Despite the continued dominance from Bayern Munich in recent years, many of the ‘smaller’ sides still flourish with talent. I have picked 11 players who you may not have heard of and hopefully make you aware of talent you may not expect to find it. I’m not a follower of the Bundesliga so I may have missed some players off, who deserve to be in this team!
Goalkeeper: Rune Jarstein (Hertha Berlin)
The Hertha Berlin goalkeeper enjoyed a solid season in the Bundesliga, he helped his side finish 7th last season this was an impressive season for Hertha. Despite being 32, Jarstein has showed no signs of declining in ability, judging by stats from last season.
Playing in 29 games last season, Jarstein kept a total of 12 clean sheets for Hertha last season. The 32 year old conceded only 35 goals, which is impressive considering he played 29 games! Making 2 saves for every goal conceded, Jarstein is without a doubt extremely underrated. Making 76 catches, the Norwegian is a dominant presence in the box. On the other hand, with only a 64% distribution completion rate, this is his downside to his game.
Joël Matip (Was at Schalke now at Liverpool)
The former Schalke defender was a rock in a side which finished 5th last term. The 25 year old is also yet to hit his prime so his success in the Bundesliga last season reflects his ability and how he can still improve at Liverpool.
The former Schalke centre back enjoyed a good season before setting off to England. He made 101 interceptions, 33 blocks and 182 clearances! This shows that he is a defensive rock which is no surprise due to his demand. The Cameroon international also has a 83% pass completion rate which is good for the modern day centre back.
Niklas Süle (1899 Hoffenheim)
Niklas Süle,who is destined to be a future German international, enjoyed a fantastic season at Hoffenheim last season, despite the fact they finished in a disappointing 15th. The German who’s represented Germany from the U16- senior national team will look to build on and cement himself into the national side.
The 6’5 man committed only 17 fouls, the second best in my chosen back line! He also made 63 interceptions, 29 blocks and a staggering 205 clearances. These stats can partly be put down to the team’s poor finish last season hence the lack of support from the rest of the defence and the midfield. However it can also be partly be put down to age as Süle is only 21. Süle made only 1 defensive mistake which is good considering his age. The German rock had a 86% pass completion rate which is phenomenal.
Andreas Christensen (Borussia Mönchengladbach on loan from Chelsea)
The defender who was on loan from Chelsea last season impressed in the German top tier. He contributed to a team who finished 4th last season! Not to mention, at only 20 he has plenty of time to grow into a top quality centre back.
The Danish centre back is the only defender in my chosen back 4 to not have made a defensive mistake! He made 82 interceptions, 22 blocks, 130 clearances and only received 1 yellow card last season. Christensen had the highest pass completion rate in my chosen defence with a stunning 87%.
Aytaç Sulu (SV Darmstadt 98)
Being 30 years old, Sulu is still in his prime and this was reflected by his solid season last season for Darmstadt. He contributed to the side who finished 14th in the Bundesliga, however Darmstadt aren’t one of the biggest clubs in the Bundesliga.
The 30 year old had a solid season for Darmstadt last season, he made 102 interceptions, 29 blocks, 184 clearances and he committed 34 fouls. However, Sulu received 6 yellow cards due to a lack of discipline. He also had a dreadful pass completion rate of 59%.
Håvard Nordtveit (Borussia Mönchengladbach now at West Ham)
The Norwegian international’s solid season was rewarded with a move to the Premier league this season. Nordtveit was a factor of Mönchengladbach’s success in the Bundesliga last term.
Playing 31 games for Mönchengladbach last season, the Norwegian enjoyed a remarkable season in the midfield. Making 87 clearances, the defensive midfielder’s duty was only to defend. This is due to making only 8 key passes and creating 9 chances. His defensive stats on the other hand are more impressive, with an aerial win rate of 62.50%. Not to mention a solid 82% pass completion rate, these stats can justify why he is now in the Premier league due to his defensive capabilities.
Yunus Mallı (FSV Mainz 05)
Despite representing Germany in all age groups from u17-u21, Mallı is a Turkish international with 8 caps to his name. However you can see why he represented Germany in the youth stages due to his fantastic season for Mainz providing the midfield support for them to finish in an impressive 6th!
A more attacking threat in the midfield, Mallı played the most in the midfield with 34 games for Mainz last season. Making 39 key passes and creating 43 chances, the man born in Germany also managed to get 4 assists. The 24 year old can still improve as a footballer; judging by these stats he could become a good player in the premier league.
Johannes Geis (Schalke 04)
The up and coming of Geis has been apparent in the last few seasons that along with Süle he has the potential to become better than he is! The 23 year old, who still has time to develop was in Schalke’s midfield last season.
Undoubtedly, Geis was critical in Schalke’s success last season, he played a huge part in the midfield. The former German u21 international played a total of only 28 games. However, his stats more than make up for it! Making 58 key passes and creating 63 chances, Geis dictated the midfield with his array of passing, he had a pass completion rate of 83% showing he is confident in passing the ball. Geis also chipped in with 5 assists, defensively he can also hold his own by winning 45 tackles. Also, he made 40 clearances, the second highest in my chosen midfield.
Josuha Guilavogui (Vfl Wolfsburg)
The French midfielder who joined Wolfsburg from Atletico Madrid impressed hugely last season, he provided a brick wall to protect the defence. He helped Wolfsburg finish 8th which isn’t bad considering they missed Kevin De Bruyne! The defensive midfielder has a total of 7 caps but has many years ahead of him being only 26 years old.
The former Atletico Madrid midfielder was influential in Wolfsburg’s midfield last season. The Frenchman made a total of 30 appearances. Being the defensive rock in midfield last season, he had the highest pass completion rate in my midfield with an impressive 88%! With 56 tackles won and making 87 interceptions, the man who’s been capped 7 times by France can undoubtedly cut it in the premier league judging by his stats at Wolfsburg.
Antony Modeste (FC Köln)
The 28 year old striker has been in the Bundesliga since his move from Bordeaux in 2013, he joined Hoffenheim and in 2015 he left to join Köln. Was also a French u21 international with 16 youth caps and 6 goals to his youth career.
The 28 year old enjoyed a prolific season for Köln last season. He played a sum of 34 games and had a huge impact on the team which he helped finish 9th. Scoring 15 goals, the man born in Cannes, France also scored 3 goals from penalties. Despite only having 3 assists, Modeste is a fox in the box with 4 headed goals and all 15 inside the area. The former Blackburn loanee has already had time in England however this was in 2012 so the game has changed since then.
Raffael (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
The Brazilian who spearheaded Möchengladbach’s attack last season, enjoyed a phenomenal season and was one of the best players in the Bundesliga on stats! The 31 year old is showing no signs of slowing down or declining in ability due to his season last season.
The Brazilian played a total of 31 games last season, scoring 10. Raffael was pivotal in Mönchengladbach’s season last season. With 10 assists and 81 successful take on’s, the 31 year old has displayed he doesn’t just score goals but contributes to the team.
Despite a lot of these players playing for the big clubs in the Bundesliga, I think a lot of these players are underrated despite their stats out performing more high profile players. Whether these players could cut it in the Premier League, time will tell but judging by the stats they could be very good signings for whoever signs them. If anyone signs them!