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Sports Mole's Bundesliga Team of the Season - Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Thomas Muller

:Headline: Sports Mole's Bundesliga Team of the Season - Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Thomas Muller:
Sports Mole selects its Bundesliga Team of the Season for the 2020-21 campaign, including Robert Lewandowski, Erling Braut Haaland and Thomas Muller.
Sports Mole

It has been a Bundesliga season to remember, with the likes of Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt and Union Berlin all performing well above expectations in qualifying for different European competitions, while two of Germany's biggest clubs in the shape of Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 were relegated after long spells in the top flight.

At the top of the table there was a more familiar name in Bayern Munich, who secured a ninth successive title after being pushed hard by RB Leipzig, whose manager Julian Nagelsmann will depart for the Bavarians during the summer.

Here, Sports Mole picks its Bundesliga Team of the Season. While several Bayern players feature as expected, there are plenty of other teams represented - either within the team itself or as an honourable mention - along the way.



Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer

Picking Manuel Neuer in goal feels a little boring at this stage, but sometimes the boring choice is also the right one. The 35-year-old remains one of the finest goalkeepers in world football, often producing superb reflex saves to deny opposition attackers after they have raced in behind Bayern's high line, as well as patrolling Bayern's defensive third with consistent excellence.

Neuer's passing accuracy of 84% is only marginally bettered by Leipzig's Peter Gulacsi, too, showcasing how important he is in terms of helping Bayern build from the back. Indeed, Neuer has led the way in that regard for many years now, inspiring an entire generation of goalkeepers to be comfortable with the ball at their feet as well as rushing off the line to support their defence.

Honourable mentions: Stefan Ortega, Peter Gulacsi, Rafal Gikiewicz



Centre-backs: Maxence Lacroix, Mats Hummels, Dayot Upamecano

For long periods of the season Wolfsburg had the strongest defensive record in the Bundesliga, although Leipzig ultimately pipped them to that accolade. However, the Wolves still managed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since reaching the quarter-final in the 2015-16 season, with Maxence Lacroix a major reason for that.

The 21-year-old is everything most managers are looking for in a modern centre-back: quick, tall, powerful and classy on the ball, with his passing range a major weapon in Oliver Glasner's side's armoury. Signed for only £5m from Sochaux last summer, Wolfsburg stand to make a huge profit when certain European powerhouse clubs inevitably come calling, but they will hope to hold onto him a little longer yet.

In the middle of our back three we have plumped for experience and quality in Mats Hummels, who has deservedly been recalled to Germany's squad for Euro 2020 as a result of his fine form this season. The 32-year-old has scored five goals while winning the second most amount of aerial duels in the Bundesliga, illustrating his dominance and continued importance to Borussia Dortmund, who without him would almost certainly have fallen short of qualifying for the Champions League.

Lastly, no defensive trio would be complete without the irrepressible Dayot Upamecano, who will follow Nagelsmann to Bayern next season. While Upamecano still has the odd mistake in him, that is perfectly normal for a 22-year-old defender. What is not normal is Upamecano's incredible combination of speed, ball-playing ability and aerial dominance, so it comes as no surprise that Bayern have snapped up the France defender in order to replace the departing duo of Jerome Boateng and David Alaba.

Honourable mentions: John Brooks, Manuel Akanji, Willi Orban



Right wing-back: Silas Wamangituka

Stuttgart enjoyed a fine season upon their return to the Bundesliga having gained promotion last season, ultimately securing a top-half position. However, the manner in which Pellegrino Matarazzo's side's form deteriorated after Silas Wamangituka's season-ending ACL injury on March 20 came as little surprise after the winger had established himself as one of the most explosive talents in the division.

Deservedly named Rookie of the Season having won the monthly award on three separate occasions, Wamangituka's searing pace and workrate makes him a joy to watch but a nightmare to defend against, with the 21-year-old equally capable of beating players or finding himself on the end of team moves.

Eleven goals and four assists in 25 appearances is a superb return for a wide man with defensive duties competing at the elite level for the first time in his career. Fingers crossed he bounces back from his injury as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Honourable mentions: Ridle Baku, Christopher Trimmel



Central midfielders: Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Muller

We have opted for a Bayern combination in the middle of the park, with Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller both mandatory inclusions in this XI after enjoying fine campaigns.

Having started his career at right-back, Kimmich has followed in Philipp Lahm's footsteps in terms of moving into midfield, albeit at a much earlier age than the legendary German. In truth, he is a more dynamic footballer than Lahm ever was, capable of outrageous goals and assists while breaking up play and keeping things ticking in the middle of the park. Four goals and 10 assists in 27 appearances is testament to Kimmich's quality, especially having suffered a meniscus injury against Dortmund in November.

Muller, meanwhile, has enjoyed one of the best seasons of his illustrious career, having equalled his tally of 29 goal contributions from last season, once again topping the division's assist chart quite comfortably in the end.

Like Hummels, the 31-year-old has deservedly been recalled to Germany's squad for Euro 2020, with Joachim Low clearly recognising that Muller's best days are not behind him as he may have originally believed. Indeed, while Muller may not be the most technically gifted footballer in the world, the fact that he ranked 12th for distance covered and eighth for duels won in the Bundesliga shows how valuable the self-acclaimed 'Raumdeuter' is off the ball as well as on it.

Honourable mentions: Max Kruse, Lars Stindl, Florian Neuhaus, Florian Wirtz, Daichi Kamada, Robert Andrich



Left wing-back: Filip Kostic

Perhaps the biggest compliment we can provide Filip Kostic with is that he was one of the main reasons we opted to go with a 3-4-3 system while creating this Team of the Season. The Serbian has been an absolute phenomenon down Frankfurt's left flank, particularly in more recent times, having laid on 13 assists in his last 19 appearances.

While Kostic's remarkable tally of 213 crosses from open play suggests that Frankfurt's system perhaps provides him with more opportunity to assist players than the majority of other players in the division, there is little doubting the 28-year-old's wand of a left foot, which makes building around him worthwhile. Indeed, no combination proved more fruitful than Kostic to Andre Silva in the Bundesliga this season, with the winger laying on eight assists for the striker in the end.

Honourable mentions: Christian Gunter, Angelino, Raphael Guerreiro, Borna Sosa



Strikers: Erling Braut Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, Andre Silva

Always the glamorous end of the pitch, we have cheated a little by including three strikers in our team, but with all three of them scoring more than 25 goals this season, it proved impossible to leave any of them out.

Erling Braut Haaland is the Golden Boy winner and most clubs in Europe's number one target for the forthcoming summer transfer window with good reason, having bagged 27 league goals in 27 starts for Dortmund this season. The 20-year-old has sensationally scored a brace on 11 separate occasions in the Bundesliga this season, showing how unplayable his pace, power and technique makes him on his day. The scary part is that he can still improve on his all-round play, while blanking in exactly half of his league appearances demonstrates how he can struggle to influence certain games which are not necessarily going his way.

The same clearly cannot be said for Robert Lewandowski, who broke Gerd Muller's 40-year long record of 40 Bundesliga goals in a campaign by notching his 41st strike on the final day of the season. Astonishingly, the 32-year-old failed to score in only three of his league appearances all season. It remains a disgrace that he was deprived the opportunity of winning the Ballon d'Or which he clearly deserved last year, but he earns a spot in our Team of the Season at least having been by far the best player in the Bundesliga this season. An undoubted legend of the game.

Lastly, Andre Silva may have benefitted from Filip Kostic's aforementioned crossing ability, but only Lewandowski managed more goals than Silva's impressive tally of 28 strikes this season. Frankfurt ultimately fell short of qualifying for the Champions League in the end, but that was certainly not through a lack of effort or ability on Silva's part, with the Portugal forward converting almost 25% of his shots into goals. As such, there is every chance that the 25-year-old will be attracting interest from Europe's major clubs in the summer, with his impressive leap, aerial ability, agility and composure in front of goal making him an appealing option for any club in need of a well-rounded number nine.

Honourable mentions: Wout Weghorst, Sasa Kalajdzic, Jadon Sancho, Andrej Kramaric, Vincenzo Grifo



SPORTS MOLE'S BUNDESLIGA TEAM OF THE SEASON

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