German football is fast becoming the continents premier football destination. This years Bundesliga has been as exciting as ever as Bayern Munich are surging toward the title with Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke all in hot pursuit; as well as that all the above teams are performing well in European competition.
But there has been a real surprise in the Bundesliga this season as while we are passed the halfway stage Eintracht Frankfurt are currently sitting pretty in fourth spot. While the side may have once been a major player on the national and continental stage that has not been the case for many years. Nowadays the club has been more used to relegation and subsequent promotion battles rather than scrapping it out for a European spot.
Last season they finished as runners-up to the Bundesliga’s current basement club Greuther Furth in the 2.Bundesliga, Germanys second tier, so to see them up in the higher echelons of the league is nothing short of a miraculous achievement.
While there are obviously many factors to this success one player in particular who has been essential in the rise of Frankfurt has been their left-back Bastian Oczipka.
Unwanted by Bayer Leverkusen he signed on a free transfer this summer after impressing on loan at St Pauli the season previous and recovering from a serious ankle break. He was instantly installed as the first choice left-back as Frankfurt geared up for a long slog and potential relegation battle but that has simply not been the case.
While the form of Alexander Meier and Sebastian Rode has also been a massive boost for Die Adler the left-back has really stood out.
His surging runs and excellent dribbling ability have made him as much an attacking threat as he is a defensive talent. This season he has already contributed seven assists from full-back and if you are looking for a Premier League comparison then look no further than Everton’s Leighton Baines.
Such form has seen him linked with a call-up to the German national side something the player himself is cautiously optimistic of:
‘’The opportunity is definitely there. I would like to see, but it's not in my hands."
He is certainly talented enough and there has even been talk of him moving away from the Commerzbank-Arena this month. If he does you can be sure that Premier League clubs will be sniffing around the availability of the ‘Bundesliga Baines’.
Have you seen Oczipka play? Is he good enough for the Premier League?