The Bundesliga is set to return after the winter holiday break. The first half ended with an enormous amount of drama. Big heavyweights such as Borussia Dortmund have struggled to find form while newcomers Leipzig sit second in the League. Thomas Tuchel’s men currently occupy the sixth spot in the League table with 27 points. While they have mostly struggled with injuries and form, we will take a look back at the Dortmund players who were pretty impressive in the first half of the season.
3. Julian Weigl
Young Weigl has been Dortmund’s best midfielder this season. Even though the departure of Ilkay Gundogan pressurised Weigl to play a more diversifying role in the middle, it didn’t put a stain on his performances out on the pitch. Eager to play a more offensive role in the squad, Weigl still operates the role of a central defensive midfielder. The one who bridges the gap between the attack and midfield and at times, drops in as an auxiliary centre-back. He also plays a crucial role in keeping out any counter attacks from the opposition.
Indeed! Weigl is seemingly proving to be a legit midfield supervisor. In 15 games, the 21-year-old completed the third most number of passes in the league this season (1,119) with an astonishing accuracy of 91%, the same amount he had managed last season. Defensively, Weigl attains a headed duels ratio of 59% (20/34) but it’s quite clear his tackling is poor. However, ‘Ju’ – as he is famously known to his fans and teammates, has managed 31 interceptions (most by any Dortmund player, not named Schmelzer) this season, along with 16 clearances.
He scored his first competitive goal in his career in incredible fashion when he brilliantly drilled the ball from long distance against Sporting CP of Portugal in the Champions League.
The midfielder also signed a new contract extension with Dortmund, which will keep him at the club till 2021. Meaning the promising young talent might be a start of something big at Dortmund. Even though big clubs such as FC Barcelona and Manchester City are constantly monitoring him.
2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Another star player on the Dortmund roster. Aubameyang has turned to one of Europe’s best strikers after joining Dortmund in 2013. The Gabonese international has successfully retained his form and continued his scoring feats this season. Auba scored a record 25 goals last season yet failed to win the Torjägerkanone thanks to Lewandowski’s incredible 30-goal haul. This season, however, Aubameyang leads the goal-scoring tally with 16 goals thus far. Anthony Modeste of FC Koln is his closest pursuer with 12 and Robert Lewandowski of Bayern, having only eight.
While it’s evident, Borussia Dortmund are struggling to create opportunities in the final third, due to the number of injuries to star players and the departures of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ilkay Gundogan, Aubameyang’s goal scoring efficiency has been really crucial to Thomas Tuchel. The Gabonese put up the most number of shots in the league this season (59) with an excellent shot accuracy of 65%.
Aubameyang’s form in the second half of the season will no doubt be crucial to Thomas Tuchel’s troops as they look to get back among Germany’s elites. Also, the return of stars such as Marco Reus, Raphael Guerreiro and Andre Schurrle is sure to give Tuchel more firepower upfront.
1. Ousmane Dembele
The new signing from Rennes has been the most influential man for Dortmund this season. Coming in exchange for a big fee and a high reputation as one of the world’s most promising teenage footballers, Dembele is slowly starting to spill his magic in the Bundesliga.
An agile, winger who loves to dribble, Dembele’s offensive distribution is a key to Dortmund’s goalscoring machine. The 19-year-old has created 25 chances, most by any Dortmund player. While also managing an astonishing 7.1 attempted dribbles per game. He is currently the second most prolific scorer of Dortmund this season, with four goals.
Mostly featuring as a left winger, Dembele was seen moving infield in order to contribute more to the play. Especially in the past couple of matches, Dembele’s ability led to some points for Thomas Tuchel’s men. Ousmane Dembele’s overall contribution is more precisely configured here.
Dortmund faithful would hope for the same among these three top performers as well as the entire team. Julian Weigl’s midfield perfection, Dembele’s chance creation along with Aubameyang’s offensive contribution will all be pivotal in Dortmund’s aim to make grounds in the Ruckrunde.