By Rune Gjerulff@runegjerulff

Bundesliga team of the season – 2017/18

We take a look at the best performing players of the Bundesliga in the 2017/18 season.
In the past weekend, Bayern München lifted the Bundesliga trophy, marking the ending of the 2017/18 season. We have looked back at the past season and found the players that impressed us the most:

Goalkeeper: Jiri Pavlenka, Werder Bremen
Werder Bremen have had an average season, but the goalkeeping from Jiri Pavlenka has been top class. Werder ended the season as 11th in the table, but have the third best defensive record in the league – only edged by Bayern München and Schalke 04. The Czech keeper has let in just 40 goals in 34 games and has saved Werder Bremen numerous times during the season with his incredible reflexes.

Right-back: Joshua Kimmich, Bayern München
The German international takes the right-back spot without question. Replacing Philipp Lahm, who stopped his career after last season, is certainly no easy task, but Kimmich has done very well to fill the void left by the Bayern legend. Not only has the 23-year-old been extremely solid defensively – he has also contributed well in the offense with one goal and 10 assists.

Centre-back: Naldo, Schalke 04
Naldo may have turned 35, but the Brazilian defender has arguably been in the form of his life this season. The big central defender has been a leader and a brick wall in Schalke’s defense and has played an essential part in Schalke’s build-up play with his ability to bring the ball forward using both feet. In the other end of the pitch, Naldo has been one of Schalke’s most potent goal threats with seven Bundesliga goals to his name – only Guido Burgstaller has scored more league goals for Schalke than the Brazilian this season.

Centre-back: Mats Hummels, Bayern München
The German international has been a constant in Bayern’s central defense and has oozed experienced and calmness regardless of who he has been partnering up with. Hummels is reliable, skilled at bringing the ball forward, positions himself very well and has saved Bayern several times during the season with well-timed tackles and blocked shots.

Left-back: Philipp Max, Augsburg
Many tipped Augsburg to be among the main relegation candidates before the season, but mainly thanks to a well-oiled offense, the club steered clear of the relegation scrap. With 12 assists and two goals, Max was among the standout performers for Augsburg as he provided pivotal service for high-scoring strikers Alfred Finnbogason and Michael Gregoritsch.

Central midfielder: Naby Keita, RB Leipzig
The Liverpool-bound central midfielder has had another fine season with six goals and five assists to his name, and he will without doubt be sorely missed by RB Leipzig when he leaves in the summer. With his drive, dribbling ability and high contribution both defensively and offensively, Keita is worth his weight in gold in the central midfield.

Right midfielder: Daniel Caligiuri, Schalke 04
Caligiuri has excelled on the right wing-back and has been one of the most consistent players in Domenico Tedesco’s success side, having played all but one Bundesliga match this season. The 30-year-old has been part of a Schalke defense that has the second best defensive record in the league, and he has also been very active offensively. Caligiuri has contributed with 10 assists, and he has also netted six times with memorable solo efforts against Mainz and Borussia Dortmund among his goals.

Offensive midfielder: Thomas Müller, Bayern München
Müller has really blossomed since Jupp Heynckes took over as Bayern manager in October last year and has been among the club’s best performing players. ‘The Raumdeuter’ has netted eight times and set up 14 goals which makes him the player with most assists in the Bundesliga this season.

Offensive midfielder: James Rodriguez, Bayern München
It took a little while for the Colombian to settle after his move from Real Madrid, but he has grown into an important player during the season. Rodriguez has a great eye for both his teammates and the goal and has provided 11 assists and netted six times in the league this season.

Left midfielder: Leon Bailey, Bayer Leverkusen
The 20-year-old had an outstanding first half of the season, and while his performances may have dipped during 2018, he still deserves a spot in the team. When Bailey’s on his best, he is impossible to control by the opponents, and he has the ability to carry a team forward and settle a match on his own.

Striker: Robert Lewandowski, Bayern München
No other player could keep up with the goals of Robert Lewandowski, who scored 29 goals in 30 appearances – nearly double as many goals as his nearest competitor on the topscorer list. Obviously, the Bayern striker plays for a team that creates a lot of chances for him, but he rarely disappoints in front of the net and scores goals on a very consistent level.

Honorable mentions:
Sven Ulreich, Bayern München
Lars Bender, Bayer Leverkusen
Salif Sané, Hannover 96
Benjamin Pavard, Stuttgart
Kevin-Prince Boateng, Eintracht Frankfurt
Thorgan Hazard, Borussia Mönchengladbach
Serge Gnabry, Hoffenheim
Michael Gregoritsch, Augsburg
Kevin Volland, Bayer Leverkusen
Nils Petersen, Freiburg
Andrej Kramaric, Hoffenheim
Mark Uth, Hoffenheim

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