Despite Bayern’s dominance, the 2021-22 Bundesliga season has been another entertaining campaign, full of twists and turns right up until the end of the season. A number of rising talents emerged out of thin air this season, with the Bundesliga continuing its reputation as one of the best leagues in the world for developing young players into world beaters. So with that, here is our Bundesliga Team of the Season for the 2021-22 campaign.
GOALKEEPER: MANUEL RIEMANNEmbed from Getty Images
Manuel Riemann has been an essential component to VFL Bochum’s stunning survival. Not only has Riemann been one of the best in the league at performing one of the most basic tasks of a goalkeeper – stopping shots, but he’s also been the league’s elite Sweeper Keeper. Completing more defensive actions outside of the penalty area per 90 this season than any other keeper in Europe’s top five leagues (2.00), Riemann has played a massive part in Bochum’s surprise 13th place finish in the table.
Alternative: Lukas Hradecky
RIGHT-BACK: JEREMIE FRIMPONGEmbed from Getty Images
With work still to do in improving his defensive attributes, Jeremie Frimpong has been a complete livewire going forward for Leverkusen this season. The 21-year-old contributed to 7 of Bayer’s goals this season (1 goal + 6 assists), forming a magnificent partnership with Moussa Diaby along the way. His exceptional progressive carrying (8.29 per 90) puts him within the top 1% of all fullbacks in the world, and allows Moussa Diaby to constantly operate as an inverted winger, where he can cut inside onto his wicked left foot and contribute to the likes of Schick and Wirtz.
Alternative: Christopher Trimmel
centre-back: NICO SCHLOTTERBECKEmbed from Getty Images
With transfer rumours abound over Nico Schlotterbeck’s future all season long, it won’t come as a surprise to you to hear that Nico Schlotterbeck excelled in nearly every facet of the game this season. From dominating his 1v1 duels to progressively advancing Freiburg up the pitch to even scoring goals, Schlotterbeck played a massive role in Freiburg’s success this season. His standouts include a colossal aerial duel percentage of 74.4%, the fourth best in the league, and 5.25 tackles + interceptions per game. With a move to Dortmund now secured, Schlotterbeck is set for a long career of success in the Bundesliga.
Alternative: Jonathan Tah
CENTRE-BACK: LUCAS HERNANDEZEmbed from Getty Images
Lucas Hernandez has arguably had the best season of his career, defending like his life depended on it in Julian Nagelsmann’s 4-2-3-1 system. The progressive ball-playing centre-half excelled in all facets of the game this season, whilst helping the Bavarian giants to 11 clean sheets in 34 matches. Hernandez’s personal highlights include 6.76 progressive carries per game, and a 40.2% pressure success rate. Forming a nice partnership with Dayot Upamecano, Hernandez has been one of Bayern’s standout stars this season in an illustrious line-up.
Alternative: Obite Evan Ndicka
LEFT-BACK: DAVID RAUMEmbed from Getty Images
David Raum impressed last season in 2. Bundesliga for Greuther Furth, and swapped the Bundesliga hopeful club for 1899 Hoffenheim prior to the start of the season. Raum hasn’t looked back since, contributing to a career high 14 goals this season. Playing mostly as a left-wing-back in Sebastian Hoeneß’s fluctuating back-three shapes, the 24-year-old German has been able to use his exceptional crossing and delivery package to contribute more assists than any other defender in the league.
Alternative: Christian Gunter
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER: JOSHUA KIMMICHEmbed from Getty Images
Joshua Kimmich needs no introduction, having been the best defensive midfielders in the league (perhaps even the world) for years now. With the world at his fingertips, Kimmich assisted 10 goals and scored 3 of his own, aiding Bayern’s massive goal haul. From the defensive side of the game, the German anchored the back-line magnificently, with an impressive 2.33 interceptions per 90 despite Bayern’s dominance in possession.
Alternative: Kerem Demirbay
CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: JUDE BELLINGHAMEmbed from Getty Images
It’s crazy to think that Jude Bellingham remains just 18-years-old, despite his massive development into one of the world’s best midfielders at Borussia Dortmund the past two seasons. Bellingham took his game to new heights this season, becoming an essential box-to-box presence that Marco Rose built his team around in the first half of the season. Contributing 3 goals and 8 assists to Dortmund this season, Bellingham plays with a class and poise beyond his years.
Alternative: Julian Brandt
RIGHT WING: MOUSSA DIABYEmbed from Getty Images
The likes of Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick may have garnered more headlines this season, but Moussa Diaby played an undeniably important role in Leverkusen’s third-place finish. Forming a wonderful partnership with Jeremie Frimpong down the right, Diaby constantly fed the better players around him with chances, assisting 12 goals this campaign. But he also chipped in with several of his own on that stunning left foot, scoring 13 goals to do one better than his already impressive assist tally.
Alternative: Serge Gnabry
ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: THOMAS MULLEREmbed from Getty Images
Marco Reus may have enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career (with 9 goals and 12 assists), but it’s hard to knock Thomas Muller off the top spot in the number 10 position. Assisting goals at an insane rate, allowing Lewandowski to bang so many into the back of the net in the process, Thomas Muller was once again crucial to Bayern’s title winning success. With 8 goals and 18 assists this season, Muller made every other number ten look like peasants, assisting 5 more goals than Nkunku in second place.
LEFT WING: CHRISTOPHER NKUNKUEmbed from Getty Images
Arguably the Bundesliga’s Player of the Season for 2021-22, Leipzig would be nowhere near the top four had it not been for Christopher Nkunku this season. Almost single-handedly leading Leipzig through the toughest of times this season, under two different managers, Nkunku contributed 33 goals (20 goals + 13 assists) in 34 appearances this season. The Frenchman became the undeniable starter and star inside Leipzig’s stellar attacking unit, making himself the man of the match in nearly every single fixture.
Alternative: Vincenzo Grifo
STRIKER: ROBERT LEWANDOWSKIEmbed from Getty Images
Several Bundesliga strikers have enjoyed impressive campaigns in 2021-22, but it remains impossible to top the madness of Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern legend netted 35 goals as he appeared in all 34 matches this season, a formidable record that highlights not only his excellence in front of goal, but his durability in avoiding injury at 33-years-old now.
Alternative: Patrik Schick
So there it is! Our 2021-22 Bundesliga Team of the Season. Be sure to check out more Bundesliga articles from this season, and follow on social media @mastermindsite to never miss an update. Thanks for reading and see you soon!
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A ‘Wide Warrior’ is a full-back who hasn’t quite kept up with the modern trends associated with their position. Rather than relying on attacking threat and potency to make their name, the ‘Wide Warrior’ continues to be an ever-present at the back, doing their best work closer to goal. They excel at the defensive side of the game above all else, even if they may offer certain advantages going forward (like a wing-back), or in half-spaces (like an inverted fullback). Further, not only do they excel at the defensive side of the game, their manager has made clear intentions for that to be the most important facet of their role within the team, restricting their attacking height.
How do you release the footballing demons (a.k.a. all of your thoughts on the beautiful game) out into the world? I know you have those thoughts, bursting inside of you, desperately clinging to the edge of your cliff brain, just waiting to get out. Do you share your thoughts on Twitter? Through podcasting? Writing? Do you bottle it up inside and never let it out? Regardless of whatever it is that would constitute as your “jam”, why not start your own website? Seriously, why not?