Whether you talk of Hoffenheim, Borussia Monchengladbach, VFB Stuttgart, Eintracht Frankfurt or any other Bundesliga club, every single one of them has a host of exciting young players in their ranks. And making a name for oneself in such an environment is never at all easy for a youngster, who has to push himself continuously to perform better than the others. And if there’s someone who’s succeeding in doing just that, then it Eintracht Frankfurt’s Marc Stendera.
The young German currently ages 19 and is one of Bundesliga’s most prized and blessed assets right now. And we run the rule over this Eintracht Frankfurt starlet, who is slowly climbing the heights under Armin Veh. Stendera’s footballing journey began when he was 13 years of age, he joined his current club from a minor sports club- OSC Velimar. Rising through the ranks at the Frankfurt-based football club, Stendera broke through the youth system in the year 2012 and was handed a debut against Bayern Munich in the 2012-13 season.
Stendera made 6 appearances that season, but next season his outings were rather limited. He could only muster 4 appearances as a cruciate ligament rupture derailed his rise in the 2013-14 season as Frankfurt participated in the Europa League and ended up finishing 13th that season. It was the 2014-15 that allowed Stendera to get back on track and become a first-team regular, which he did become and made 26 appearances for the CommerzBank Arena based side.
As far as this season is concerned, Stendera has among Ven’s most effective players. He has appeared 9 times and has scored twice, and has been defensively sound too- making 2.8 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game. He’s 173 centimetres tall, but he’s got a slightly bulky and a healthy body frame and isn’t too wiry or lean. He weighs 73 kilograms and has the perfect physique for being a complete central midfield player.
Stendera can be considered slightly more attack minded than defensive minded and often acts as a primary source of keeping Frankfurt ticking. Although, he likes to maraud up the pitch more often than tracking back, but he’s efficient in both aspects of the play.
He’s blessed with a quick pair of feet and a good aura of awareness, vision and craft. His awareness allows him to find teammates from a long way out, which is clarified by the stats that say that he’s attempted 2.4 long balls every game. And awareness allows him to dribble away from crowded areas, in areas where he’s surrounded by 2 or more defenders, but despite that, he dribbles the ball out of danger quite impressively.
Marc Stendera is a right-footed player, but he happens to be ambidextrous and shoots equally well with either of his foot, using the right one for passing the ball and rotating play.
Marc Stendera’s defensive work rate is an asset and a valuable contribution for any team. He’s always keen on dropping deep and cutting out his defensive duties by making tackles, winning the ball back and circulating it forward or running with it. His defensive statistics has been mentioned earlier and the 19-year-old seems to be a midfielder in the mould of Arturo Vidal, someone who’s a workhorse, although with some work to be done.
Stendera happens to Frankfurt’s first choice free kick taker, both long and short. And here’s when accuracy comes in- there’s a dearth in finding players from long free kicks and finding the back of the net from closer distances. The line between accuracy and inaccuracy is a bit too big and that needs to shorten up a bit.
Secondly, Stendera’s passing accuracy needs a bit of an improvement. It stands at 75.5 percent, which is in clear need of a bump if you’re a central midfield player, who lays more emphasis on attack.
As mentioned earlier, Stendera is a player who resembles someone like Arturo Vidal or a younger form of Bastian Schweinsteiger after he transformed himself into a central midfielder from a left winger. He’s just 19 and in the modern day world, there’s a demand for players who are adept in both attack and defense, as the counter-attacking style of football increases in prominence time after time.
He’s been a recognizable figure at the junior levels for Germany and has represented the nation at levels ranging from Under 13 to Under 19. At the age of 18, he helped Germany secure the Under 19 EURO title last year in Hungary.
The future certainly looks bright. Frankfurt are outsiders for Europa League qualification, but he’s someone who, along with the likes of former Twente man Luc Castaignos, Alex Meier and Swiss star Haris Seferovic, can guide them to it. Being the youngest of the lot, there’s a burden on him and there’s a possibility of doing so under someone like Armin Veh too. If he is to excel, this is the perfect season for him.