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Marcus Thuram's Comeback at Borussia Mönchengladbach

marcus thuram


It's difficult to identify a player who represented Borussia Mönchengladbach's overall decline last season more well than Marcus Thuram. For the first time since 2011, the West-German team didn't place in the top half of the standings, and the once-powerful French international appeared to be a shell of his former self.

Thuram missed 13 of Gladbach's 37 league and cup games due to injury, and even when healthy, the Frenchman rarely performed at the level that attracted the attention of several elite European teams in the summer.

Even though Thuram had recorded 15+ goal contributions in each of his previous two Bundesliga campaigns, his meagre return of 3 goals and 1 assist was eclipsed by the overall impression he created in 972 minutes of league play.

The four-time France international failed to fit into Adi Hütter's game plan whether he started or came in as a substitute, and the knee ligament damage he sustained in the off-season had a long-lasting impact on his fitness and peak speed.

After yet another lacklustre performance in early March, Lothar Matthäus, a renowned midfielder for Gladbach and Germany as well as a prominent Bundesliga analyst, voiced his concerns about even his attitude. He simply doesn't give a damn... The entire season has already passed. Last year, Thuram affected me: speed, excitement, goal-setting, and effort were all lost.

This once-dazzling young superstar was suddenly an underperforming 25-year-old standing in front of a make-or-break campaign at the Borussia-Park with a contract set to expire at the end of this season, a World Cup spot looking out of reach, and all of Thuram's A-list offers to flutter away in the wind. Would the French forward rise to the occasion or turn out to be the latest waning prodigy to falter under pressure?

Thuram has opted to accept the challenge, at least based on the first 16 games. The French attacker sits third in the Bundesliga scoring lists behind Niclas Füllkrug and Christopher Nknuku with 12 goals and 4 assists, more than doubling his performance from the 2021–2022-season.

After missing out on every international camp since the European Championships, his continuous performance has even made him a contender for the French national squad once more. This season, only Kylian Mbappé has scored more goals in one of the top five leagues in Europe.

There are several reasons why Gladbach is improving in the standings and Marcus Thuram is now one of the most productive attackers in Europe, but Thuram's location on the field is by far the most important. Thuram had time as both a centre striker and a left flank in his first three seasons in Germany, but manager Daniel Farke has only played him up front this year.

The entire team has benefited from Thuram's ability to both create and go into goal-scoring situations with his uncommonly balanced skill set, so the former Norwich City manager made a wise choice. Thuram is taller (1,92m) than Romelu Lukaku (1,91m) and Anthony Modeste (1,88m), two exceptional aerial poachers, but his imposing stature and physical presence haven't done anything to lessen the outstanding pace that made him such a standout winger when he first broke through at EA Guingamp.

Thuram continues to be a dynamic danger despite significant knee, ankle, and muscle ailments; this season, he has been recorded at an amazing 35.72 km/h. After 10 matchdays, that is the seventh highest maximum speed in the whole Bundesliga, and it is also the highest that a pure centre forward has achieved since last season's Erling Haaland (36.3 km/h). Thuram has a trinity of abilities that is genuinely exceptional among attackers in the German top division, including the ability to hold up possession, present an aerial danger, and threaten from behind.

Thuram.mov from Adam Khan on Vimeo.

But more than anything, the emotional connection that formerly existed between Marcus Thuram and the team Borussia Mönchengladbach speaks in favour of a long-term regeneration. Marcus has the correct intentions, as Daniel Farke noted in an early season interview with Sportbild. He is an emotional athlete who requires security and comfort. Performances are always greater in a setting where players feel appreciated and respected.

Under Farke, the Frenchman's inner green & black fire has resurfaced, in contrast to previous season when he cut the figure of a forlorn traveller who appeared yearning for a change of scenery. Thuram will once again have a tonne of options after this season's exceptional performances, but it will be up to him to decide whether this season marks the end of the chapter for Gladbach or the start of a remarkable revival for a team that has waited patiently for a major prize for over three decades.

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