As we reach the end of the 2017-18 Bundesliga Hinrunde, we see the same recurring two figures at the top of the scoring charts, and Bayern Munich comfortably sitting in first place again.
But if you choose to look a little past the 28 goals Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have converted between them, there is clutch of players on eight goals, one of whom is FC Augsburg’s 2nd best scorer Michael Gregoritsch.
The 23 year old is competing in his third top flight campaign, but this one is really looking like a break-out season.
Since his first goal for the club against much-fancied RB Leipzig on Matchday 5, that turned out to be the winner he has gone on a hot-streak linking up with strike partner Alfred Finnbogason to notch a combined 19 goals.
This has gone a long way to determining the Bavarian clubs best start to a Bundesliga season as they sit just three points off the Europa League positions.
A prolific scorer in the youth teams in his native Austria, Gregoritsch made the move to Hoffenheim in 2011. However, despite being a regular in the second team, he suffered from the club’s instability at the top, as they saw three managers come and go between the summer of 2011 and the end of 2012.
With current set up at the club under innovative boss Julian Nagelsmann, it’s more than likely that Gregoritsch would have got a chance – but hindsight is a wonderful thing!
A series of unproductive loan spells with St Pauli and Bochum could have knocked the the youngster’s confidence, but coming from a football mad family – his father Werner is the Austrian U21 head coach, failing was not an option.
He was signed by Hamburg in 2015, but a combination of being out on the right wing and injury meant he only managed to score 10 goals in his two seasons at the Volksparkstadion.
It has always been a battle for Gregoritsch to gain recognition whether it be tumultuous management at Hoffenheim, not fitting in at Hamburg or playing second fiddle to Bochum’s all time 2.Bundesliga record scorer Simon Terrone.
A tweet whilst on the fringes of the Hoffenheim team on the 18th January 2013 from Gregoritsch read:
— Michael Gregoritsch (@MGregoritsch) January 18, 2013
Gregoritsch can relax now, knowing when the Rückrunde begins in 2018 he will be a key man in the team aiming to continue build on his best Bundesliga goal tally against no other than his former side Hamburg.
It seems Augsburg coach Manuel Baum has found a successful formula which has the Austrian international finally emerging from the shadows.