That Jamal Musiala and Joshua Kimmich are among the best players in the Bundesliga is evident to anyone who has watched Bayern Munich this season, but there is also factual evidence to back up that claim.
bundesliga.com wades through the stats to highlight the most efficient players so far in 2022/23...
The sharpest shooters
Christopher Nkunku (12), Marcus Thuram and Niclas Füllkrug (10 each) may lead the overall scoring chart in Germany's top flight this season but when it comes to ruthlessness in front of goal, they don't even make the top five.
Instead, it is Union Berlin forward Sheraldo Becker who is setting the pace. Becker enjoyed a blistering start to the campaign, scoring six of his seven league goals in 2022/23 in his first seven games before tailing off somewhat in October and November.
Watch: Becker under the tactical microscope
Still, his current tally – from just 25 shots taken - already matches the combined total from his previous two Bundesliga campaigns, giving him an expected goals (xG) metric of +4.9. That is to say, he has scored 4.9 goals more than anticipated given his past record and the quality of chances presented.
Musiala is hot on his heels in that regard, his team-leading nine Bundesliga goals for Bayern putting him at +3.8, ahead of teammate Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (+2.7), Hertha Berlin's Dodi Lukebakio (+2.6) and Hoffenheim's Munas Dabbur (+2.4).
Bayern players lead the way when it comes passing, too. Kimmich has had more touches of the ball (1,490) than any other player in the Bundesliga, and he invariably uses it well, finding a teammate with 90.1 percent of his passes from open play.
Much like the xG model for goals, there is also an xPass metric to evaluate passes. This analyses the probability of a pass reaching the intended recipient on the basis of, among other things, the pressure the opposition are applying to the players making and receiving the passes, the height of the ball in the air and the number of opponents between the passer and the receiver. If a player surpasses the probability of his pass rate as determined by xPass, he has a positive pass efficiency.
As such, Kimmich's pass efficiency quota is a superb at +45.3, by far the best of any player in the league. Three of Kimmich's colleagues join him in the top five: Benjamin Pavard: (+21.8), Dayot Upamecano (+21.3) and Thomas Müller (+18.2), with Werder Bremen centre-back Milos Veljkovic completing the group at +19.3.
The hard men
He may only be 19 but Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham has shown he is unafraid of age or reputations out on the pitch. He has won 245 duels so far this season, representing a 57 percent success rate, while only committing 15 fouls in the process.
Watch: Bellingham - made in the Bundesliga
2022 in review:
Matchday 8 overview
HSV knocked Düsseldorf off top spot while Schalke's woes continued ahead of St. Pauli's visit to Hertha on Saturday.
Boniface and Wirtz both start for Leverkusen against Mainz
Leverkusen's star men Victor Boniface and Florian Wirtz both start for Die Werkself as Xabi Alonso's men look to move to the top of the table.
Matchday 6 teams
Will Thomas Müller or Jamal Musiala get the nod for Bayern Munich against RB Leipzig on Saturday?