Christopher Nkunku, Joshua Kimmich and Florian Wirtz (l-r.) are contenders to top the Bundesliga's assists charts. - © Imago
Christopher Nkunku, Joshua Kimmich and Florian Wirtz (l-r.) are contenders to top the Bundesliga's assists charts. - © Imago

Christopher Nkunku, Florian Wirtz and Joshua Kimmich: the challengers to rival Thomas Müller as Bundesliga assist king


Heavy must be the head of Thomas Müller after the Bayern Munich man was the Bundesliga assist king for a third successive year in 2021/22, and he'll again need to be up for a fight when the likes of Christopher Nkunku, Joshua Kimmich and Florian Wirtz come for his crown in 2022/23. runs the rule over the potential heirs to Müller's throne

Christopher Nkunku

Club: RB Leipzig
Age: 24
Postion: Attacking midfielder/ forward

The Leipzig schemer wasn't named 2021/22 Bundesliga Player of the Season by accident; he was the league's fourth-highest scorer with 20 goals and Müller's closest contender with 13 assists to the German's 18.

He starts the new campaign with a freshly minted contract at the Red Bull Arena and with his eyes set on helping his side wrestle the title from Bayern by toppling their goal-getting supremos that go by the names of Robert Lewandowski and Müller.

Watch: Discover why Nkunku was named as Player of the Season

Joshua Kimmich

Club: Bayern Munich
Age: 27
Position: Central midfielder

Kimmich has reached double figures for assists in four of the past five seasons and pulled up just one short of Jadon Sancho's 14 in 2018/19 - the only time Müller hasn't collected the prize in the last five years.

Just four players registered more assists than Kimmich's 11 last term and the 27-year-old - who has the added bonus of standing over the majority of Bayern's set-pieces - will again run his club and country teammate close.

Watch: Joshua Kimmich's Bundesliga Mixtape!

Florian Wirtz

Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Age: 19
Position: Attacking midfielder

The 19-year-old Germany international made a flying start to the 2021/22 campaign, scoring four times and laying on six provisions for his teammates across his first seven appearances of the campaign.

A cruciate ligament rupture in March cruelly curtailed his tally at 10 assists and seven goals from 24 Bundesliga outings and we may not see the Leverkusen creator-in-chief in action until 2023, but - with the 2022 FIFA World Cup splitting the season - Wirtz should still have plenty of time to throw his hat into the ring.

Watch: The best of Florian Wirtz

Moussa Diaby

Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Age: 22
Position: Winger

In Wirtz's absence, Diaby stepped up to the plate with 13 goals and 12 assists across 32 league appearances for the Frenchman last time out.

Like Nkunku, it earned the 22-year-old his first cap for his country and Diaby will be out to reach double figures for assists for a third straight campaign either side of gunning for glory with Les Blues in Qatar.

Marco Reus

Club: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 33
Position: Attacking midfielder

Reus produced 12 assists last season - the second best return of his Bundesliga career - and goes into 2022/23 with 105 in 340 top-flight appearances all told.

Dortmund's captain fantastic no longer has Erling Haaland to aim for, but BVB have recruited wisely, bringing in - among others - young forward Karim Adeyemi and Germany defender Nico Schlotterbeck, who scored five times for Freiburg last term.

Marco Reus has hit double figures for single-season assists on five occasions. - Eibner-Pressefoto/Gabriel Boia via images/Eibner

Filip Kostic

Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
Age: 29
Position: Left winger

Kostic and his wand of a left-foot have provided 44 Bundesliga assists in the past five seasons, with his nine-assist return in 2021/22 the first time he hasn't hit double figures during that time.

He will be out to get back to his 14-assist best of 2020/21 and his starring role in Die Adler's UEFA Europa League-winning run last year - that included six assists, one of which came in the final - serve as evidence that he's still more than capable of doing so.

David Raum

Club: Hoffenheim
Age: 24
Position: Left-back

Speaking of cultured left-foots, 24-year-old Raum was a revelation in 2021/22, ending the season as Germany's first choice left-back and the player with the most crosses from open play (188).

Raum's 11 Bundesliga assists are what made Hansi Flick stand up and take notice of the Hoffenheim full-back and if that's what he's capable of in his top-flight debut then we can't wait to see what he can deliver in year two.

David Raum was one of the players of the season in his maiden Bundesliga campaign. - Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

>> Click HERE for the lowdown on the new season's top scorer contenders!