Alassane Plea celebrated his first goal in the new living room with his arms spread out in front of the fan curve. When Borussia Mönchengladbach’s record purchase was changed a little later, a smile scurried over his face. “Of course, I’m very happy that I’ve met him at home now. It was a lot of fun to cheer in front of the corner,” said the Frenchman, who already has six compulsory goals on his account after scoring 3-1 (0-0) against Eintracht Frankfurt – more than any other Bundesliga professional.
Gladbach transferred 23 million euros to Nice in the summer, now Plea is paying back. Three goals in the cup, three in the league – the 25-year-old has fully lived up to expectations so far. His 1-0 goal against Frankfurt also made Dieter Hecking cheer. “A great goal. He has shown what a striker has to do in the penalty area – not long to think and just hit it. Not everyone hits the ball from an impossible angle,” said the Borussia coach.
Plea benefits above all from Hecking’s conversion to a 4-3-3. For years, Gladbach had managed without a penalty area striker in 4-4-2. The last attempt failed colossally: Luuk de Jong, also brought in as a record transfer in 2012, never really fitted into the system. Plea, on the other hand, scurries successfully in front of the opposing goal. “I just tried it and it worked. I feel very comfortable in the team and in the position I’m playing,” he says after his strong start to the season.
Luuk de Jong Honours
- FC Twente
- Eredivisie: 2009–10
- KNVB Cup: 2010–11
- Johan Cruijff Shield: 2010, 2011
- Eredivisie: 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017-18
- Johan Cruijff Shield: 2015, 2016
- Top goalscorer and top assist provider for FC Twente in the 2010–11 season.
- Top goalscorer for FC Twente in the 2011–12 season.
Thorgan Hazard, last season’s best Gladbach marksman with “only” ten goals, is also only too happy to let his new neighbour finish. “I believe that Alassane has what it takes to become Borussia’s new top scorer. I hope that I can help him with good passes,” said the Belgian. Hazard, of course, did not miss the chance to score against Frankfurt – only nine minutes after Plea.
So far, Plea has embodied the type of player Borussia lacked. The newcomer can use long balls as well as high crosses, his header against Hertha BSC would adorn any textbook, his right shot is precise.
World champion Christoph Kramer also took his hat off after the Frankfurt match. “It’s an incredibly precious quality in football when someone can score goals out of nothing. Today was actually no chance at all,” Kramer said.
So will Alassane Plea be the goal scorer the Gladbach fans have been waiting for for so long? Many will remember the Borussians who were the last player to score four goals after five games. The Brazilian Kahe even led the scoring list in 2006, but scored only once in the rest of the season. It was an own goal. Rewind Bingo offers a lot of free games, big amounts of bonuses and guaranteed jackpots, and also fun promotions.