As the transfer window will soon be shut clubs across Europe will have to make crucial last-minute decisions to strengthen their ranks. Amid the rising competition and talented youth being readily available clubs across the continent are spoilt for choice. During such times scouts and recruiters should not be blamed for missing out on underrated players. One such overlooked player who is currently not linked to any club is Jonathan Burkardt.
The young German led the charge for FSV Mainz 05 as they secured an eighth-place finish in the Bundesliga. Naturally, he was the highest-scoring player on the team with 11 goals. Ever since joining Mainz from Darmstadt 98, the 22-year-old has been on an upward trajectory, consistently improving his stats year on year.
The Darmstadt native is comfortable in playing all attacking positions. For instance, he is rated above average in both npXg (0.47) and touches in the penalty area (6.36) as a striker and an attacking midfielder/winger. But he is the most effective when played as a striker/ center-forward as all of the goal contributions (18) he made throughout the last season have been in that role.
Apart from his exceptional goal-scoring form, Burkardt has been impressive in possession as well. He has averaged a progressive carrying distance of 70.62 yards combined with 3.89 progressive carries per match. To complement these stats he also averaged 1.42 dribbles per game. These possession-based numbers make him a suitable candidate for a team like Chelsea which is full of goal-scoring fullbacks and midfielders that require a striker who can fall back to make space in the final third.
It won’t be controversial to term Jonathan Burkardt the perfect German attacker since he has been infused with the Gegenpress at a very early age. With 4.69 successful pressures, he is one of the best pressing forwards in the top 5 leagues (90th percentile). With 7.75 attempted pressures per 90 Burkardt acts as the crucial first line of defense.
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With big clubs like Chelsea being hung on Anthony Gordan and Manchester United considering Victor Osimhen, Burkardt looks like an attractive bargain. But with such impressive stats at a relatively young age, he is only set to improve and will not stay unnoticed for long.
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