Along with the other talented writers @TheChelseaSpot, I’ve been given a Bundesliga game to cover and monitor certain players that could suit this current Chelsea system under Frank Lampard. The game I chose was the Frankfurt vs Borussia Munchengladbach match which ended with Marco Rose’s Gladbach taking a 1-3 away win which allowed them to overtake Julian Nagelsmann’s RB Leipzig and move into third place of the German first division.
When watching the game, there were some clear standout outfield performances, but before I discuss those players, I’d like to give a small mention to both goalkeepers, Yann Sommer and Kevin Trapp, neither of which kept a clean-sheet, but displayed clear ability that could tempt Frank Lampard into making a move in order to compete with Kepa and ensure he improves his game to fulfil his potential. Both keepers showed a strong awareness of the pitch in front of them which allowed them to sweep up any passes that went in-behind the defence. Although it sounds simple, it’s a skill many keepers struggle with getting the grasp of, which can be costly as being a “sweeper keeper” is vital in the modern game.
Frenchman Alassane Plea opened the scoring just 40 seconds into the encounter after a quick give and go with Hoffman before sliding the ball past Kevin Trapp at the far post. The 27 year old showcased very impressive linkup play and movement as he floated across the pitch in what could be seen as a “free role”. Plea was inches from grabbing a second goal as well, after his long range curler from the left side of the pitch hit the crossbar. If that effort had found the back of the net, it would’ve been the clear favourite for “goal of the day” on the return of the Bundesliga. Plea was also very eager to aggressively regain possession for Marco Rose’s side, shown by his three tackles made throughout the game, a stat that’s very impressive when considering Plea isn’t regarded as a defensive player.
Another Frenchman, this time Marcus Thuram doubled the lead for “The Foals” by finishing an easy tap in created by Algerian left back Ramy Bensebaini, who showcased superb trickery throughout the game to beat his defenders and create chances for his teammates. Bensebaini then grabbed a goal, this time from the penalty spot to ensure there was no way back for Frankfurt. Admittedly, I haven’t watched enough of Bensebaini to judge, however, his performance yesterday epitomised the modern full-back, a position that Chelsea clearly are looking to strengthen in the Summer (with the likes of Emerson and Marcos Alonso rumoured as outgoings). At the age of 25, Ramy Bensebaini could be a real coup for Chelsea if deals for the likes of Alex Telles and Ben Chilwell fall through.
It was a very frustrating day for Adi Hutter’s Frankfurt, but the one standout performer for me was Martin Hinteregger (the defender who famously blasted the ball straight at Kepa from the penalty spot in last season’s Europa League semi-final shootout). The old-school, no nonsense centre back occupied the left side of the back four yesterday, showcasing his fearlessness by winning all four of his ground duels and 1 of his three aerial duels. However, don’t be deceived by his old-school defensive style, as the Austrian showcased time and time again that he possesses the qualities to hold his own in a modern day, possession based system. Hinteregger completed 74 passes (the most of any player on the pitch yesterday) at an 85% success rate. To add to this very impressive performance from Hinteregger, the 27 year old also made an off the line clearance to deny Hoffman and Frankfurt from scoring a fourth goal. Although he was on the losing side, Hinteregger was superb yesterday, and will continue to be one of the more underrated centre-backs in the German division. If there was a possibility of Hinteregger making a move to the Premier League, I have no doubts that he’d adapt fairly quickly due to his physical presence and very impressive ball playing ability.
Who was your standout player from the game yesterday? Would you like to see any of the players mentioned at The Bridge this Summer? Let us know @TheChelseaSpot!