Milot Rashica isn't all that far off Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe for goals-per-minute in 2019, but what else is there to know about the Werder Bremen forward? bundesliga.com has the skinny…
Club: Werder Bremen
Position: Forward/ winger
Country: Kosovo (25 caps, four goals)
Rashica got his senior break at hometown club KF Vushtrria in Kosovo. He made his competitive debut at the age of 16, and went on to score nine goals in 21 appearances before earning a move to Holland with Vitesse Arnheim in summer 2015.
Already a 2013/14 Football Superleague of Kosovo winner with Vushtrria, Rashica helped Vitesse claim the Dutch Cup at the end of his second season at the club. When he left for Bremen in January 2018, he had registered a total of 15 goals and 24 assists in 100 appearances on Dutch soil.
Rashica made his Werder bow in a 2-1 win against Schalke on 3 February 2018 and opened his account a month later in a 3-1 victory over Cologne. It was, nevertheless, his eight goals and four assists in 17 league matches during the second half of 2018/19 - his first full campaign in the German top flight - that gave his Bundesliga career lift-off. Ten league games into 2019/20, the 5'8" right-footer has six goals and three assists, as well as five goals in his last five in the DFB Cup.
On the international circuit, Rashica made a handful of appearances for the Albania youths and also played for their senior team twice in friendlies, before switching allegiance to his native Kosovo in 2016. He made his debut in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw with Finland, and scored his first goal in a UEFA Nations League meeting with the Faroe Islands.
Plays a bit like: Alexis Sanchez
It's not just his ability to play across the front line and ice-cold finishing that Rashica has in common with Alexis Sanchez. A one-man attacking force with pace to burn, the Bremen talisman has that self-same stocky build and low centre of gravity that made Sanchez such an overwhelming prospect for opposition defenders back in his Barcelona and Arsenal days. He loves a set-piece goal, too.
Watch: Milot Rashica scored twice for Bremen in Wolfsburg on Bundesliga Matchday 13
Did you know?
Rashica ranks in the top five for goals-per-minute of all non-No.9 forwards across Europe's top five leagues in 2019. Only Paris Saint-Germain's Mbappe (one goal per 83 mins), Barcelona's Messi (69 mins), PSG's Neymar (109 mins) and Liverpool's Sadio Mane (122 mins) have fared better than the Bremen No.7 (145 mins) this calendar year. The November Player of the Month nominee is on 14 goals in 26 Bundesliga appearances, with three rounds of fixtures remaining before the winter break.
What they're saying
"He's one of the best players in the Bundesliga!" - Rashica's Bremen teammate, Theo Gebre Selassie
"Milot’s taken a massive leap in the last year or so. He's got more confidence in himself and makes scoring look so easy." - Bremen coach, Florian Kohfeldt