The Bundesliga is a competition to which many players from lesser-known European leagues, such as the Austrian or Belgian leagues, are coming. This season, we are seeing the emergence of players who could become dominant on the European scene. There are also cases of home-grown players, such as Wirtz or Musiala, but in this case, the focus will be on imports.
Of all these talents, the least ‘unexpected’ is Xavi Simons. The Dutchman was already showing promise at Barcelona at a very young age and after his time at PSG, he seemed to have stagnated, hence the ‘unexpected’ tag.
After a stellar season at PSV last season, Xavi landed on his feet in Leipzig, and not only because of his good numbers. The conditions he shows and the sensations he transmits are having a brutal impact on his team. Receiving between the lines, speeding up play, a powerful start and a powerful long-range shot are making the old continent realise that, yes, this 20-year-old Dutchman was the real deal.
Victor Boniface joined Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen this season from Union Saint-Gilloise, where he scored seven goals in the Belgian league. The 22-year-old Nigerian is tearing it up at Leverkusen, where he has already scored seven goals in just eight Bundesliga games.
Spectacular power, good back-pedalling, a good interpretation of space and enough technical quality to get rid of defenders with feints or dribbles make many clubs are looking at him. A complete striker who can be very important in the future.
The Red Bull factory is an expert in scouting and, as a result, RB Leipzig is the only team that repeats players on this list. Loïs Openda joined Red Bull’s star team after scoring 21 goals in Ligue 1 and, after his brace against F.C. Cologne, he now has eight Bundesliga goals to his name. The Belgian is proving his nose for goal and destroying opposing defences with his powerful lower body and his ability to solve problems in the box. Another physically powerful striker.
Mathys Tel has been one of the surprises of the season at Bayern. He is one of the players with the best goal/minute ratio figures, but the Frenchman doesn’t only excel in that. Spectacular top speed and constant off-balance make him a constant headache and a threat to opposing defences. At 18, his former Rennes coach said of him that “he’s faster than Mbappé”. This is the Frenchman’s second season in Bavaria and he has already equalled the goalscoring figures of his previous season.
Diogo Leite is the only defender on this list, and probably the least known. Union Berlin were last season’s surprise package in Germany and the Portuguese centre-back was one of the key players. He has already had a great game at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid, with good positioning and very good ball control. He could leave Union Berlin this summer.
What all these players have in common is that their performances have come as a surprise to most spectators and their youth, which is why the revelation of the first few matchdays has not been mentioned: Guirassy. The 27-year-old Stuttgart striker scored 14 goals in the first eight matches of the season, making him the Bundesliga’s top scorer ahead of a certain Harry Kane. Undoubtedly, a start to remember.
Translated by Marcos Rodríguez.
Main image: @RBLeipzig.