Deniz Undav and Serhou Guirassy: VfB Stuttgart's deadly duo the envy of Europe


What was unthinkable for some ahead of a superb Bundesliga season so far, VfB Stuttgart are setting a scintillating standard in Germany's top flight powered by a pair forwards who are currently one of Europe's top scoring duos.

There is no matching the continent's current best partnership of Harry Kane and Leroy Sané - who have provided Bayern Munich with a leading 26 top-flight goals in 2023/24 to date. But next in line on a prestigious list of the game's most prolific pairs is Guirassy and Undav, Stuttgart's tremendous two who have the Swabians celebrating on the regular and among the Bundesliga's top three teams. 

Too often relegation candidates in the recent past, Sebastian Hoeneß's side are finally soaring once more with VfB fans dreaming of where current success might lead. Stuttgart are three-time Bundesliga winners and in Guirassy and Undav, Die Roten boast a duo who deserve their place among the best the club have fielded in their sometimes glorious history. 

Watch: Delight in all of Guirassy's goals so far in 2023/24!

Despite being eased back to full fitness following a hamstring injury, Guinea international Guirassy still managed to find the net during his rest and recovery phase. A successful strike from the penalty spot that brought Stuttgart victory against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 11 took the 27 year-old onto 15 Bundesliga goals for this campaign.

VfB's prolific frontman is now second on the division's top-scorer's list behind Kane and just one goal off matching Niclas Füllkrug and Christopher Nkunku's individual trophy-winning haul of 16 across the entirety of 2022/23. 

While Guirassy was watching from the substitutes' bench last weekend, Undav was adding his sixth and seventh goals of the season in the 2-1 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt. That the on-loan Brighton & Hove Albion striker has reached those numbers in just nine top-tier games this term is all the more impressive. It all means that Stuttgart's formidable forward duo - who also share a pair of assists - are the envy of Europe right now with 22 goals and 24 goal involvements between them. 

Watch: Undav at the double against Eintracht

The English Premier League and defending European champions Manchester City have former Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and Argentinian FIFA World Cup winner Julián Álvarez in their ranks. The Citizens have benefited from the two to the tune of a combined 18 goals, yet that is still four fewer than Guirassy and Undav, and with one more game played in England's top tier.

In Italy, meanwhile, Inter Milan lead the way in Serie A and in no small part thanks to another World Cup winner Lautaro Martínez and ex Karlsruher, Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen man Hakan Çalhanoğlu. The pair are the Nerazzurri's top marksman so far this season with Martínez currently on 13 goals to Çalhanoğlu's five. It's still no match for Messrs Undav and Guirassy, who also stand tall over Paris Saint-Germain's leading scorers Kylian Mbappé and Achraf Hakimi (17 goals combined). 

Hard at work: Undav and Guirassy (l-r.) are training with intensity for the challenges ahead. - IMAGO/Pressefoto Rudel/Robin Rud

Sticking strictly with forwards, Atlético Madrid's Antoine Griezmann and experienced Spanish striker Álvaro Morata have weighed into Los Colchoneros' La Liga cause with 16 goals between them. Even at Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool, the mesmerising Mohamed Salah and deadly Darwin Núñez have come up with a combined 14 goals.

If both sets of figures at the Spanish and English sides are worthy of applause, what Guirassy and Undav have managed at Stuttgart this season deserves a standing ovation. 

"I'm only good because of the team, so I'm grateful to them," Guirassy recently told the Stuttgarter Zeitung after he broke Robert Lewandowski's Bundesliga's record for the highest-goalscoring start after seven games, the French-born forward netting a jaw-dropping 13 goals in that time.

Watch: The best of Undav and Guirassy in 2023/24

"I feel very comfortable in the city and love the great fans. I think that's my secret to success. I'm feeling really good right now," the striker added. 

“We have a world-class relationship,” Undav said of his blossoming friendship with teammate Guirassy, in quotes appearing on Kicker. "We have fun and are happy when the other one scores. We laugh and are happy and that's how it has to be." Incredibly, the pair have already contributed more goals this season than Stuttgart's forwards managed in the entire 2022/23 Bundesliga campaign (21). 

With games against leaders Leverkusen and then Bayern rapidly approaching after this weekend's encounter against Werder Bremen, coach Hoeneß will be hoping his frontmen can maintain their spectaular form in the weeks ahead.