VfB Stuttgart's Deniz Undav and Serhou Guirassy (l-r.) have the makings of a formidable strike partnership. - © IMAGO/Ralf Poller/Avanti
VfB Stuttgart's Deniz Undav and Serhou Guirassy (l-r.) have the makings of a formidable strike partnership. - © IMAGO/Ralf Poller/Avanti

Deniz Undav, Serhou Guirassy and a VfB Stuttgart bromance


Deniz Undav and Serhou Guirassy have both scored more goals than they've managed starting berths for VfB Stuttgart this season and with the front pairing available once again, on-field fireworks are set to fly.

Get Undav and Guirassy on your Fantasy team!

Without question the surprise package of the season so far, Stuttgart racked up one more win and their 49th goal of the campaign last weekend. With Mainz on the receiving end of a 3-1 defeat, the result meant that VfB's goals tally is only bettered by league leaders Bayer Leverkusen (55) and defending champions Bayern Munich (59) so far in 2023/24.

It's been an exceptional run from Sebastian Hoeneß's men, who have cemented third place in the standings and are aiming at for UEFA Champions League qualification. The Swabians' feat is all the more impressive after you consider last season's relegation battle, when a play-off victory against Hamburg was required to stay in the top flight. 

Perhaps the biggest setback of the campaign to date for Stuttgart was the team's last-gasp loss to Leverkusen in the DFB Cup quarter-finals recently. "The two best teams in the division faced each other here," Stuttgart striker Undav cheekily noted after the cup contest, but his words wouldn't inspire a response from a Bayern side that would also succumb to high-flying Bayer 04 in the Bundesliga just four days later. 

Watch: Deniz Undav voted January's Player of the Month 

Efficiency machines

Undav's attitude matches Stuttgart and Hoeneß's front-foot mentality, which has helped reap rewards with Die Schwaben enjoying their best season in years. It has been a perfect match of backroom philosophy and on-field class that has taken Stuttgart to where they currently find themselves, with January Player of the Month Undav and strike partner Guirassy leading the way.      

After finding the net against Mainz, Undav took his tally to 14 Bundesliga goals this season. That the 27-year-old - currently on loan from English side Brighton and Hove Albion - has racked up that amount in just 13 starts is even more noteworthy. His attacking partner, Guirassy, can boast of even greater numbers. The Guinea international has managed 17 goals in 13 starts. When you factor in that injury and a trip to appear at the Africa Cup of Nations have interrupted Guirassy's domestic season, his goalscoring stats are all the more astounding. All told, Undav and Guirassy are responsible for 31 of Stuttgart's 49 goals this term, which equates to 63 per cent.  

At the beginning of the season, Guirassy was set to be the main man up top with Undav providing back-up from the bench. However, a thigh injury saw the former drop out of the team after a record-breaking start, meaning Undav truly stepped to the fore on Matchday 9

Watch: Guirassy the Great on fire at VfB

Bundesliga bromance

Stuttgart's No. 26 has revelled in the responsibility and he has performed with such skill and consistency, that talk of a place in Germany's squad for this summer's home UEFA Euros is doing the rounds among many pundits. Indeed, Undav may not yet have received a first cap for Germany, but based on his current form, a senior international bow may not be too far away. 

What was en even bigger boon for Hoeneß and his coaching staff was discovering that their hungry strikers could also play together with similarly effective results. When Guirassy and Undav lined up side by side for the first time on Matchday 13, both scored in a 2-0 win against Werder Bremen.

What has also not gone amiss is that the forwards get along very well both on and off the pitch. If one happens to be on the bench when the other scores, there are hearty celebrations and smiles of recognition towards one another. "That's the way it should be with strikers," Undav explained. "We have fun together and are happy for each other when we score. The most important thing is always that we get the three points anyway,” he added. 

Undav (l.) and Guirassy (c.) have added another dimension to the Stuttgart attack. - IMAGO/Volker M¸ller

Hoeneß is, understandably, also suitably impressed. "Celebrating together; sincere joy for one another - that's what it's about," the tactician explained.  

After returning from his appearance at AFCON with stomach issues, Guirassy made his Stuttgart comeback against Mainz last weekend. With the Champions League-chasing side next taking on rock-bottom Darmstadt, the Undav-Guirassy partnership could be all set to pen the next chapter of their burgeoning Bundesliga bromance.