The hottest striker in Europe is not Harry Kane, Erling Haaland, or Kylian Mbappé but VfB Stuttgart forward Serhou Guirassy. On Friday evening, Guirassy scored another two goals in Stuttgart’s 3-1 win over promoted Darmstadt. Those two goals were Guirassy’s ninth and tenth goal of the season. No other player in any of Europe’s top leagues has scored more often.
In fact, Guirassy’s tenth goal of the season put him in the same category as former Bundesliga legend Robert Lewandowski. To date, Lewandowski was the only player in Bundesliga history to score ten goals in the first five Bundesliga games of a season. Lewandowski managed to set the benchmark during the 2020/21 season when he would eventually break Gerd Müller’s record for most goals scored in a single season (41).
It is an astonishing run of goals by a striker who has never scored more than 11 goals in a single-league campaign. Indeed, the run of goals can be directly traced to Sebastian Hoeneß taking over for the last eight games of the season last season.
Under Hoeneß, Stuttgart went for an astonishing run last season and managed to eventually fight off relegation with a 6-1 aggregate victory over 2. Bundesliga side Hamburger SV in the relegation playoffs. During the final eight games of the regular season, Guirassy scored eight goals and then added another goal during the two-legged playoffs against HSV.
Hoeneß has now been in charge for 18 games and won 11 games, drawn four, and lost just three. During that stretch, Guirassy has scored 16 goals, more than a third of Stuttgart’s goals overall since Hoeneß has taken charge.
“I am happy that we have won,” Guirassy said after the Darmstadt game. “It wasn’t an easy game, but we never gave up and, from my view, we deserved to win.” But what about the goals? “I am happy about my goals, but the success of the team is above everything. I am thankful for the support of my family, the fans, and everyone at VfB.”
Hoeneß, in the meantime, was quick to point out that Guirassy is far more than his goals. “We saw his full skillset today,” Hoeneß said to the German magazine Kicker after the game. “That skillset also includes going the distance and pressing against the ball.” Indeed, the goals have been very important for his team, but Guirassy also works extremely hard against the ball, which allows Stuttgart to be extremely dangerous in the counter-pressing.
At the end of the day, strikers are measured by goals, and in that department, Guirassy has been excellent. But will it last? According to Bundesliga.com, Guirassy leads the league with +4.3 shot efficiency.
Provided by AWS, the shot efficiency model compares the cumulated xGoal values of all shots on goal with actual goals scored. A positive value means that the player is currently outscoring his xG.
In other words, Guirassy is playing above his means, and sooner or later, the goalscoring rate will likely digress. Hence, it is unlikely that Guirassy will break Lewandowski’s single-season Bundesliga goalscoring record and score 41 goals.
But even then, Guirassy demonstrated under Hoeneß last season that he can be an effective striker in the Bundesliga, and with ten goals already in the bag, it is only a question of time for the Guinean to break his personal record and score more than 11 goals in a single league campaign.
Manuel Veth is the host of the Bundesliga Gegenpressing Podcast and the Area Manager USA at Transfermarkt. He has also been published in the Guardian, Newsweek, Howler, Pro Soccer USA, and several other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @ManuelVeth and on Threads: @manuveth