THE BLOG

Surprise Package Augsburg Inspired By Hahn

14/02/2014 11:58 GMT | Updated 14/04/2014 10:59 BST

It's fair to say that Bayern Munich are romping to the title once again in the Bundesliga, in Pep Guardiola's first season in charge. It's not great news for the league as a spectacle, with closest rivals Leverkusen and Dortmund both faltering in recent months, but there is one other team that are making light work of the league of late.

Unbeaten in 8 matches, it's fair to say that Augsburg are the surprise package in Germany right now, moving well clear of the relegation zone and making a shock bid to secure European qualification. The season didn't start well, with the side that only avoided a relegation play-off by two points last time round sitting in the same position that they ended the previous campaign after 10 games.

Having not lost since a 3-0 away defeat at runaway leaders Bayern in November, Augsburg are up to 8th and, while a team effort, their run of form has been inspired by one man in particular. After a third brace of the season this weekend, winger André Hahn has taken his league tally to 9.

It's an impressive contribution for a player that was plying his trade in Germany's regional divisions just over a year ago, joining the Bundesliga outfit from Kickers Offenbach last January. Though he's stationed on the right wing, Hahn isn't a stereotypical wide man, he prefers to cut inside, as shown in his WhoScored player characteristics, looking to fire off shots at goal.

His goal tally has come from 55 efforts at goal, which is the 6th highest figure in the entire league and leaves the German with an impressive conversion rate of 16.4%. When you consider that the 23-year old didn't register on the scoresheet this season until his 7th league appearance it's clear that he has really found his feet in front of goal, popping up in goalscoring positions in the box more often than any other winger in the league.

Indeed, no wide man has had more shots from inside the box in the Bundesliga this season (40), and his willingness to make direct runs into area have led to exceptional WhoScored.com ratings of late. Since the end of November Hahn's average rating over his 6 league appearances is up at an outstanding 8.26. It's been enough to see his seasonal average rise to 7.67, placing him 13th in the division in our rankings.

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Although he does like to get involved further infield, Hahn has the variety to his game that is so crucial for wingers nowadays. He can stay wide, beat a man and provide balls into the box, with 21 of his 22 accurate crosses coming from open play - only 5 players have found a man with more when excluding corners. It's a little surprising that his assists tally of just 2 is so meagre in turn, with an average of 1.2 key passes per game representing a respectable figure.

Augsburg are an impressive team in that respect, with 7 of their players having averaged at least 1 key pass per match thus far. They share out the creative responsibility and have gelled well in the past few months to reach the standards that they are setting at present. Hahn's goals have been key but in truth the side work hard for one another and it's paying off.

They aren't a thrilling side in possession, averaging the lowest number of dribbles per game in the division by some distance (11.5), but they break away well. Only Leverkusen and Dortmund have scored more goals on the counter attack this season (5) and Augsburg's incisive transitions between defence and attack are often led by their man of the moment. Hahn has had 7 attempts from fast break situations this season, with only Son and Aubameyang (both 8) mustering more.

With 2.7 tackles per game also adding to his side's cause - the winger has accumulated a WhoScored strength of 'defensive contribution' in turn - Hahn is offering everything that a wide man at a club like Augsburg needs to and more.

His ability in the air is particularly alarming. Many wingers will tamely compete in aerial duels and you'll often find some full-backs boasting the best success rates in this regard. Hahn certainly isn't one of them though and, in fact, only the league's top scorer Adrian Ramos has won more aerial duels per game all season (6.6), with 8 of the wide man's 55 attempts at goal coming courtesy of a headed effort.

It's strange then, that with such an impressive repertoire Hahn has such an instantly apparent flaw. His pass accuracy of 56.2% is nothing short of dismal and represents the worst average of any outfielder in the league.

Were the 23-year old to make improvements to that side of his game, albeit drastic ones, André Hahn may be able draw the attention of the national team coach. For now, at least, it seems as though the winger could be set for bigger and better things at club level and is certain to be gaining some interest from across Europe.

All statistics courtesy of http://www.whoscored.com where you can find yet more stats and player ratings.