First Team

Take it to the Max

Maximilian Arnold set a host of new records during the 2021/22 season.

Maximilian Arnold vom VfL Wolfsburg jubelt mit seinem Mitspieler und geballter Faust.

Although Maximilian Arnold, on the face of it, might not reflect that fondly on the 2021/22 season, which VfL Wolfsburg ended in 12th place, he personally has several good reasons to do so. A quick look at the facts and stats that show why:

Wolves’ record appearance maker

In 2011, Arnold famously became the youngest debutant in Wolfsburg’s Bundesliga history at the age of 17. Ten years later, in October 2021, he became the Wolves’ record appearance maker, overtaking Diego Benaglio and Marcel Schäfer. “Of course it’s something special and it fills me with pride, particularly when I think back to when I joined VfL at 15. I never would’ve thought that one day I’d become the player with the most appearances,” beamed Arnold. He had another reason to celebrate after the away win at Köln on Matchday 33, when the midfield engine became the player with the most wins in VfL history.

Top of the league

Arnold hit another milestone in the season just gone, playing in all 34 Bundesliga matches for the first time in his career. With 2,994 minutes on the pitch, he was in third place in the league behind Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz and Freiburg captain Christian Günter, who both completed the maximum playing time of 3,060 minutes. Arnold was right at the top in one category though: the Riesa-born midfielder ran more than any other player in the Bundesliga last season with a total of 376.26 kilometres. “If I’d played every minute, then I could’ve run a few more kilometres. But I got to play all 34 games and I’m very happy about that,” said a modest Arnold.

“Cleverer in the tackle“

Arnold registered four goals and three assists in 2021/22. And when it comes to Maximilian Arnold, you always look at the cards statistics. The Wolves number 27 picked up four bookings this term, compared to seven yellow cards and one red last season. “I’ve not changed much in the way I tackle, but when I had it in the back of my mind that I was on four yellows, I did try to be cleverer in the tackle,” he admitted.

Comeback and accolades

As well as these achievements and records, there were other highlights for the 27-year-old. Less than two weeks ago, Arnold was named Lower Saxony Footballer of the Year 2021 in Barsinghausen. His re-entry into the City of Wolfsburg’s ‘Golden Book’ in September and his comeback for the German national team last November are further reasons why the past season will stick in his memory for a long time.