Does Bayer Leverkusen have a striker problem?

34 games unbeaten – Bayer Leverkusen are having a season to remember under Xabi Alonso. B04 are currently chasing down a first-ever Bundesliga title, have Berlin in their sights in the DFB Pokal, and going strong in the Europa League. 

However, there is one factor that is desperately lacking in Leverkusen’s arsenal right now: They don’t have strikers who score goals. 

Now, that clearly hasn’t stopped them from putting teams to the sword on many occasions this campaign. Players such as Jeremie Frimpong, Nathan Tella, Álex Grimaldo, and Florian Wirtz have taken it upon themselves to find the back of the net. In fact, no Bundesliga team has more different goalscorers than B04 this season. 

However, there is one stark statistic that perhaps goes under the radar: Leverkusen has not registered a goal from a striker this calendar year. 

Victor Boniface was the go-to forward earlier in the campaign but has been sidelined since early January when on international duty with Nigeria. 

Since then, Czech international Patrick Schick has returned from injury, Borja Iglesias has arrived on loan from Real Betis, and Adam Hložek is still playing a supporting role – neither of the trio are yet to find the back of the net. 

However, what the likes of Schick and Iglesias have lacked in terms of goal threat, they’ve made up for in their link-up play and giving the likes of Wirtz and Frimpong the chance to score. 

It’s clearly a system that is working with the absence of Boniface and the world-class quality of Leverkusen’s winger’s hold. 

However, it is a slight worry for the team. The game of football moves quickly. A couple of games later you have X amount of injuries and you’re relying on your strikers for goals. 

It’s obviously not a crisis at B04 but it’s certainly an area for improvement on what is clearly an outstanding season. 

GGFN | Jamie Allen

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