Florian Niederlechner had the best top-flight scoring return of his career so far in 2019/20, his debut campaign with Augsburg. - © imago images
Florian Niederlechner had the best top-flight scoring return of his career so far in 2019/20, his debut campaign with Augsburg. - © imago images
bundesliga

Augsburg's Florian Niederlechner: "I'm not Robert Lewandowski or Timo Werner"

Despite just enjoying the most prolific season of his career, Augsburg striker Florian Niederlechner is keeping his feet planted firmly on the ground, brushing off comparisons with the Bundesliga's two deadliest strikers in 2019/20: Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and RB Leipzig's Timo Werner.

The 29-year-old forward joined Augsburg at the start of last season following two underwhelming campaigns with Freiburg, in which he scored only six goals across 34 Bundesliga appearances.

His personal best in a top-flight season was 11 for the Black Forest club in 2016/17, but Niederlechner found a new gear in 2019/20, notching 13 goals while also adding six assists.

Watch: Niederlechner provided three assists and won a penalty vs. Hoffenheim!

"For me personally, things went really well," Niederlechner told SportBild. "Even in the games when I didn't score, I was sometimes able to produce very good performances. I went through a bit of a drought at one point but that's okay. I'm not Robert Lewandowski or Timo Werner, who might not have a problem like that. I'm just Niederlechner. It's normal for me not to score in every game."

The modest striker – who was born in Edersberg, just east of Munich – used his 13 goals to keep Bavarian club Augsburg in the Bundesliga for a 10th consecutive season, while Lewandowski (34 goals) and Werner (28) were powering their sides' title bids. Niederlechner, however, has to work just as hard, if not harder, for his reward in every game.

"We don't always have five big chances per game at Augsburg," Niederlechner explained. "You have to be patient sometimes. It helps me to know who I am, where I come from, what my roots are. I stay calm with that in mind.

Florian Niederlechner scored three times against Borussia Dortmund across his two appearances against them for Augsburg in the Bundesliga in 2019/20. - Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images

"If I had said before the season that I would have a direct hand in 19 goals, everyone would have said I was crazy. I hope I can do even better next season, but I also know how fast football can change, with injuries or a run of bad form."

Niederlecher finished the campaign joint-sixth in the Bundesliga scoring charts, level with Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, Cologne's Jhon Cordoba and Mainz's Robin Quaison. And with Werner having left Leipzig for Chelsea, the Augsburg man may feel he can aim even higher in 2020/21.

Augsburg fans certainly needn't worry about Niederlechner leaving any time soon – he feels very much at home in the city where his son Felix was born last year.

"I'm very happy here. My son was born here, we're close to home and family," Niederlechner said. "I could never have scored so many goals without this feel-good factor. I couldn't have done any of this without the team, either, we’re a team in which everyone is equal. I don't think I'm too good for Augsburg."