showed last year that earned them an eighth place finish. They’re currently down in 17th spot and are faced with playing outside the top flight next season for the first time in 40 years.
One bright spark for Werder has been their 23-year-old attacking midfielder, Milot Rashica. The Kosovan looks like he’s the latest in the long line of playmakers to be developed by Bremen and has got seven goals and four assists from 20 games. He will be the catalyst for any hope that they have of beating the drop. Rashica’s pure speed allows him to find space and bring the technical skills in arsenal, such as his crossing and dribbling skill, to the fore. Expect Bremen to run everything through Rashica as they fight for survival.
Kaan Ayhan | Fortuna Düsseldorf
Fortuna Düsseldorf might be down in 16th place but that doesn’t reflect how good Kaan Ayhan has been in this campaign. The centre-back has been the club’s leader this season, growing into the role with a string of strong showings which has seen Fortuna concede fewer goals than the teams around them in the relegation battle. He can be an attacking threat too with two goals and three assists to his name this season; he’s dangerous in the air and a threat from set pieces.
Düsseldorf are in a good position to avoid automatic relegation with a four point gap back to Werder Bremen behind them but face Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig in their remaining games. They’ll be more dependent on Ayhan’s brand of resolute defending than ever.
With fine margins at the top and bottom of the Bundesliga table, those six exciting talents will each be looking to make their mark over the coming weeks. You will not want to miss it.
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