Julian Weigl 21 Midfielder Borussia Dortmund Germany
Snapped up by Borussia Dortmund in 2015 after being one of the few good things in an 1860 Munich side that just about avoided relegation to the third tier of German football; Julian Weigl hasn’t looked back in the past 18 months.
Made captain at 1860 at the tender age of 18 – a responsibility not handed out lightly – Weigl has a mature head beyond his years and ability on the ball that many would covet. He looked bright in Bundesliga Zwei but at a higher level where the quality of football is less agricultural, he sparkles.
Playing at the base of the midfield, Weigl prefers to go about his business reasonably quietly. He finds space to receive the ball and quickly moves it on – either to recycle possession or to kick an attack into motion. He can do more than the simple things though. The 20-year old has an excellent range of passing ability which means he is capable of catching teams napping with a 50 yard ping, should the chance present itself.
He is a little weak on the ball and can be muscled out of possession relatively easily but thanks to the positions he knows to drift into, he mitigates how often that happens.
2016 has been…
There is little in the last 12 months that Weigl can feel honestly aggrieved about; perhaps a trophy with club or country would have been nice. On a personal level he has done everything pretty much right for a team finding themselves again after a blip during 2014/15; though he still isn’t getting an A. He hasn’t been THAT good.
Weigl played 47 times across all competitions, and week-by-week you could track little improvements in his play. He’s far from the finished article of course but the level to which Thomas Tuchel can build this player up to is an exciting prospect for everyone around the club.
So far this season he’s on track to play another 45 times or so for Dortmund and comprehensively establish himself as part of the furniture in the Black and Yellows’ midfield. That will help as he looks to become a regular for the German national team as well.
So good was Weigl’s 2015/16 that he finished the season with a place in the Euro 2016 squad. He didn’t play any minutes at the tournament, but has since gone on to add three caps to the one he picked up in a friendly just a couple of weeks before the European Championships kicked off. The future has rather abruptly become the present of the German midfield.
Borussia Dortmund have finished in the top two of the Bundesliga in five of the last six seasons. They are no longer a plucky hipster club with season tickets that cost €5, but one of two giants in the German game currently.
As such – they are there to be aimed at and with the sudden rise of Red Bull Leipzig, the pressure on the Dortmund players is different. They are fighting to retain their position, rather than being delighted by upsetting FC Hollywood. Weigl is part of that, and he needs to play well to keep the team where they belong.
B A Rolls Royce of a midfielder; lovely
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