The Journeyman | BVB: Part 3 – Season 1 Reflection

My first season with Borussia Dortmund had been an unmitigated success as I wrapped up my 9th domestic title with a third club. We eventually won Bundesliga by 12 points from Bayern Munich, winning our last 12 league games in the process.

This blog will look at the key men behind our success and look at interesting stats from around the Bundesliga.

Dortmund key players

Personally, I’m delighted that summer signing Daniel Braganca was undoubtedly the key man behind our success. Signed for just £7.75 million, the now 34-year-old Portuguese claimed 10 goals and 12 assists at an average rating of 1.58 from 42 matches. That represents his best season since… playing for me with Sporting back in 2024/25, when he scored 13 and created 16 goals. What an absolutely brilliant man he is!

A surprising key man was Japanese left-winger Hitoshi Nakajima, who topped our assists chart with 15 as well as 8 goals and an average rating of 7.50 from 33 matches.

Loan striker Juan Carlos Juan was our top scorer with 21 goals from 42 matches, followed by long-serving attacking midfielder Goncalo Ramos and Braganca with 10 goals. Ramos, by the way, is out of contract this summer and I may allow him to leave to give youngsters a chance.

Another summer signing Matías Sarue chipped in with 9 goals from midfield, right-winger Emmanuel Opera scored 7 and January signing Jajá scored 6, including a streak of scoring in 5 successive games.

Award winners

Braganca took home the fans’ player of the season award with 46% of the vote followed by Nakajima (32%) and centre-back Adolphe Gérard (14%), while Nakajima won the young player of the season. While 5 of our players were named in the team of the year and the players’ team of the year.

Bundesliga team stats

Our 82 goals was the most in Bundesliga, 5 more than Bayern and 19 more than Leverkusen. We also had the second-best defence, with our 17 goals conceded only bettered by Leverkusen’s 16, and joint-most clean sheets of 22.

Set pieces played a key role, as we scored the most goals from corners (10), direct free-kicks (4), and third-most from indirect free-kicks (7), and only conceded from 1 corner, 1 direct free-kick and 3 indirect free-kicks. We also had the best shots on target ratio (54%) and shot conversion rate (14%).

Bundesliga player stats

Juan finished the campaign as the 4th top scorer in Bundesliga, but his tally of 18 was well short of the 27 scored by Leipzig’s Erling Haaland and Schalke’s Jose Manuel. However, Juan had the best shot conversion rate in the league of 23%.

Nakajima’s 15 assists were the most in the league, while he also created the most chances of 23. Other than that, there wasn’t a huge amount to report from individual players, which shows this season’s success was very much a team effort!

However, that also tells me we need to look for players that can add more creativity to the squad, ideally in the attacking midfield role.

Join us next time to discover how we build for season two with Borussia Dortmund and go about defending our Bundesliga title!

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