Bundesliga

Who has been the best player in the Bundesliga in 2019/20?

Robert Lewandowski may be the top scorer, but Thiago Alcantara has been the outstanding performer in Germany's top flight

 
9:00am on Friday 20th March 2020
By
Ronan Murphy

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, most of European football's top leagues have ceased play. Should that instigate the cancellation of the leagues, we have the Player of the Year awards ready to hand out.

Bundesliga

Thiago Alcantara often doesn't make headlines for Bayern Munich thanks to his relatively low goals and assists statistics (just three goals and no assists in the league this season), but the Spaniard's impact in midfield is the primary reason Bayern Munich lead the Bundesliga after 25 games.

Robert Lewandowski leads the top scorer race for 2019-20, while Serge Gnabry's European performances have helped Bayern Munich win all of their seven games in the Champions League this season, but Hansi Flick's side would be far less effective without their midfield engine.

No other regular player (more than 20 games played) in the Bundesliga has averaged more than 110 touches per 90 minutes, while only Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti can better Thiago's touches per 90 figure for this season - Thiago has 112.2 and Verratti 118.2 touches per 90.

Passing stats are similar. Thiago gets on the ball more than any other Bundesliga player and makes more passes than any of his contemporaries - averaging 95.3 passes per 90 with a completion record of 90%. The next highest in the German top flight is Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Jonathan Tah who clocks in at 87.6 passes per 90.

28 yrs - DM, M (C) - Bayern
99
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
1666
Played matches
22
3
0
Shots P90
0.97
Shots On target P90
0.49
Successful passing %
90%
Final third passes P90
23.84

Thiago's passes are not simple sideways passes either as Flick utilises the Spain international's creativity to unlock opposition defences. Bayern often dominate possession and thus find opponents sitting back to defend deep, meaning they cannot rely on counter-attacking football like Borussia Dortmund or RB Leipzig.

Dortmund's Jadon Sancho is another standout performer this season and the winger averages 30 passes into the final third each game, leading the Bundesliga, but Thiago's statistics are not far behind on 23.8 final third passes per 90 - the second most for Bayern Munich behind Philippe Coutinho, who is often used as a substitute by Flick.

Thiago is also central to Flick's high pressing game, winning back the ball quickly to restart attacks high up the pitch. This is clear from his hugely impressive interceptions per 90 numbers - averaging 2.8, which is more than any other regular midfielder in the Bundesliga and even better than Dortmund's top defender Mats Hummels.

2. Bundesliga

32 yrs - S (C) - Bielefeld
71
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
2765
Played matches
33
17
7
Shots P90
2.99
Shots On target P90
1.11
Successful passing %
58%
Final third passes P90
15.82

Arminia Bielefeld are six points clear at the top of the 2 Bundesliga with striker Fabian Klos leading the top scorer race with 16 goals in 24 games.

The 32 year old is a club hero, having joined them in 2011 and helped them win promotion from the 3 Liga in 2013 and again in 2015 after they had been relegated. He is on target to beat his single-season record of 23 league goals (set in the third tier), and now has 132 career goals for the Blues.

Klos has also been an excellent contributor this season, providing five assists for Arminia team-mates - the second most on the team. A monster in the air, he leads the 2 Bundesliga in aerials attempted per 90 with only Wehen Wiesbaden defender Gokhan Gul having more successful aerials per 90.

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