Yunus Malli – A Great Signing for Wolfsburg
9th January 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
After the departure of talented, wantaway sensation Julian Draxler, Wolfsburg knew they needed a talented attacking midfielder to replace the 2014 World Cup winner, who’d just joined PSG in a deal worth a staggering £34 million.
They didn’t waste any time settling on his replacement, however, with Wolfsburg quickly bringing in the ingenuitive, creatively gifted Yunus Malli from Mainz 05 for roughly a third of what they received from selling Draxler, paying just £10.7 million.
Having been a mainstay within the Mainz squad for the last three and a half seasons, Wolfsburg astutely swooped on Malli, taking advantage of a clause in his contact that stated he could leave for less next summer, which forced Mainz’s hand into offloading their prized asset.
Mainz’s loss is certainly the Wolves’ gain, for they’ve got a player who should be able to come in and make an immediate impact, as they search to get their so far turbulent season back on track. After all, he’s already made 129 Bundesliga appearances, which have yielded an impressive 29 goals and 19 assists, so he shouldn’t have too many issues integrating.
The fact he’s a player who’s so adept at both creating and scoring goals, a somewhat rare commodity, it’s little wonder Wolfsburg manager, Valerien Ismael, is over the moon with the capture of Malli. “With Yunus Malli, we have gained further flexibility and strength in the attacking areas, whilst naturally adding to the competition for places in the midfield,” he explained.
“He’s dangerous in front of goal, but is also capable of creating as well as being a good set-piece taker. Of course, it’s also a bonus that he knows the Bundesliga well and won’t need any time to adapt.”
While Mainz, who are currently sitting tenth on the table, four points ahead of thirteenth placed Wolfsburg, were sad to lose their star man, they recognised that with the player expressing his desire to leave and the contractual clause, the deal made sense for all parties.
“Through his performances in the last few years, Yunus Malli has attracted a lot of attention. After five and a half years at Mainz, he approached us with his desire to move on. After weighing up all the factors, we agreed to his wish,” divulged Mainz sporting director, Rouven Schroder.
Schroder then went on to add what a pleasure it’s been working with and watching him develop into the tremendous player he is today, saying: “However, the two parties leave each other on good terms. We would like to thank Yunus Malli for his fantastic contribution at Mainz 05 and we wish him all the best on his new path. His patient development as a young player to a well-respected Bundesliga player will remain a fantastic example for us.”
Malli’s attacking prowess should inject some much needed incision, imagination and dynamism into a Wolfsburg side that have only scored a paltry 15 goals in their 16 league games. The man who’d already scored six and assisted a further six goals for Mainz this term is a player whose intelligent, well calculated movement continually manufactures space for himself and his teammates by constantly manipulating opposition marking schemes.
He’ll drop deep into midfield, push wide and exploit the space behind fullbacks in the channels and find crucial space in true number 10 locations, which makes him a persistent menace for any defensive unit to monitor.
An absolute technical master, aside from being a beautiful passer, Malli’s dribbling ability is of the highest order. Aided by his low centre of gravity and underrated strength, Malli can weave his way out of trouble with his exceptional ball control, crafty array of feints and rapid changes of pace and direction. In addition, the Turkish international’s instinctive movement inside the box also allows him to evade his markers, in order to put himself into excellent scoring positions.
Inventive, two footed and still just 24, there’s no reason why the diminutive attacker can’t provide the game changing spark Wolfsburg have been so desperately missing this term.
Considering their current state, Wolfsburg really couldn’t have done a better job of replacing the enigmatic yet massively talented Draxler with Malli, who, at present, is arguably even better than the more highly touted PSG new boy.
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