"Next week I'm taking the ball home!" Silas Wamangituka's second straight Bundesliga brace cut Borussia Dortmund down to size and propelled VfB Stuttgart up to seventh on Matchday 11. - © imago images/DFL
"Next week I'm taking the ball home!" Silas Wamangituka's second straight Bundesliga brace cut Borussia Dortmund down to size and propelled VfB Stuttgart up to seventh on Matchday 11. - © imago images/DFL

Silas Wamangituka: MD11's Man of the Matchday and the apex predator of VfB Stuttgart's Jungen Wilden 2.0


It did not need a record-breaking 5-1 win at Borussia Dortmund to see how much VfB Stuttgart have been enjoying their return to the Bundesliga, with one man in particular having a feast at German football's top table.

Silas Wamangituka is not a name which rolls off the tongue, but his seven goals and three assists for the Swabians so far this season have provided plenty of opportunities for headline-makers to show their creativity, and their imagination was called upon again on Matchday 11.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo forward scored two as Stuttgart put five past Dortmund in their own Signal Iduna Park home for the first time in their history, and kept up their fairy-tale return to the top flight – and that coming from his position wide on the right of Pellegrino Matarazzo's dynamic 3-5-2 formation.

'Dynamic' is very much the operative word for the Swabians' style of play, and Silas is the embodiment of everything Matarazzo desires. Quick, skilful and – above all – hard-working, the 21-year-old has done much more for Stuttgart this season than 'just' have a direct hand in 10 of their 24 goals.

"He and a few others have huge potential," said Matarazzo. "They're keeping their feet on the ground and giving it 100 per cent every day in training. The potential Silas and several others have knows no bounds."

Without naming names, Matarazzo gave more than just an indication of how highly he rates youngsters such as Tanguy Coulibaly, Nicolas Gonzalez, Mateo Klimowicz, Orel Mangala and Borna Sosa by sending them out in the youngest team to take to the field in a Bundesliga fixture this season, with an average age of 22.8.

For such inexperienced players – not merely in terms of age, but also in their modest number of Bundesliga appearances, with the aforementioned six collecting a combined 58 outings in Germany's top flight, compared to Dortmund stalwart Mats Hummels who has 368 all by himself – coming away from Westphalia with such an historic result is no small achievement.

"I'm totally proud of my team's performance," added Matarazzo. "We wanted to show a few people that we can not only cause a top team like Dortmund a few problems, but that we can also beat them."

They did that so emphatically on Saturday that the rest of the league is warned, if they were not already. The only warning Matarazzo had, on the other hand, was for his own players.

"We've got to keep our feet on the ground," he said. "We've got to remain humble, respect our opponents, but do this also with conviction in our own qualities."

Watch: Pellegrino Matarazzo on Stuttgart's emphatic Dortmund win

Conviction such as that which was shown by Silas, as he scored two goals for the second week running.

The former Paris FC forward registered seven goals and eight assists in 29 Bundesliga 2 appearances during Stuttgart's promotion-winning campaign, but is on course to blow those numbers out of the water in his maiden season in the German top tier. Eleven fixtures in, only Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland and Wout Weghorst have scored more than the VfB No.14.

"He is a calm guy, but on the field he is really wild," Mangala told bundesliga.com of Silas. "He is really good at dribbling and is really fast. We are happy that he is with us. We are enjoying every minute that he is playing with us."

Spearheaded by club legend Mario Gomez, Stuttgart's 'jungen Wilden' (Wild boys) captivated the Bundesliga on their way to the 2006/07 title. No one expects Matarazzo's young, wild and free ensemble to add a sixth Meisterschale to the collection just yet - the club have been relegated twice in the last five years alone - but Die jungen Wilden 2.0 are climbing the proverbial food chain fast.

Filling his boots in the apex predator role, the untamed Silas Wamangituka.