Bundesliga 2017/18: Top 5 midfielders so far

Bender has had an impressive run under Heiko Herrlich
Bender has had an impressive run under Heiko Herrlich

So, the Christmas is over and 2018 is just around the corner, which also comes with the end of the Bundesliga Hinrunde.

In a Hinrunde (the first half of the season) which brought us tonnes of excitement as well as surprises, we continue our search for top five players in each department.

In our last article, we talked about the top five Bundesliga defenders of the Hinrunde, here's our next follow up, as we search for the top five midfielders in the Bundesliga so far this season.

Also read: The top 5 defenders of the Bundesliga's Hinrunde (First Round)

#5 Lars Bender - Bayer Leverkusen

Following the departure of midfield maestro Kevin Kampl, in what seemed, in all aspects, a very dubious move from Leverkusen's perspective, Lars Bender's return to prominence has been a huge relief for the Rheinland outfit.

The 28-year-old midfield enforcer has been a vital cog for Heiko Herrlich's midfield setup this season. His physicality and warrior-like spirit have boosted the club's morale as well as making them much more competent, something which was missing, under the tutelage of Tayfun Korkut last season.

The midfielder has averaged three defensive actions this season, but his stunning record in duels is what makes him an important part in any midfield and that's exactly been the case with Leverkusen this season as the 28-year-old acquires an impressive tackle won ratio of 67%.

Die Werkself have performed really under the leadership of new head coach Heiko Herrlich this season. And Lars Bender's presence will be imperative if they are to maintain their good record throughout the rest of the season.

#4 Denis Zakaria - Borussia Monchengladbach

Denis Zakaria in action for Gladbach
Denis Zakaria in action for Gladbach

Denis Zakaria has been one of the most intriguing summer transfer additions in the Bundesliga. Initially brought in from Swiss club Young Boys in order to replace the Borussia Dortmund bound midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud, the Swiss youngster has managed to make a huge impact quite early on in his Bundesliga career.

A strong and composed presence in the centre of the park, Denis Zakaria has been the complete midfield package for Gladbach this season. The former Young Boys starlet can be compared with Borussia Dortmund prodigy Julian Weigl but his physical prowess and dynamism enable him to play much more freely in midfield, unlike the German International.

The Gladbach midfielder has the talent emerge as one of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga and will definitely be one of the most intriguing players to look forward to in the World Cup next year.

#3 Felix Klaus - Hannover 96

Felix Klaus has done will for newly promoted Hannover
Felix Klaus has done will for newly promoted Hannover

Felix Klaus has been a revelation under head coach Andre Breitenreiter this season. The 25-year-old midfielder, largely known for his stint with relegated clubs, is finally making his mark at the top end of German football this year.

The former Freiburg man has played a key role in Hannover's impressive form so far this season. Apart from creating the second most chances in the team, Klaus has also been influential in the team's offensive work.

His pace and directness are perfectly suited to the counter-attacking philosophy of Andre Breitenreiter. Furthermore, his impressive work rate has also helped the club in terms of being compact in defensive stances.

Although Felix Klaus is involved in only four goals so far this season, he has been definitely been an instrumental figure in Hannover's success story in the Bundesliga Hinrunde.

#2 Arturo Vidal - Bayern Munich

Real Madrid CF v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg
Arturo Vidal has impressed under Heynckes

The acquisitions of midfielders Sebastian Rudy and Corentin Tolisso felt like the beginning of the end of Arturo Vidal's tenure at FC Bayern with the Chilean often being linked with a move to Manchester United.

However, the former Juventus midfielder has once shown why he's regarded as one of the strongest midfielders in world football. The Chilean has managed to get back to his former self, ever since the appointment of Jupp Heynckes.

He has been instilled as a first team starter once again, where he's been highly influential in the team's dominance in the middle third. Especially in the last few matches, the 30-year-old has performed really well.

However, it's his trait of scoring important goals (five this season) which have sealed his place in our Bundesliga's top five midfielders of the Hinrunde this season.

#1 Leon Bailey - Bayer Leverkusen

Bailey is already attracting the big clubs with his performances for Leverkusen
Bailey is already attracting the big clubs with his performances for Leverkusen

By far the most impressive and improved player in the Bundesliga Hinrunde, Leon Bailey's sudden breakout has been one of the highlights of the season so far.

Following a rough start to his Bundesliga campaign last season, where he played only 133 minutes of football, following his €13.5m switch from KRC Genk, earlier this year, the Jamaican has come out all guns blazing it seems.

In just 14 Bundesliga matches, the left winger has scored six goals and notched up an impressive tally of four assists. Apart from his remarkable tally, he has also been contributory to Leverkusen's overall chance creation in the final third. Only Julian Brandt(30) has created more chances than the former Genk youngster(29) this season.

What's more exciting is the fact that the youngster is constantly improving and is looking more and more dangerous by the game. His performances have already raised some eyebrows among the Premier League clubs and if he can keep up his good form throughout the rest of the season, a move to the Premier League could be on the horizon for the Jamaican next summer.

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Edited by Amit Mishra
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