- Lewandowski has scored 14 goals so far.
- Aubameyang leads the Bundesliga with 16 goals.
- Modeste, Wagner and Werner round out the top five.
Between 1998 and 2001, Fjörtoft scored 14 goals in 52 games for the Eagles, and now the Norwegian is a European football analyst for television broadcasters across the continent.
bundesliga.com caught up with Fjörtoft for his thoughts Germany's top flight and the strikers leading the scoring charts.
bundesliga.com: We’re halfway through the season now and five strikers have reached double digits: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Robert Lewandowski, Anthony Modeste, Sandro Wagner and Timo Werner. Are you surprised?
Jan Age Fjörtoft: There haven’t been a whole lot of out and out strikers in the Bundesliga in recent years. As a member of the 'fraternity of strikers', I wasn't a fan of the trend towards using false nines. But now it looks like there there’s a bit of a renaissance for forwards, and I’m very pleased. It’s a good thing for the league that five strikers - who are all different - are so successful.
Watch: The Bundesliga's leading scorers up close:
bundesliga.com: The three currently leading the race for the Torjägerkanone are Aubamyeang (16 goals), Lewandowski (14) and Modeste (13). Who do you think will be top scorer?
Fjörtoft: I don’t know Anthony Modeste well enough to judge him - I’ve still not seen him live in a stadium. The other two I’ve seen plenty, and for me Lewandowski is the best. When I was a little boy Marco van Basten was my role model. And Lewandowski is about as good as he is. That’s as big a compliment as I can pay a striker. I remember I started at Sky in 2011, the same year he came to Borussia Dortmund. At first he seemed allergic to scoring but I said, 'when he starts scoring goals, he’s going to be absolutely top.' I like it when a player is more than just a goalscorer, when his build-up play is good as well. He gets his goals and he creates them too - with his eye, his intelligence, his movement - he is the perfect number nine. I’ve interviewed him many times after Champions League matches and he’s a great guy, a great personality and ambassador for Bayern.
Watch: Relive Lewandowski's double to down SC Freiburg on Matchday 17:
bundesliga.com: At the moment he’s two goals behind Aubameyang.
Fjörtoft: Yes. And Aubameyang is a very different kind of player. He’s like a cannon that explodes. He’s very strong and powerful. It’s remarkable to see how he uses his muscles when he runs. When he first came over from France, he also had trouble finishing chances. But now he’s getting 20 goals a season. He’s really developed at Dortmund. It’s a pleasure to watch him and we can only be happy to have players like him in the Bundesliga.
bundesliga.com: Is Lewandowski the more complete player to you?
Fjörtoft: I think so. He’s among the best there is, and he’s more involved in the game. Aubameyang is still a bit raw. He plays to his strengths very cleverly, and he’s got better with the ball. He’s still improving, which is great for Dortmund, but it also means he’s attracting a lot of attention from other clubs.
bundesliga.com: What impression had Modeste made on you, even if it’s only been from watching him on TV?
Fjörtoft: I’m very impressed by what Modeste and 1. FC Köln have done. The fact we’re comparing him with strikers who play in Munich and Dortmund is says it all. It’s much easier to score goals when you play for Bayern or BVB than at Köln. His performances have been impressive.
bundesliga.com: After those three come two Germans: Sandro Wager at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, and Timo Werner at RB Leipzig. They happen to be playing each other on Saturday.
Fjörtoft: Wagner has played at a lot of different clubs and he wasn’t always successful. That shows how important self-confidence is for a striker. In his case you have to ask: 'Was Hoffenheim the best thing that could have happened to him? Or is it the other way around?' It’s not too different for Werner. It’s great for the Bundesliga and for German football to have two German forwards up near the top of the scoring list. And you can’t forget about Mario Gomez, who’s started scoring again lately. In leagues like England’s or Spain’s it’s almost always foreign players dominating the list. Here you have a couple of Germans up there and that’s a good thing.
bundesliga.com: We have to ask you about your old club Eintracht Frankfurt. How pleased are you to see them doing so well?
Fjörtoft: It’s fantastic. Last season I was at the home match against Hoffenheim [a 2-0 loss] and TSG deserved to win. After the game I was asked if I thought Eintracht would stay in the league. “Of course they’ll stay up,” I said, but on the plane home I must have had a Pinocchio nose! However, since then the Kovac brothers have come in and done really great work. I’m really happy for the Eintracht fans.
Jan Age Fjörtoft was speaking to Tobias Gonscherowski