It has been raining goals for Eintracht Frankfurt forward Andre Silva in 2021. - © imago images/DFL
It has been raining goals for Eintracht Frankfurt forward Andre Silva in 2021. - © imago images/DFL
bundesliga

Andre Silva: MD19's Man of the Matchday setting scoring records and eyes more as Eintracht Frankfurt go for Europe

No Eintracht Frankfurt player has ever scored more than 26 goals in a single season, but Bernd Hölzenbein's 34-year-old club record could be about to be toppled by Andre Silva, who has helped the Eagles fly into the top three.

Two back-to-back braces from the Portuguese forward have lifted Frankfurt above Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen in the race for UEFA Champions League football next season, and according to another former Frankfurt goalscoring legend, there is no reason why Adi Hütter's men should not be aiming for a top-four finish.

"Every player dreams of playing in the Champions League," Jan-Aage Fjortoft, who scored 14 goals in 52 Bundesliga games for Frankfurt at the turn of the millennium, told the Bild newspaper. "Of course that's something we can talk about, and people like to hear it."

Watch: Andre Silva - "What I'm feeling is amazing" 

People were already starting to talk about it before Silva plundered two more goals on Matchday 19, taking his tally to 16 for the season – second only to Robert Lewandowski in the current Bundesliga scoring charts, and more than any Frankfurt player after 19 games of a season.

After doing his utmost to fan the flames of such talk on the pitch, Silva tried to douse the expectations once back off it.

"We know we're not the leading candidates for the top positions," he said. "But what matters is that we keep this consistency and carry on the way we've been going."

Thanks to his partnership with the returning Luka Jovic, even Silva knows that – deep down – some degree of dreaming is allowed.

"Things are feeling great at the moment," said the 25-year-old, who has already matched his best-ever single-season haul from the 2016/17 campaign with Porto – when he needed 32 games to score 16 goals. "It wasn't an easy game, but through the strength of each individual, we made this win possible.

"I'm feeling good right now, and it's the result of the hard work of my teammates and the coaching staff. I'm happy to be able to help Eintracht this way, but we've got a lot of games to come and we've got to focus on them."

Trying to keep the Eagles grounded – at least psychologically – may now prove to be something of a new challenge for Hütter, with the current levels of enthusiasm carrying them to quite an altitude.

"I'm not getting dizzy, though," admitted Hütter, already a league winner in Austria with Red Bull Salzburg and in Switzerland with Young Boys. "We're one of the form teams at the moment and we've worked hard for it. The important thing is we've won a key game for us and now a great January can be put behind us."

Frankfurt dropped just two points in the first calendar month of the year, winning five out of six Bundesliga fixtures. Not even Bayern boast as good a record in 2021 as the Eagles, who travel to Hoffenheim and host Cologne before meeting the record champions on Matchday 22.

That could well be the game which determines the true strength of Frankfurt's claim for a place at European football's top table next season, though the way Silva and Jovic have been combining, and with Filip Kostic hitting top gear again on the left wing, Frankfurt's fans surely have plenty to look forward to when, as is hoped, they are able to return to the Deutsche Bank Park next season.

Watch: Silva, Jovic and Kostic - Frankfurt's flying trio

"I'm sure our fans are really happy and proud of what they see when they are watching the team right now," said Frankfurt's sporting director Fredi Bobic on the club's website. "We're trying, through these sad times, to do all we can to give our fans something to feel good about with attractive football.

"Andre Silva's form since the start of the year has been incredible; his development's been great and I hope he's not going to stay on 16 goals."

With seven in his past five games, that looks quite unlikely as Silva and the Eagles appear to have taken flight in 2021.