Following two extremely difficult seasons that ended with the Wolves avoiding relegation via the play-offs, in 2018/19 the Green-Whites finally settled into a rhythm again and even qualified for the UEFA Europa League thanks to a strong conclusion to the campaign.
Before the Green-Whites get their pre-season under way on 30 June, we’re taking a look back at the standout records, facts and figures from last term. The second part focuses on some of VfL’s fascinating individual statistics.
Constant threat Weghorst
What a signing! The capture of Wout Weghorst last summer has certainly proven to be a feather in the cap of the VfL recruitment staff. The 26-year-old Dutch striker ended the season with an incredible tally of 24 goal involvements (17 goals, seven assists). This put Weghorst in fourth place in the Bundesliga, level with Eintracht Frankfurt’s Sebastien Haller. Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski came out on top with 29.
Rexhbecaj makes his breakthrough
Home-grown Elvis Rexhbecaj started no fewer than 28 matches last season for the Wolves, with the 21-year-old firmly establishing himself as a regular in midfield. Rexhbecaj, who has German and Albanian nationality, was part of the incredible 8-1 win in the last game of the season against Augsburg, notching his second goal of the season plus an assist. He tends to play more of a defensive role, which explains why that game matched his goal involvements for his entire 27 appearances prior to that.
Maximilian Arnold was another academy product who impressed during the 2018/2019 season. As well as registering six assists – doubling his previous best set in 2016/2017 – the 25-year-old also drew 81 fouls, making him the most fouled player in the entire Bundesliga.
Safe hands Casteels
Though Pavao Pervan turned out to be a more than adequate replacement for him towards the end of the season, Koen Casteels was still a steady presence between the sticks. He recorded eight clean sheets in 2018/19, his most in the Bundesliga to date.
Knoche and Mehmedi impress
Other Wolves managed to reproduce some of their personal bests. Centre-back Robin Knoche, another VfL youth team product, scored three goals, equalling his record from the 2013/2014 season. Meanwhile, Admir Mehmedi managed to establish himself in the team after moving to the club during the 2017/2018 winter break. The Swiss attacker has proven to be a real creative force, notching five assists – matching his previous best from 2015/2016 when he was plying his trade with Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
NB: official season statistics courtesy of the German Football League (DFL)
VfL's 2018/19 statistics, Part I: Top facts