In 2012, Eintracht Frankfurt were promoted to the top flight of German football after spending one season in the second tier.
Seven years on and they sit in fifth position in the Bundesliga and have qualified for the semi-finals of the Europa League. Their progress has seen a steep incline ever since manager Adolf Hütter took over the reigns at Die Adler.
A large part of their success this season is also due to their formidable front three which consists of Ante Rebic, Luka Jovic, and Sebastian Haller.
The attacking philosophy of their manager has benefited the team. Hütter, who managed Red Bull Salzburg and Young Boys previously, keeps a high press up in the opponent’s half and utilizes build up play to catch disorganized teams on the counter attack.
Of the front three, Jovic and Haller are the main strikers whose qualities complement each other perfectly.
Haller is your typical target man, imposing his physicality to win headers and feed the ball to Jovic who is a lethal one-touch finisher in the box.
Rebic sits just behind the strikers and makes use of the space created by the other two forwards who distract defenders with their intelligent movement. The trio have 50 goals between them so far this season and are responsible for 65% of Frankfurt’s goals in all competitions, which makes it no surprise then that they are called the ‘Magical Triangle’.
Rebic is the oldest of the three at 25-years-old and he was a crucial player for Croatia in the 2018 World Cup. He joined Frankfurt on loan from Italian side, Fiorentina, in 2016 to reunite with his former national team coach and has been an important player for them ever since, even after Hütter took over.
Rebic delivers in big games as he scored two goals against Bayern Munich in an unprecedented 3-1 win in the DFB Cup final last season, winning Frankfurt their first piece of silverware in 30 years.
He has very good stamina and is relentless when pressing on the pitch. Although his first touch may let him down at times, his determination to win the ball off his opponents prevents them from getting the ball out of their own half while his strength, speed, and clinical finishing makes him a solid attacker for Frankfurt. With nine goals this season, he will look to add to his account and help Frankfurt to a strong finish at the end of the season.
Sebastian Haller is perhaps the most overlooked player of the three. Only 24-years-old, the Frenchman has not made a single appearance for his country at senior level which is surprising considering he has the most starts of the front three with 22 appearances in the league this season. It is uncommon for a striker to be unselfish when it comes to scoring opportunities, but Haller currently has the most assists for Frankfurt this season with 12 in all competitions.
“I always want to score goals, but I’m a team player first and foremost,” when interviewed by reporters. Even with that attitude, he is still their second highest scorer in all competitions with 19 goals.
Standing at 190 cm, Haller uses his strength and aerial ability to score and assist his teammates.
His former coach Niko Kovac said, “A bulldozer couldn’t knock him over,” when referring to his physical presence in the game.
He has an eye for goal and the ability to pick out a pass for his teammates. Frankfurt’s number nine has helped them in countless situations such as when he rescued a point for them with an important goal against Nuremberg. He deserves more recognition and credit as he has been the bedrock of Frankfurt’s success upfront.
The most outstanding of all however, is 21-year-old Luka Jovic, who has taken Germany by storm since coming on loan from Benfica in 2017. Unsatisfied with his lack of playtime, the Serbian came to Frankfurt and spent his first season as a super-sub scoring eight goals in 22 games. This season under Hütter, Jovic has a record that will put veteran strikers to shame – 22 goals in 35 appearances.
With more minutes under his belt, Jovic has developed his talents for the Eagles as he had the honour of being the youngest player to score five goals in a Bundesliga match when Frankfurt demolished Fortuna Dusseldorf back in October. Eintracht Frankfurt have been given a massive boost after successfully activating the purchase option for Jovic, a steal at just €7 million.
Combine the attributes and strengths of these three players and it gives you an unstoppable trio, which is what Hütter deserves credit for. He knew how to bring out the best in his players and played to their strengths. The trio work seamlessly together as they have a good understanding of each other’s style of play. “We have chemistry on the pitch,” Jovic said when asked about how he, Haller and Rebic formed such a productive strike partnership for Frankfurt.
This attacking trident may not be as highly revered as Barca’s ‘MSN’ partnership, who amassed 364 goals in 450 games between 2014 and 2017, but if they continue producing goals for their club, Frankfurt could very well become one of the best teams in Germany, provided no one snaps up their valued assets.
Jovic, although signed permanently, has been heavily linked to a move to both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona should Eintracht Frankfurt decide to cash-in on the Serbia international.
Frankfurt have also proved that they can take on opponents who appear stronger on paper as they beat Inter Milan to a place in the Europa League quarter-finals, courtesy of a Luka Jovic goal.
They followed up with a notable performance when they came back down from a 4-2 deficit to Benfica and won the second leg 2-0 to proceed for a huge clash against English side Chelsea.Leave a comment