He is the surprise guest of the elite of decisive passers. At this stage of the season, four players have reached ten units in this area among the five main championships. Three have been recognized specialists for years in this area: Kevin de Bruyne (11 assists with Manchester City in the Premier League), Lionel Messi and Neymar (10 assists each with PSG in Ligue 1). Unlike the Belgian, the Argentinian and the Brazilian, Randal Kolo Muani had never particularly shone in this exercise. Yet it is he who completes this quartet.
The French signed his 10th assist of the season on Saturday, when Eintracht Frankfurt won against Schalke 04. He can thank Jesper Lindström. After inheriting a deflection from the former Nantes player in midfield, on the right side, the Dane achieved a fairly phenomenal rush to resist the opposing defense and open the scoring in favor of the Eagles. It might not have been Kolo Muani’s sharpest assist this season. But it will remain synonymous with a record for the French international.
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The vice-world champion only needed 15 matches in the German championship to reach this total. Less than any other player according to the statistics organization Opta, which has been analyzing this type of data since 2003-04. It’s all the more remarkable as Kolo Muani is only in his first season in the Bundesliga. Leaving Nantes, his training club, at Eintracht Frankfurt last summer, the 23-year-old also discovered a foreign championship for the first time in his career. He showed great adaptability.
Another way to exploit its qualities
And his ability to develop his game, quickly. It is symbolic that he shines with his assists. In 15 Bundesliga matches, he signed almost as many as in 79 L1 matches in Nantes colors (13). Kolo Muani was seen more as a goalscorer with the Canaries. His statistical trajectory at FCN (9 goals in 2020/21, 12 goals in 2021/22) rather suggested that he was going to shine in the field of finishing in the German championship. His success in the last pass should not, however, make us forget that he also scored five times.
But above all it proves that Kolo Muani has been able to progress to be decisive in other ways. His assist for Lindström against Schalke is the exception that proves the rule as the Dane did most of the heavy lifting. On others, most of the time, Kolo Muani made most of the difference on actions that transpire from the qualities of the former Nantes player: speed, percussion and dribbling to fix the defense before serving a teammate on a lag, a back cross or an opposite pass. With a rather remarkable lucidity in his game choices.
Randal Kolo Muani
Credit: Getty Images
Kolo Muani has thus developed another way to leverage its strengths and become even more decisive. And he appreciates this costume of the last smuggler, even if it is not necessarily the one he prefers. “It gives me a lot of joy when I can serve teammates and they scorehe said in early November on Sport1. Of course, I prefer to score. It’s more fun for me to score than to score. But of course I’ll leave it out if someone is in a better position.”
To score or to score, it doesn’t matter in the end. Kolo Muani now combines the two very well, to the delight of Frankfurt. Eintracht’s third scorer behind Daichi Kamada and Jesper Lindström, the best passer in Olivier Glasner’s team, the vice-world champion is directly involved in almost half of his team’s goals in the league (15 out of 35, i.e. 42.8%). No other player has such an impact on Bayern Munich’s offensive stats in the Bundesliga.
Shining with another assist for his first game since the World Cup is also a positive sign. Kolo Muani, one of the tricolor revelations in Qatar, could have come out bruised from the World Cup after having had the opportunity to give the trophy to the Blues, after extra time against Argentina. He did not give this image to his coach at all. “The World Cup has made him progress in his personality, he has more confidence in himselfassured Glasner. I find it more present. I feel like he’s letting go.” And Eintracht Frankfurt, at the dawn of a crucial week which will see him successively face Freiburg (4th) then Bayern (1st), hopes that his good pass will last.
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