With the Bundesliga returning this weekend, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the top five midfielders in the competition in the first half of the 2019/20 campaign.
They are the ones that link defence to attack, win the ball back in the pivotal areas and deliver the final pass that leads to the most valuable commodity in football: goals.
Midfielders are often the heartbeat of the team and the Bundesliga has no shortage of stars in the position.
Top 5 Midfielders of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season so far
More recently, Jadon Sancho and Serge Gnabry have been the names on everyone’s lips following their astronomical rises, but some of the more-seasoned campaigners like Thomas Muller are still going strong.
With assists as the benchmark, we look at the five best midfielders in the campaign so far ahead of the Ruckrunde, as the second half of the season is referred to in Germany.
5) SERGE GNABRY (BAYERN MUNICH) – 6 assists
Last season, Serge Gnabry emerged as one of the most-damaging wingers in the Bundesliga, even relegating Bayern Munich’s legendary duo Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben to a place on the bench as he and Kingsley Coman formed their own double act down the flanks.
In 2019/20, the Germany international has continued his fine form and has six assists to his name, while also leading the competition in clear-cut chances created.
Although Bayern have had their fair share of problems this season, Gnabry has been consistently performing each week and is also their joint-second top scorer with six goals.
4) CHRISTOPHER NKUNKU (RB LEIPZIG) – 7 assists
Having only signed him from Paris Saint-Germain at the start of the season, RB Leipzig might have expecting to adopt a patient approach with Christopher Nkunku.
But from the point he scored just four minutes after coming on for his debut in a 4-0 win at Union Berlin on the opening weekend, Nkunku has proven he is already capable of making an impact for the league leaders.
Still only 22, Nkunku has also been given the responsibility at set-pieces has been involved in a goal on an average of one every 85 minutes, which means he is almost certain to either score or assist whenever he plays a full match.
3) THORGAN HAZARD (BORUSSIA DORTMUND) – 7 assists
Borussia Dortmund’s big-name summer signing Thorgan Hazard also has seven assists but, considering he has also netted four goals, ranks just ahead of Nkunku.
Remarkably for someone who is his side’s second-highest assist maker, he also leads them in overall shots on goal – highlighting just what a force to be reckoned with he is in the attacking third.
Whether it is out on the wing or up front where he is deployed by BVB manager Lucien Favre, Hazard is never far away from the action and he recently wrote his name in the history books as the top-scoring Belgian in Bundesliga history with 35 goals.
2) JADON SANCHO (BORUSSIA DORTMUND) – 9 assists
One of the hottest properties in world football at the moment, Sancho may have had some disciplinary issues this term that has seen him dropped on a couple of occasions, but it does not seem to have impacted his output on the field.
With nine goals and as many assists to his name at the halfway mark of the campaign, no Dortmund player can boast to have had a hand in as many goals as the English starlet.
Already boasting a host of “youngest-ever” records to his name, Sancho is threatening to surpass talismanic captain Marco Reus as Dortmund’s most-important player this season.
1) THOMAS MULLER (BAYERN MUNICH) – 11 assists
The adage “old is gold” has certainly been proven true by Thomas Muller, although that is also being slightly harsh to the Bayern stalwart as he is only 30 and should have a few more good seasons left in his legs.
The impact he has had for Bayern is all the more impressive considering he did not start the season with a guaranteed berth in the starting XI following the summer arrival of Philippe Coutinho, and his competition-high 11 assists in the first 17 games is a feat that has never been achieved before in Bundesliga history.
Still, Muller kept his head down and has regained his place under Hans-Dieter Flick, who took over the helm following the departure of Niko Kovac and seems determined to find a way to accommodate both playmakers in the same side.