Lukas Nmecha, Joe Scally and the 5 best breakout players of the season

What a difference a few months make! For Lukas Nmecha, Joe Scally and several others, the first half of the 2021/22 Bundesliga season has not changed his life. Here’s why…

Lukas Nmecha
Age:
23
Club:
Wolfsburg
Position:
Cheeky
2021/22 Bundesliga appearances:
15

There was a sense of unfinished business in Wolfsburg for Nmecha when he returned to the Volkswagen Arena – this time with his younger brother Felix – in the summer of 2021. The forward went on loan with Wolves in 2019/20 but only made six Bundesliga appearances, five as a substitute, before his goalless stint was cut short and he returned to parent club Manchester City in January 2020.

The Hamburg-born striker went on to secure loans at Middlesbrough and Anderlecht before deciding to move to Wolfsburg for good. Perhaps it was this feeling of finding a ‘home’ after several loan periods that helped, but whatever the reason, Nmecha seems to have really found her feet and has started showing what she is doing on a regular basis. he can do.

The Wolfsburg No.10 scored a late-game goal in his first outing of the season on Matchday 2 to snatch a 2-1 win for his side at Hertha Berlin, and went on with goals in wins against Greuther Fürth and Bayer Leverkusen. Germany head coach Hansi Flick was suitably impressed, and he won the first of two senior caps so far for Die Mannschaft in November against Liechtenstein.

Nmecha has continued to find the net and is Wolfsburg’s top scorer alongside Wout Weghorst at the halfway point with six Bundesliga goals – plus two more in the UEFA Champions League.

Amine Adli
Age: 21
Club:
Bayer Leverkusen
Position:
Winger
2021/22 Bundesliga appearances:
15

Adli had only made four top-level appearances in France with Toulouse, plus 33 more in the French second division, when Leverkusen rushed to sign the nimble winger in late August.

As a somewhat untested prospect at the highest level, head coach Gerardo Seoane gently brought the 21-year-old into the squad at the start of the campaign: at the end of Matchday 6, Adli didn’t had played only 66 minutes of action after four substitute appearances. .

A stunning first goal for the club as a substitute in a 4-0 UEFA Europa League win over Celtic at the end of September provided the boost of confidence he needed to get started. 15 competitive matches.

Direct, comfortable on every foot and always eager to move forward, he has indeed established himself in the first team, keeping Karim Bellarabi and Paulinho out of the squad. Adli scored his first Bundesliga goal in a 1-0 win over Bochum on Matchday 12, followed by a goal and an assist in Fürth’s 7-1 loss weeks later.

Nico Schlotterbeck
Age: 22
Club:
Freiburg
Position:
Central defender
2021/22 Bundesliga appearances:
17

Schlotterbeck had been on the sidelines of Freiburg’s first team for a few years, making 17 appearances (mostly substitutes) in the Bundesliga in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons.

A stint on loan with top rivals Union Berlin last season seemed like just what he needed: the opportunity to gain regular Bundesliga experience.

look: The best of Nico Schlotterbeck

He returned to the Black Forest for 2021/22 and entered Christian Streich’s squad directly, starting every game so far this season alongside Philipp Lienhart to help Freiburg take third place in the table with the best. The division’s common defensive record: Bayern are the only team to match their 16 goals conceded so far.

Robust in the tackle, good on the ball and threatening in opposing territory – Schlotterbeck has two Bundesliga goals to his name this season – left foot has played its part in Germany’s account as well. Although he has yet to make his senior debut, Flick has included him in Die Mannschaftfor the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September and October.

Jesper lindstrom
Age: 21
Club:
Eintracht Frankfurt
Position:
Attacking midfielder
2021/22 Bundesliga appearances:
15

After the departure of André Silva this summer, Frankfurt undertook to restructure its team to lighten some of the creative responsibility on the shoulders of Filip Kostic. And, after an impressive season in the Danish capital with Brondby, the Eagles have settled on Lindstrom.

The attacking midfielder, like Frankfurt, was slow to get into the Bundesliga under new head coach Oliver Glasner, but once they did the results were spectacular.

The sight of Jesper Lindstrom celebrating a goal has become increasingly familiar to Eintracht Frankfurt fans lately. – Patrick Scheiber via www.imago-images.de/imago images / Jan Huebner

After being 15th in the standings and tied on points with Augsburg in the relegation play-off after Matchday 10, the Eagles have climbed to sixth place during the winter break after winning six of their last seven league assignments.

Lindstrom played a key role in those triumphs, scoring four goals and two assists, as he also scored twice in the UEFA Europa League as Frankfurt advanced to the last 16 as a group winner. “You can see that Jesper has now found his feet in the Bundesliga,” Glasner said in mid-December.

Joe scally
Age: 18
Club:
Borussia Monchengladbach
Position:
Back
2021/22 Bundesliga appearances:
17

Scally arrived in Gladbach from New York City at the age of 18 with a fresh face in January 2021 and spent the first six months acclimating to the reserves. An injury to first-choice left-back Remy Bensebaini opened the first-team door for the American in the preseason, and he hasn’t looked back.

look: Growing American Foal: Joe Scally

Scally started Gladbach’s 19 competitive games in 2021/22, operating as required at left-back, right-back and as a winger on each flank. He survived a baptism of fire in a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich on Matchday 1 and was part of the squad that knocked out the DFB Cup title holders with a 5-0 loss in the second round.

Moreover, Scally scored his first Bundesliga goal in Matchday 7’s victory in Wolfsburg, cementing his place in the hearts of Foals fans. Now an integral part of the Borussia-Park first-team furnishings, Scally also received a first call-up for the United States senior national team in November 2021. Although he was an unused substitute in the draw 1- 1 with Jamaica in CONCACAF Zone Qualified for the World Cup, he appears to be a mainstay of Gregg Berhalter’s squad for years to come.


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