Eintracht Frankfurt returned to the Bundesliga this season and, given their promising side, were widely tipped to avoid the drop. However, even the most ardent of fans would not have imagined the Eagles sitting in fourth spot at this stage of the season, level on points with defending champions Borussia Dortmund.
This success has been made possible primarily because of the sensational form of their midfield quintet, with rising Japanese star Takashi Inui being the most creative spark in the unit.
Inui is no stranger to German football, having spent last season in the 2.Bundesliga with VfL Bochum. At Bochum, he had got off to a flying start, scoring in just his second match and managed a total of seven goals over the season. Managerial changes, though, saw Inui used in a somewhat unfamiliar position and he was unable to fulfill his true potential.
Yet, despite the difficulties, he had done enough to impress Eintracht Frankfurt and earned himself a ticket into the Bundesliga. Since then, Inui hasn’t looked back, setting the Bundesliga on fire in the opening months of the season.
Eintracht Frankfurt coach, Armin Veh, has given Inui a free role on the left flank and the attacking midfielder’s impact has been so strong that he has started every single game this season.
Inui has already notched up four goals and provided three assists. Along with left back Bastian Oczipka, he has made that left side of Frankfurt’s attack the club’s most potent weapon, while with Oczipka often thundering forward, Inui has shown great responsibility in filling in for the full back.
With his rise in form only recent, Inui is yet to become a regular in the Japanese national team. He also finds himself competing with former Bundesliga superstar Shinji Kagawa and current Bundesliga starlets Takashi Usami and Hiroshi Kiyotake for a place in the side. In that respect, becoming a favorite of Alberto Zaccheroni is going to be a mammoth task even for the highly talented Takashi Inui.