Borussia Dortmund’s midfielder had a mixed first half of the season. After returning from his ankle injury in September, 22-year-old Julian Weigl struggled to replicate his amazing form of the previous seasons. The main reason behind his early struggles was how Peter Bosz set up his team.
Weigl played a lot deeper under Thomas Tuchel. From there he was able to dictate and control the game. He quickly sensed and curtailed danger offering protection to the Center Backs.
Under Bosz he was deployed further up the pitch and was asked to press. This made him ineffective as it suppressed his best qualities. Weigl is known for his amazing long/diagonal balls which carve out the opposition’s defense, but that was not the case under the Dutch manager.
The first thing Peter Stöger did after his appointment was to restore Weigl to his favored role and the change in the player’s form was quickly evident.
BVB managed to win their last two games of the Hinrunde to finish in 3rd place following the appointment of the former Cologne man.
The young German was speaking to Kicker about a turbulent 2017:
“We had an intense year with many ups and downs. Both the attack in April and the Euphoria after the start of the season and the subsequent downswing will not pass you without a trace.”
Weigl stated that even though Derby Rivals Schalke are in second place after a great Hinrunde he believes that Dortmund have the better players and will get back to stride in the new year.
The midfielder is enjoying his role under manager Stöger:
“This is exactly my game. That’s what defined me in my first two years in Dortmund. That is where I see my clear strengths.”
BVB are eyeing a top four finish and a Europa League success in 2018. A rejuvenated Weigl will play an immense role in achieving those goals. He will also be eyeing a World Cup appearance in June.
Rumors surrounding his future are still going on with Man City and Pep Guardiola cited as his biggest admirers. But for now he remains a key player for the Black and Yellows.
(Note: quotes were from taken from German Football Daily site and you can find the full interview here.)