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RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku scored more Bundesliga goals than any other player in 2022. - © IMAGO/Michael Taeger/IMAGO/Jan Huebner
RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku scored more Bundesliga goals than any other player in 2022. - © IMAGO/Michael Taeger/IMAGO/Jan Huebner
bundesliga

Best performers of 2022: Christopher Nkunku and the Bundesliga's top scorers

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From Christopher Nkunku to Serge Gnabry and Marcus Thuram, the list of prolific scorers in the Bundesliga throughout the 2022 calendar year reads like a who's who of the game's elite.

bundesliga.com shines a light on the sharpest shooters of the past 12 months…

Michael Gregoritsch (Freiburg): 13 goals

Perhaps the most surprising name on this list, the Austria international is reaping the rewards of his summer move to Freiburg. After hitting nine goals in 25 games for Augsburg last season, including seven since the turn of the year, Gregoritsch is one of the Black Forest club's leading marksmen this term with six goals.

"It's really nice that it's not just always about which runs I need to make or in which moments I need to attack," the forward said of working with head coach Christian Streich. "Obviously we work on that too, but there's also a focus on Michi Gregoritsch as a person." It is clearly working, making him the seventh-highest scorer in the Bundesliga this year.

Marcus Thuram (Borussia Mönchengladbach): 13

Thuram has likewise looked reinvigorated in 2022/23, clearly relishing working under head coach Daniel Farke after he took over form Adi Hütter in the summer. Injuries and a loss of form limited the France international to just 21 outings last term, with all three of his goals coming in 2022. The improvement in the current campaign has been considerable, and he now heads the Foals' scoring chart with 10 goals in 15 games, a feat last achieved at the club by Marco Reus in 2011/12.

"Marcus has his heart in the right place," said Farke when asked to explain his striker's ruthless eye for goal this term. "He's an emotional player who needs to feel comfortable and secure. Players' performances are always better when they're in an atmosphere in which they feel appreciated and accepted." Thuram has certainly repaid that faith in him, firing off more shots (55) than any other player in the Bundesliga this season.

Watch: All of Thuram's goals this season

Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich): 13

The last time Gnabry missed a Bundesliga game was in April 2021, meaning he has featured in each of Bayern's last 53 league games – a longer run than any of his teammates. Such regular game time has obviously contributed to his regular goals, with eight this season alone and six in his last six matches.

"Over the last few weeks he's made great strides in the areas I told him he needed to work on," said head coach Julian Nagelsmann. "There was a period when he wasn't at 100 per cent, but now he is." In each of the last six years, Gnabry has reached double figures for goals, an achievement otherwise matched only by Robert Lewandowski. The Germany international looks well on course to extend that to seven in 2022/23.

Watch: All of Gnabry's Bundesliga goals in 2022/23

Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg): 14

Grifo hit a 16-minute hat-trick against Union Berlin on Matchday 15, taking him to nine goals for the campaign and equalling his single-season best while helping him set a personal record for a calendar year. The 29-year-old's displays were a key part of Freiburg sitting in second place over the winter break.

"The table is looking good so we can go enjoy Christmas, but in January we go again and we want to give it everything again," said the 29-year-old. Furthermore, a league-high eight of his set pieces have led to goals this season, putting him on course to match his Bundesliga-best 18 from last season.

Watch: All of Grifo's Bundesliga goals this season

Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen): 14

Diaby, like the Leverkusen team as a whole, endured a bumpy start to 2022/23. However, since Xabi Alonso's arrival in the dugout the Frenchman has rediscovered both his form and his scoring touch, and he now has six goals for the season.

"He was a bit lost at the start of the campaign," said sporting director Simon Rolfes. "But over the last few weeks you could see that he desperately wanted to get forward and score. That's the kind of desire you need as a striker." Not only is the 23-year-old Leverkusen's top scorer in 2022/23, he is also the league's fastest player with a top speed of 36.53 km/h (22.69 mph).

Watch: Alonso on Diaby's importance to Leverkusen

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern): 14

The Polish forward's last Bundesliga game was on 14 May 2022, one of 17 matches in Germany's top flight in the calendar year. That he still registered 14 goals in that time is testament to his unerring finishing ability, part of his league high 35 across the entire season.

His summer departure raised questions as to how Bayern would cope without their long-serving talisman, but Nagelsmann changed his system to make the team even more unpredictable. "We've got a good mix of desire, enthusiasm and outstanding quality, whether it's in the starting line-up or on the bench," said the tactician. With 49 goals from 15 games it's safe to say they have succeeded in filling Lewy's boots – they have more goals than any other team this term, and more than they ever had at the same stage of a season while Lewandowski was at the club.

Watch: Lewandowski's top moments and skills

Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig): 25

By far and away the best finisher of 2022, Nkunku rustled Bundesliga nets 25 times across the year, setting a new club record. The Frenchman has registered 12 goals this season, accounting for a huge 40 per cent of all Leipzig's strikes.

“Christo is an extraordinary player, the whole package,” said head coach Marco Rose in. “He’s got pace, he understands the game and he scores with his head too. The first time I heard his name was when he was in PSG’s UEFA Youth League squad as a central midfielder. Now he’s become one of the best centre-forwards in Europe, if not the world. He’s a special player.”

Watch: All of Nkunku's Bundesliga goals in 2022

So special, in fact, that he was included in France's World Cup squad, although he missed the entire tournament after suffering an injury in training.