The 2015/16 Bundesliga season is now at the halfway stage, providing the ideal time to take stock of each club's progress so far. Here, bundesliga.com puts VfL Wolfsburg under the microscope.
The story so far
After lifting the DFB Cup and running FC Bayern München as close as seemingly possible to the Bundesliga title last season, VfL Wolfsburg were being touted as serious title candidates in the summer. It was a tag they never craved, and one which they wore even more reluctantly after Kevin De Bruyne, German football's Player of the Year last season, and Ivan Perisic left during the summer transfer window.
Consolidation therefore became the priority, with Julian Draxler and Dante drafted in, and almost inevitably they initially struggled to meet the lofty standards of last term. However, hard work, dedication and persistence have paid off, and an historic first-ever qualification for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League has rendered the 2015 calendar year one of the most successful in the club's history, with promise of more to come after the winter break.
- Wolfsburg have scored a league-high eight goals from crosses.
- The Wolves have netter a joint-league-high five goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches.
- Only Borussia Dortmund's defence (54 per cent) has won a higher percentage of tackles than Wolfsburg's (53.3 per cent).
While results and performances have not mirrored the consistency of last season, Maximilian Arnold can be satisfied with his contribution to the Wolves’ cause thus far. The versatile and gifted ball-playing midfielder has scored twice and assisted twice this season and has taken his tally to 80 league appearances for Wolfsburg, still at the age of just 21.
Among those efforts was an equalising goal to ensure the Wolves took a point in drawing 1-1 at home to Hamburger SV on Matchday 16. A regular in the team at present, Arnold will be looking to cement his reputation as one a burgeoning young talent in the league in 2015, as well as to impress in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, in which the Wolves face KAA Gent.
Trace the ups and downs of Wolfsburg's season so far with our interactive league table. Simply click on the + symbol at the end of each row in the standings for a comprehensive statistical overview.
Re-live Wolfsburg's emphatic 6-0 Matchday 13 win over northern Germany rivals SV Werder Bremen in this video.