By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Bundesliga End of Season Awards: 1.FC Union Berlin's Player of the Season

With a total share of 4 votes from our writers, Robin Gosens proved to be the Köpenick-based club’s most eye-catching member, securing the Player of the Season award for 1.FC Union Berlin.

Since the 2017/18 season, 1.FC Union Berlin have consistently improved on previous domestic campaigns. After surging to the lofty heights of 4th-place last year, the Köpenick club finally met a plateau. The combination of UEFA Champions League duties combined with regular domestic fixtures resulted in a 15th-place finish. A superior goal-difference on the final matchday separated them and Bochum who stumbled into the Relegation-Promotion Play-Off zone. Perhaps, for the first time in recent memory, Union Berlin struggled to recruit effectively. Experienced names like Leonardo Bonucci and Kevin Volland failed to hit the ground running. 

Arriving for a €13million fee from Internazionale Milan, Robin Gosens delivered for Die Eisernen. Urs Fischer’s days in the Alte Forsterei dugout came to an end. Managers came and went after that, from Marco Grote to Nenad Bjelica. However, Gosens remained a mainstay in each of their preferred line-ups. The left-sided wing-back played an invaluable role in Union’s survival as he found the net 6 times and supplied a further 4 assists in 30 appearances. Averaging a return every three games, his 18.1% share in the club’s goal tally is a sizeable thumbprint in Union’s somewhat turbulent campaign.

With former Mainz boss Bo Svensson set to take the reins on July 1st, 2024, it looks like a match made in heaven for he and Robin Gosens. During his time at the Carnival club the Danish tactician exclusively played with a back three, alternating between 3-5-2 and 5-3-2 formations. Gosens, meanwhile, has thrived in these roles throughout the course of his career. The 29-year-old is undoubtedly reaching the prime of his career and has exhibited on several occasions his attacking prowess alongside his defensive grit. This combination could prove extremely fruitful for Svensson’s Union Berlin in the 24/25 campaign.

STANDOUT PERFORMANCE:

Cast your minds back to a continental summers’ day on Matchday 2. Union Berlin looked primed after rip-roaring start in their opening Bundesliga fixture. The dose was repeated against newly promoted SV Darmstadt that following weekend as Die Eisernen powered to a 4-1 victory at the Stadion am Böllenfalltor. Opening the scoring in the 4th minute, Robin Gosens beat Braydon Manu to the breaking ball. In a central position, the wing-back jinked inside Clements Riedel before drilling beneath Christoph Klarer and into the lower left corner of Schuhen’s net. 

Although Marvin Mehlem responded for the hosts, exactly half an hour later Gosens reeled away celebrating his brace. In true Union Berlin fashion, the wing-backs collaborated – Josip Juranović bent his set-piece delivery onto the airborne Gosens. Using all 1.83 metres of his frame he powerfully headed into the same corner. The Köpenick club were on their way to a comfortable win despite Brenden Aaronson’s red card.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

The voting was tight in the end as both Benedict Hollerbach and Frederik Rønnow picked up two votes each. The striker struck 5 goals, including a pivotal one on the final matchday vs SC Freiburg, despite just 15 starting appearances. Meanwhile the Danish shot-stopper finished joint in 4th-place with 7 clean sheets. Diogo Leite also picked up a solitary vote in what was a consistent season for the young Portuguese centre-half.

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