Julian Weigl had himself quite a season this year. After coming to Dortmund on a transfer from 1860 Munich, most didn't think of the 20-year-old as an immediate starter for the Black and Yellows. Not only did he find himself in the starting 11, he ended up becoming one of the best U-20 players in Europe.
Many people look at young players and evaluate them on goals or assists. These kind of things catch the eye and make for highlight videos that get people excited. Julian Weigl ended this season with no goals and no assists, yet if you search his name on google you will find many other articles like this one calling him the next big thing in football.
So what makes Julian Weigl one of the most talked about prospects in Europe? His passing and vision.
Julian Weigl was one of the best passers in Europe this season, averaging over 90% passes completed in all competitions. And it's not like he was only making a few passes a game too. He was almost always the most active passer on the team. Weigl even set the Bundesliga records for most passes completed in a single game, and most touches in a single game, in separate games this season.
His role as the pivot in Thomas Tuchel's lineups made him inherently valuable to BVB's build-up play. Rarely was there a goal, that didn't come on the counter, that wasn't touched by Weigl in the build-up. Weigl's ability to control the game helped BVB play most games on their own terms, even against tough opponents like Tottenham and Monchengladbach.
When looking for negatives in Julian Weigl it's hard not to feel like you are nitpicking. His greatest weakness is that he doesn't have enough muscle to play defense at a high level yet. Other then that, it's hard to say he's perfect, but for a kid his age he pretty much had the best season imaginable at his position. Weigl's effectiveness also tended to drop a bit when another defensive midfielder was played alongside him, but remember he still exceeded expectations.
The possibility of Julian Weigl becoming an elite player is certainly exciting. He's already one of the better CDMs in the game, and with time could become one the best in Europe.
He may not score his first goal for BVB in a while(although he did come close a few times this year) but expect to see our build-up play continue to flourish with another year under the tutelage of TT. Julian Weigl will be in the black and yellow for years to come, let's enjoy the ride.