25 Best Bundesliga Players 2013/14: 15 – 11

Up next we have the best five before we break into the Top 10. Entering the fold here are two huge surprise performers who reached another level in their game this season, a veteran who played arguably his best season for his club and two of the best forwards in the league, one of which had a truly transformative and career-changing year.

Find the rest of our countdown here.

15. Andre Hahn (FC Augsburg)

At one point in his career Hahn was frustrated about how his career at developed and he considered to throw it all away. Most Bundesliga fans are probably thankful for the fact that the man who is a certified car painter somehow managed to find his form whilst playing at FC Oberneuland, before he started his meteoric rise from 3. Liga player to Bundesliga starlet.  His pace, his directness and his instinct in front of goal have made him one of Augsburg’s most valuable player, and it doesn’t come as a surprise that Andre Hahn was part of the national team’s preliminary squad ahead of the World Cup.

12 goals, 8 assists and setting up 147 shots are impressive stats for any attacking player in the Bundesliga, never mind for a player who played in the third tier of German football only one and a half years ago. A closer look at his stats will tell you that Hahn has been involved in 42.5% of FC Augsburg’s goals this season.

14. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)

There are some who believe this season has been Arjen Robben’s best at Bayern. And in reality, it’s hard to argue against it. Robben had another stellar year for the club, scoring 11 goals and assisting six on Bayern’s dominant path to the fastest-ever title in league history. They are not his best numbers but the impressive thing about them this year is that they have often come in Bayern’s biggest games. Eleven of those 17 scorer points have come against teams in the top half of the table.

Robben has put behind him his reputation of a overly emotive and difficult personality to be recognized as one of the best professionals in the game but more important, one of the most valuable players when it matters most. Robben’s trademark cuts inside from the right side are still almost impossible to defend and the league found that out the hard way throughout the season.

The Dutch winger has even evolved his game under Guardiola, playing a more central role in games and taking a noticeable leadership position on the pitch. Robben has always given Bayern a different dimension. He has been a key difference-maker and never was that more apparent than this season.

13. Ralf Fährmann (Schalke 04)

11 clean sheets in 22 Bundesliga and an insane shot to save ratio of over 90% at the Veltins Arena(and 80% overall) say pretty much all there needs to be said about Ralf Fährmann’s season. The keeper has been instrumental in turning Schalke’s fortunes around, being one of the main reasons for Schalke’s new points record in the Rückrunde. Few people thought Schalke stood a chance to qualify for the Champions League at the start of the Rückrunde, but they hadn’t counted on Fährmann stabilising the defence as much as he did.

All of this is even more impressive given Fährmann’s list of long term injuries and his reputation of being unreliable at times. His form has proven all of his critics wrong, and even made him one of the candidates for the German national team’s trip to Brazil. His former colleague and undisputed Germany number 1 Manuel Neuer was asked if he saw certain elements of his game blossoming in Fährmann, to which he replied:”Well, you shouldn’t discount for the fact that there is a bit of Ralf Fährmann in my game.”  Those of who have been following Schalke closely this season would probably agree.

12. Max Kruse (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Okay, the post-winter slump of Max Kruse during which he club dropped from Champions League contention must be addressed.

Kruse had a post-winter slump during his club dropped out of Champions League contention.

BOOM, done!

On either side of that seven-match disappearing act, however, Kruse was every bit the asset to Borussia Mönchengladbach everyone knew he would be when he signed from SC Freiburg.

Kruse scored twelve goals in eleven matches. Die Fohlen took points in EVERY match in which Kruse scored. Kruse also is credited with twelve assists on the campaign. In seven matches, Kruse contributed at least one goal and at least one assist. Hence, when the Mönchengladbach offense was clicking, Kruse was a primary cog in the operations.

Being left off Germany’s roster for Brazil was a disappointment for the center forward, but Löw had him pegged as too similar to more-established players and, hence, unnecessary. For Lucien Favre’s club to rebound in the last third of the season to hold onto a Europa Leauge spot, Kruse was very much necessary, as will be his abilities and desire to prove Löw wrong next season.

11. Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin)

The most-commonly uttered phrase when talking about Adrian Ramos lately is, “Well, he’s not really a replacement for Robert Lewandowski.” And he may not be, but considering the lightening of the load for him in joining a roster that already features a Marco Reus, don’t be so sure.

Ramos’ 16 goals accounted for a staggering 40% of Hertha BSC’s goal total of 40. Only one club was more-dependent on a single source for it’s goal scoring, and that side is on its way to the 2.Bundesliga (Tschuß, 1.FC Nürnberg!), though not the player (Willkommen in Leverkusen, Herr Drmic!). Unlike Drmich, however, Ramos also created a fair number of opportunities for teammates with eight assists, meaning Ramos had his hand in a full 60% of Hertha’s scoring!

If someone had told me that before I researched it and did the math, I’d barely have believed it, despite Hertha’s second-half struggles. Ramos also scored in eight of Hertha’s eleven victories, so, for me, the question isn’t whether Ramos can replace Lewandowski, because both Ramos and Dortmund will be just fine, but how does Hertha replace a Ramos?

However it’s done, it won’t be accomplished with just one player, because Ramos is a rarity in being able to shoulder such an offensive load. It’ll be fun to watch what he can do when he doesn’t have to be the lone answer.

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