Jérôme Boateng (Olympique Lyon)
World champion, Champions League winner, Germany’s footballer of the year – Jérôme Boateng is the biggest star among German Ligue 1 professionals and has been one of the world’s top central defenders for years. The 33-year-old Berliner may not reach the level of his best days, but started his new adventure at Olympique Lyon properly. Since the somewhat unfortunate competitive debut against Racing Strasbourg (3-1), Boateng has played in four out of six games and in each case in the starting line-up. Coach Peter Bosz apparently values the experience of the long-time Bayern professional.
– Jérôme Boateng (@JeromeBoateng) October 3, 2021
Julian Draxler (Paris St. Germain)
Promising first games of the season – Draxler was allowed to start three times in the first five Ligue 1 games – a kink followed. The game minutes became less as coach Mauricio Pochettino increasingly trusted the superstars Lionel Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Ángel di María. After all: Draxler only needed two minutes of play against HSC Montpellier for his second goal of the season. Most recently, the 28-year-old was absent due to illness, but his coach should continue to classify him as a reliable role player.
Ismail Jakobs (AS Monaco)
Ismail Jakobs has not yet made his way into the starting XI of AS Monaco really sustainably, but is on the right track. In the 3-0 win against Girondins Bordeaux, coach Nico Kovac let the 22-year-old ex-Cologne last over 90 minutes for the first time. In the eighth competitive game, he was in the starting line-up for the third time. Jakobs’ advantage: He can be used as a classic left-back in a back four, but also as a rail player in a system with a back three. Many more minutes of use beckon.
Deserved win ???????? time to rest ????????❤️ pic.twitter.com/EsMwEgiU2v
– Ismail Jakobs (@IsmailJakobs) October 3, 2021
Moritz Jenz (FC Lorient)
Moritz Jenz is still completely under the radar in Germany, as the native of Berlin has embarked on a rather unconventional career path. Through the youth of FC Fulham, the 22-year-old landed in Switzerland at FC Lausanne and made his breakthrough as a professional there. The proud transfer of 3.5 million euros that Lorient transferred to Lausanne in the summer, Jenz has so far been able to justify the Bretons’ last center-back (six competitive games, five starting eleven). The 1.90 giant should have already made it onto the list of the Bundesliga scouts.
????️ Moritz Jenz ???????? ????️ pic.twitter.com/39drckdvdj
– FC LORIENT ???? (@FCLorient) August 31, 2021
Thilo Kehrer (Paris St. Germain)
DFB defender Thilo Kehrer started the season with Paris St. Germain as hopeful as his team-mate Julian Draxler and was allowed to play over 90 minutes five times in the first six Ligue 1 games. For almost three weeks, however, the 25-year-old from Tübingen has been waiting for another assignment for the star ensemble. In the back right, 60-million-man Achraf Hakimi is stuck, while in the center, coach Pochettino relies on Presnel Kimpembe and captain Marquinhos. In addition, Sergio Ramos will return to the field at some point. Kehrer suffers less from weakness in form than from the tough competition.
Alexander Nübel (AS Monaco)
It already seemed as if Alexander Nübel could not escape the evil devil in France either. Blatant mistakes brought the 25-year-old Bayern loan initially harsh criticism. “And that should be the future successor of Manuel Neuer at FC Bayern?”asked ex-PSG goalkeeper Jérôme Alonso. In the meantime, however, Nübel seems to have arrived in the principality. The shape curve points upwards, the set (14 of 15 possible bets) did not make major mistakes in the end. After the bumpy start, the two-year stint seems to be gradually paying off.
Julian Pollersbeck (Olympique Lyon)
Julian Pollersbeck moved from Hamburger SV to Olympique Lyon a year ago under completely different conditions than his goalkeeping colleague Nübel. Top dog Antony Lopes may not be flawless by far, but has a completely different standing at OL than the German. After all: Because his rival got a red card, Pollersbeck was allowed to book the first minutes of this season in the derby against AS St. Étienne (1: 1) last weekend.
Kevin Volland (AS Monaco)
After his strong debut season, Kevin Volland was initially only able to contribute something countable (one goal, two assists) in the Champions League qualification, but in Ligue 1 the bustling European Championship participant presented himself without luck. In the meantime, however, the knot has also opened at the national level and the first scorer points (two goals, one assist) have gone to Volland’s account. His bargaining chip: coach Kovac always has use for the 29-year-old who never sticks out.
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— AS Monaco DE (@AS_Monaco_DEU) October 5, 2021