Skilling It in the 2019/20 Bundesliga: The Wall – Makoto Hasebe

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

With the 2019/20 Bundesliga campaign kicking off this weekend, FOX Sports Asia focuses on one of the stars that will be “Skilling It” this season – Eintracht Frankfurt’s Makoto Hasebe.

He may be turning 36 next January but it is almost impossible to notice from the way Makoto Hasebe continues to perform for Eintracht Frankfurt week after week.

The Wall – Makoto Hasebe: Skilling It with Eintracht Frankfurt

Once a midfield general with the ability to dictate the tempo for his side, Hasebe was converted into a sweeper by coach Adi Hutter last season and became as a defensive lynchpin as his side emerged as one of the Bundesliga’s most-entertaining outfits.

A late-season collapse meant Eintracht ultimately missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification but that should be the target once again in 2019/20, while they will also be looking to emulate last season’s charge to the Europa League semi-finals.

Hutter’s preference for a wing-back system, which usually sees the likes of Filip Kostic and Danny da Costa charge forward with intent, makes it imperative to have a steady back three, and Hasebe can often be seen barking out orders as the calming influence in the middle.

When it comes to “Skilling It” the former Japan captain may not be the first that comes to mind but it is his defensive abilities that shine through most often, and he was best remembered last season for weighing in with some crucial goal-line blocks.

Hasebe’s understanding of the game always meant that he had an uncanny ability to sense danger and, now that he is stationed right in front of Kevin Trapp’s goal, that skill will be even more crucial as Eintracht aim for a top-four finish this season.