While Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic steal the headlines for free-scoring Eintracht Frankfurt, on-loan Paris Saint-Germain stopper Kevin Trapp is quietly laying the foundations for the Eagles to soar up the Bundesliga table and into the business end of the UEFA Europa League.
Having bid au revoir to the German top flight in 2015, Trapp returned to Frankfurt this summer with two Ligue 1 titles, a trio of both Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue crowns, and a quartet of Trophee des Champions in his duffel bag.
The 28-year-old was back in the Bundesliga after an enormously successful stint in the French capital, in search of “an environment in which I feel good and where I can play”. Having previously spent three seasons at the club before making the move west, Frankfurt was the perfect place to do just that.
And the switch has already proven an inspired one for both Eintracht and Trapp.
Watch: Frankfurt's fearsome attacking trio
Defence; the best form of attack
Frankfurt have been the team to watch this season, positioning themselves firmly in top-four contention, advancing unbeaten into the last 16 of the Europa League and doing so at a gallop thanks largely to the efforts of Jovic, Haller and Rebic.
That trio have scored 46 goals in all competitions between them, helping Frankfurt become the highest Europa League scorers (23 goals) and the third-highest in the Bundesliga (44) - behind only the top two, Borussia Dortmund (57) and Bayern Munich (51).
But while Adi Hütter’s men have captured the imagination by running riot in attack, they owe a great deal of their 2018/19 success so far to the work of their backline - Trapp in particular. Only the league’s current top four have conceded fewer Bundesliga goals than the miserly 28 in 23 Matchdays that Frankfurt have reluctantly let slip through the net. And it’s not like they’ve been untested.
Their expansive, attacking style of football can leave space for the opposition to exploit and opportunities for teams to hit them on the counter. But, more often than not, Trapp is up to the challenge, and his 76 saves to date are only bettered by Hannover’s Michael Esser (113), Freiburg’s Alexander Schwolow and Stuttgart’s Ron-Robert Zieler.
It is telling that all three of those sides are in the bottom six and shipping goals at an alarming rate compared to the heights Frankfurt have reached with Trapp as their last line of defence. Hannover and Stuttgart, in particular, are firmly entrenched in a relegation battle, and have the league’s two worst defensive records after conceding 51 and 50 goals respectively at more than two goals per game by the end of Matchday 23.
It is little wonder that Hütter has previously spoken of his desire to keep Trapp beyond the summer. The Germany international is still under contract with PSG until 2020. But considering he’s back to his very best in the Bundesliga - at a swaggering outfit that leave lookers-on salivating - and pursuing UEFA Champions League football, there will be serious decisions to be made at the end of the season.
For now, let us enjoy Trapp being back in German football and playing a pivotal role in one of Europe’s most exciting sides.
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