Bayer Leverkusen hit newly promoted Darmstadt for five on matchday three as they claimed top spot in the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich’s narrow victory away at Borussia Mönchengladbach could not prevent Die Werkself from leading the league table – due to their superior goal difference – and many believe that they will not wilt away.
After a frustrating previous campaign, Xabi Alonso has his side playing some breathtaking football, but the icing, on the rather impressive cake, has to be their goal scoring hero Victor Boniface. Last season, Patrik Schick would find the back of the net just four times in an injury plagued season compared to 24 the year prior.
With the Czech striker still out with a torn abductor, this has left the goal scoring burden on Boniface’s shoulders and he has more than stepped up to the plate. With four goals and two assists in his opening three Bundesliga games, Leverkusen look to have found themselves a potential star.
The 22-year-old is only the third player to register six goal involvements in their first three Bundesliga games since records began in 2004. The Nigerian marksman has every characteristic required to become one of Europe’s most feared centre forwards. A perfect combination of strength, speed, technical ability and intelligence has enabled him to take the Bundesliga by storm.
Nevertheless, Boniface would humbly explain after the victory against Darmstadt that his job is made easier by the tremendous work of Florian Wirtz: “I’ve said it before, Flo is a magician, it’s very good for me to have a player like him behind me. I’m very happy about it.”
The striker would also comment on his start to the season: “To be honest, I can’t believe it at all. I am very happy with my performance and that of the team. It is very important to win such games with a good performance and a result like that. If you have the confidence and a team that believes in you, you can do anything.”
After such an exciting start to life in Germany, it would be hard to imagine Boniface failing to maintain his fine form, with Leverkusen on the hunt for silverware. Die Werkself have certainly found themselves a Bundesliga icon in the making, and a player Xabi Alonso cannot praise enough: “He’s not just a classic striker, not just a bomber – he’s complete. We are happy with him, he has scored four goals so far, but we expect more.”
GGFN | Will Shopland