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Once Louis van Gaal's protege, Thomas Muller struggled to adapt to life under Jupp Heynckes last season and lost his starting role in the playmaker position at Bayern as Toni Kroos established himself as the trainer's preferred choice. He scored in the Champions League final, however, and the downfall of Arjen Robben last April and May led Heynckes to give Muller a second chance in the fall.
This season, Muller has turned around his fortunes entirely. The 23-year-old took a starting role on the right wing in August, and hasn't given up his spot in Heynckes' starting XI all season. He's scored 12 goals and given as many assists in 24 Bundesliga matches, and his tally in all competitions for club and country stands at 21 scored and 18 set up in 47 appearances.
Muller's class is often underrated due to his less-than-dazzling style of play, but his productivity cannot be denied. Always a big-game player, he scored in the Superpokal against Dortmund and assisted Toni Kroos' opener against the defending champions in December. He was man-of-the-match against Arsenal at the Emirates and scored a critical second goal against Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinals tie.
The likes of Gotze and Draxler may have the potential and talent to exceed Muller by the time they reach his age, but based on performance this season, the Bayern man sets the standard for the Bundesliga's U23 players.
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