This past weekend, the German, Italian and Spanish top divisions all kicked off their league campaigns. This meant that all of Europe’s top five leagues were underway. There are German national team players that ply their trade with several of Europe’s best football clubs. Below is an assessment on some of the German player’s performances for their respective clubs.
Mario Gotze: It was great to see super Mario back in action for Dortmund versus Wolfsburg on Saturday. After troubles with Metabolic diseases earlier this year, the world cup winner was able to recover in time for the start of the Bundesliga season. He put in a very strong performance for the black and yellows, providing an assist for the goal scored by the American wonderkid Christian Pulisic. Hopefully, the talented midfielder continues to impress new coach Peter Bosz and is given a chance to start regularly for Borussia Dortmund.
Timo Werner: The speedy forward was not able to pick up from where he left off last season. He was unable to bag a goal in RB Leipzig’s opening day defeat against Schalke. The Gelsenkirchen side were resolute in their defending and did not provide Werner with the space needed to exploit their back line. There was little to no ingenuity from the Leipzig players and that resulted in Timo Werner having a very quiet performance, hence the lone shot he took in the game.
Leon Goretzka: Unlike Leipzig, Schalke had a fantastic first week in the Bundesliga. The Royal Blues put in a remarkable performance to accumulate their first three points of the season. One of the key players in their first win of the season was the dynamic midfielder, Leon Goretzka. The long-legged German International was required to close down space in the midfield and work his socks off to get the job done. He made five tackles and four interceptions in what was considered to be a masterclass defensive performance from Schalke. He also played a major role in preventing the energetic Naby Keita from dominating the midfield.
Julian Brandt: After watching Brandt play on Friday, it is fair to say that the skillful German international was unlucky not to start in Leverkusen’s important match versus Bayern Munich. The blonde-haired sensation was instrumental in the second half for Die Werkself. He provided the assist for the wonderful Mehmedi goal and at times was a handful for Bayern to go up against. Throughout the duration of his time on the pitch, Brandt created three clear cut chances and took three shots. You could only imagine what the score would have been if he played in the first half.
Matthias Ginter: In his first game for Borussia Monchengladbach, the versatile defender was outstanding to say the least. He was very comfortable in possession, completing a pass success rate of ninety-four percent and was very solid at the back. Ginter also made four tackles and helped keep a clean sheet against a decent Cologne side. Expect Matthias to continue to thrive alongside the towering presence of Jannik Vestergaard at the back.
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) August 20, 2017
Mesut Ozil: It does not seem like the haters are going to get off of Mesut’s back anytime soon. After Stoke City surprisingly defeated Arsenal in the second week of the premier league season, Mesut came under a lot of scrutiny from fans and pundits. Overall, he did not perform poorly as he still completed ninety-four percent of his passes, created 4 clear cut chances and had over one hundred touches throughout the game. The best way to describe Ozil’s performance is involved, but not enough for a player of his standards.
Shkodran Mustafi: Now here we have an Arsenal player that definitely deserves to be criticized for his performance. With Arsenal looking thin at the back, many fans were happy to see Mustafi playing at center back. Unfortunately, he did not help the Gunners much as he was partially at fault for the goal that Arsenal conceded. The German of Albanian descent should have closed down on Berahino to prevent him from dishing the ball out to the goalscorer, Jese. He must perform better for Arsenal in their upcoming matches in order to inspire the fans, who already seemed to be distraught with their team’s start to the season.
Antonio Rudiger: After receiving undeserved criticism for his performance against Burnley, the imposing defender silenced the critics with a tremendous performance in the blues win over London rivals, Tottenham. The former Roma defender looked very comfortable in a back three formation and read the game well in order to thwart Tottenham’s attack. He even played a role in preventing Harry Kane from running riot on Chelsea’s defense. Rudiger may be Chelsea’s most surprising performer this season.
Toni Kroos: What is there to say about Germany’s best player that hasn’t been said yet. The graceful midfielder was again outstanding for the European champions in their 3-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna. He scored a beautiful goal from the edge of the box to seal the deal for Real Madrid in the sixty-second minute. He also completed ninety percent of his passes, touched the ball over one hundred times and was never dispossessed throughout the match. A class performance as usual from the two-footed midfielder.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen: It was a typical Barcelona goalkeeper performance from Germany’s number two goalkeeper. Ter Stegen had nearly nothing to do the whole game due to Barcelona’s dominance throughout the game. The Blaugrana had over sixty percent possession and the opposition took only three shots the whole game. Zero shot were on target from Real Betis and Ter Stegen did not have to put much effort into getting his first clean sheet of the season.
Sami Khedira: The former Real Madrid midfielder had to start on the bench for Juventus’s opener versus Cagliari. He came on in the sixty-second minute and did not make much of an impact while he was on the pitch. With the addition of Matuidi, there is more quality competition that Khedira must face in order to start regularly for the defending Serie A champions. If the midfielder wants to get back into the starting lineup, Khedira must make the most out of his playing time and help the team achieve their goals.
Julian Draxler: He only played for the last few minutes of the game, as PSG convincingly beat Toulouse at the Parc de Princes. It seems as if Draxler has really fallen down the pecking order at the Paris-based club and he may have to get used to playing five or ten minute cameos for the rest of the season. Especially with Neymar dominating on the pitch, it seems unlikely that Draxler is able to fight for his place in the starting eleven.