Wolfsburg midfielder Junior Malanda's time in the Bundesliga hasn't all been plain-sailing
Wolfsburg midfielder Junior Malanda's time in the Bundesliga hasn't all been plain-sailing

Resilience the key for Wolfsburg's Malanda

To most fans of the Bundesliga, VfL Wolfsburg's Junior Malanda is probably best known for that miss at FC Bayern München on Matchday 1 of the 2014/15 campaign.

Capital beginnings

The fact the same goalmouth jinx struck again against Eintracht Frankfurt a week later didn't exactly help his street cred, but the Belgian Under-21 international was never going to let those quick-fire mishaps detract from an otherwise promising start to a career at the top of the European game.

Born in Brussels on 28 August 1994, Bernard Malanda-Adje was only 11 years old when he joined the famed youth academy at Belgian giants R.S.C. Anderlecht. The budding midfielder was on the move again two years later, crossing the border to sign for Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille where he spent five years, before returning to his homeland at SV Zulte Waregem.

In his one and only season at the club, Malanda helped steer the unfancied Flemish outfit to a second-placed finish in the Jupiler Pro League, netting twice in 35 appearances in all competitions during 2012/13. The opportunity to lace his boots elsewhere duly followed, with 2008/09 Bundesliga winners Wolfsburg his suitors of choice.

Wolfsburg breakthrough

"I really wanted to join Wolfsburg to make the next step in my career," Malanda recalled. "It's my goal to get better as a player. I'll need time to get used to the Bundesliga, but it's no big deal if I don't start many games straight away. I'll have a better chance of being called up to the Belgian senior side, playing in the Bundesliga."

After spending the first half of 2013/14 back on loan at Zulte Waregem, Malanda quickly established his place in the Wolfsburg team in the New Year, scoring two goals in seven appearances, but his hopes of joining Wolves team-mate Kevin De Bruyne at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil were cruelly dashed by injury.

'Plenty of time'

A degree of misfortune followed him into the new campaign, with those aforementioned mishaps in front of goal overshadowing a string of burly performances at the heart of the Wolfsburg midfield.

"Now I can look back and laugh," the ever-resilient Malanda told Germany’s largest specialist football magazine, Kicker. "I know better than anyone that I should have scored, but the season's only really just begun. I've still got plenty of time to grab my share of goals."

Relive Junior Malanda's pair of bloopers below, courtesy of the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: