Underrated Football Players: Bundesliga
Lucas Alario - Bayer Leverkusen
Bayer's Forgotten Forward
Whilst he might not be as hotly talked about as the likes of Kevin Volland, Johnathan Tah or Kai Havertz, Argentine frontman Lucas Alario is a vital cog in Bayer Leverkusen's set up.
Capable as either a traditional no.9, as a second striker, or even in an advanced midfield role, Alario joined Leverkusen back in September 2017 from River Plate and instantly became a more than capable replacement for the departing Javier Hernandez.
At the time of writing, he has made 11 appearances in the Bundesliga, scoring four times and setting up one. He is averaging 3.91 shots across ninety minutes (ahead of the likes of Volland and Havertz), as well as averaging 1.41 key passes across ninety minutes, an exceptional return for a player that is still largely seen as just a target man,
Thomas Delaney - Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund's Tough-Tackling Maestro
Joining Borussia Dortmund from Werder Bremen in the summer of 2018, Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney remains one of the Bundesliga's criminally underrated midfielders. Employed alongside the much-praised Axel Witsel for the Black and Yellow, Delaney's aggression and intensive interceptions make for an exceptional double pivot for BVB.
Over the course of his debut campaign for the Black and Yellow, Delaney would make 30 appearances in the Bundesliga, registering three goals and five assists as BVB finished as runners up. Despite being utilised mainly as a deep-lying aggressor in the middle of the park, Delaney finished the campaign with an xA (expected assists) of -2.10 against the five he managed, showcasing his surprising proficiency with the ball at his feet.
Injury has so far halted Delaney's 2019/20 campaign, and it's no surprise to see the Dortmund defensive structure struggling considerably more in his absence.
Amine Harit - Schalke 04
Schalke's Creative Wizard
The Bundesliga 'Rookie of the Year' for the 2017/18 season, Amine Harit's development and progression at Schalke 04 has been criminally underrepresented by the footballing world. The Moroccan international made 25 appearances across the entire 2018/19 campaign, but already finds himself on 16 so far this season with five more goals than he managed last season.
His six goals and three assists makes him the leading contributor at Schalke for the season; his xG of -3.27 against what he has scored is better than the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus, Marcus Thuram, Philippe Coutinho and Serge Gnabry.
Blessed with great agility, skill on either foot and sublime vision, the bulk of Harit's dangerous open play scenarios have actually come from outside of the box, registering 46 outside and 42 inside at the time of writing.
Florian Neuhaus - Borussia Mönchengladbach
The Future Of Germany's Midfield?
Borussia Monchengladbach have certainly been the Bundesliga's surprise package so far this 2019/20 campaign, rising to the summit of the table and most recently registering a historic win over Bayern Munich.
Young German prodigy Florian Neuhaus' path to the first team might have been laid during the previous campaign, however it's looking increasingly likely that this season might be his breakout on a much wider front.
He has started all but too of Gladbach's league games, being deployed as a DM, CM and an AM by manager Marco Rose. His xG has dropped from +3.01 in 2018/19 to just +1.88 so far this season. Whilst these numbers do show there is still some further development needed for the German, they demonstrate his continued improvement year on year and could just see him in the running for Germany's Euro 2020 squad.
Marcel Sabitzer - RB Leipzig
The true genius of RB Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer has been woefully underrated for sometime now, but his form so far this 2019/20 campaign has been arguably some of his very, very best.
The Austrian maverick has already hit six goals and assisted three in his eleven appearances for Leipzig so far this season, the most lucrative contribution of any player in the current squad.
According to his xG (expected goals), Sabitzer should be around 3.90 goals for the season; his -2.10 difference in conversion is better than likes of Timo Werner (-1.90), Yussuf Poulsen (+0.35) and Emil Forsberg (-1.76), showcasing the talent and confidence the Austrian is currently operating on.
Leipzig are very much a team on the rise, and Marcel Sabitzer is looking increasingly like the key player in their continued rise up the table.