As the Bundesliga returns, here are 5 players every football fan should be looking out for...
After a two-month hiatus, the Bundesliga returns to our screens this weekend, with every game due to be broadcast live in the UK by BT Sport. Live sport will be welcomed back to our screens by football fans across Europe, who have been deciding which German team to cheer for ahead of Saturday’s matches.
Expect to see star names including Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland and Timo Werner return to the fold, as well as the young British talents Jadon Sancho, Ethan Ampadu and Jonjoe Kenny, who have all seen success whilst plying their trade on the continent this season.
Nevertheless, there are many more impressive players in the Bundesliga that might have escaped the attention of the mainstream media, so here are five that are worth keeping eye on.
Maximilian Mittelstädt – Hertha Berlin
With the left-back spot very much up for grabs in the German National Team (Die Mannschaft), the talented 23-year-old is one player who has done his chances no harm with his performances this year. Mittelstädt was a standout player in both games I saw at the Olympiastadion this season, displaying both security in defence and creativity in attack, showing his capabilities in an array of systems under Hertha’s various managers. His 25-yard strike with his weaker foot against RB Leipzig was a clear indicator of his abilities, however he is still raw, and his decision making in the opposition half is occasionally questionable. Nonetheless, his potential and tactical flexibility is a bright spark in an often-flat Hertha side.
Marcus Thuram – Borussia Monchengladbach
The exciting French attacker has enjoyed a solid first season in the German top-flight after his move from Ligue 1 Guingamp in the summer. The son of Lilian Thuram, France’s most capped player, Marcus has grabbed 6 goals so far, whilst also laying on 8 assists for his teammates. Deployed from both the left wing and as a central striker, his speed, aerial presence, and dribbling ability has proved difficult for defenders to deal with. BMG are currently fourth, 2 points off 2nd placed BVB and 6 behind pacesetters Bayern Munich.
Nordi Mukiele – RB Leipzig
This name might be familiar to Tottenham Hotspur fans, after Mukiele thoroughly impressed from right-back as RB Leipzig knocked the North London club out of the Champions League over two legs in March. Another young Frenchman making an impact on the Bundesliga, the 22-year-old is a solid and powerful defender with athletic ability that makes him a potent outlet in the final third. His creative output purely in terms of numbers ought to improve with experience, but Mukiele has cemented his place in an RBL team which is putting up a strong title challenge this season.
Martin Hinteregger – Eintracht Frankfurt
Whilst Eintracht Frankfurt can boast of star names in attack including Andre Silva, Bas Dost, and Filip Kostic, it is the combative centre-back who has consistently performed excellently for his side this season. The Austrian defender has 45 international caps and is a regular starter for Frankfurt this season, as well as a potent goal threat, having found the back of the net six times. Although EF have blown hot and cold domestically, Hinteregger has helped his club progress to the last 16 of the Europa League, a campaign which included a win at the Emirates Stadium over Arsenal.
Ozan Kabak – Schalke 04
Turkey has produced a generation of strong centre backs at the moment, with Calgar Soyuncu and Merih Demiral impressing for Leicester and Juventus respectively. Ozan Kabak is another, having cemented his place in the Schalke team in his first season at the club. The Bundesliga Rookie of the Season in 2018-19 is still only 20 years old, and although he struggled against some of the league’s heavyweights, he has proven himself to be a solid defender, as well as an occasional set piece threat. Although Schalke’s attacking potency is questionable at best, they sit 6th in the table under former Huddersfield boss David Wagner, albeit 10 points behind Bayer Leverkusen.