Every weekend we pick out one player under the age of 23 from around Europe and analyse their performance to provide you with an in-depth scouting report.
As the new generation begin to make their mark, the big clubs start to be linked with an interest and that’s certainly been the case with Germany and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl.
Man City and Liverpool are known admirers and so for those fans looking to know more, we examined the 22-year-old’s display as Dortmund travelled to Borussia Monchengladbach.
Shots – 0
Touches – 63
Passes – 38
Pass accuracy – 60.5%
Aerials won – 3
Tackles – 6
Interceptions – 4
Key passes – 0
Clearances – 1
Dispossessed – 1
30 SECOND REPORT
One of the hottest properties in the Bundesliga, Weigl’s understanding of the game is beyond his years making him the epitome of a cerebral Dortmund team.
The German international has only made 15 appearances for the Westfalenstadion outfit this season after returning from a broken ankle suffered last May, but looked in mixed form against Borussia Monchengladbach.
From intercepting the opposition’s attacks to setting his side away on the counter, the midfielder was at the very least a steady presence defensively for Peter Stoger’s side.
At 22, his best years are yet to come, but he needs to improve physically.
Positioning – The German showed plenty of maturity with his positioning and the sense of responsibility with which he tracked back and covered for his team-mates. Despite offering little threat on the attack, he was still solid if unspectacular – and always looked for the simple option.
Defensively – He was top-notch, always alert and made six tackles and four interceptions – the highest of any Dortmund player. Needs to improve on his aerial ability if he wants to prosper in the defensive midfield role.
Physicality – Although he looks a model of consistency in terms of his intelligence and how he uses the ball, he needs to strengthen up if he wants to be a world class central midfielder. At 1.87m and 72kg, he got pushed off the ball far too easily in key areas of the park.
Energy – Looks a shell of the star he was under Thomas Tuchel last season in terms of his contribution in and out of possession, with a pass accuracy of just 60.5 per cent on Sunday. Perhaps a week’s rest would do Weigl wonders in a bid to keep him fresh for crucial games towards the end of the season.
7th minute INTERCEPTION – The German started brightly, intercepting Lars Stindl’s pass and flicking the ball on to Mario Gotze, but Dortmund were unable to force an early breakthrough.
10th minute LINK-UP – Dortmund lose possession from a corner and the ball is sent up the pitch, but Weigl is the last man back and collects possession inside his own half and feeds it to Marco Reus.
15th minute FOULED – Runs into space to take the ball from Sokratis Papastathopoulos and is chopped down by Monchengladbach’s Jonas Hoffman on the right.
29th minute LINK-UP – Sprints onto a loose ball, breaks past three would-be tacklers on the right and feeds the ball to Reus but Dortmund are turned over.
31st minute GOAL – Flicks the ball over to Gotze who sends a cross-field ball to Andre Schurrle. The youngster collects possession on the edge of the box, flashes it across goal and Reus dips one over a stranded Monchengladbach keeper Yann Sommer to make it 1-0.
58th minute INTERCEPTION – The hosts come bounding through the middle but Weigl stick a foot in to avert the danger, however his attempted pass runs too far for Michy Batshuayi to collect.
68th minute INJURY – Looks to have picked up an ankle injury when tracking back but is able to shake off the niggle a few minutes later.
72nd minute FOULED – Comes barreling into a 50/50 challenge with Stindl, and falls under the sheer impact, earning a free-kick around the halfway line.
73rd minute CLEARANCE – Shows fantastic alertness to pounce on a would-be pass for Stindl and sends the ball down the far end of the field.
All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com
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