Nathan Ngoumou: Combining physicality with speed
Nathan Ngoumou not only got himself on the scoresheet again in the 4-4 draw at FC Augsburg, but impressed in both the more and less noticeable sides of the game.
If you’re looking for a statistic where Nathan Ngoumou is a long way out in front, it’s pretty easy. Whenever he’s on the pitch, you just need to take a look at the maximum speeds to find him right at top of the list. During the spectacular 4-4 draw in Augsburg, he recorded 34.7 km/h, nearly a whole kilometre per hour more than the second-fastest player that afternoon – that being Gladbach’s other winger Franck Honorat (33.8 km/h). On the first matchday of the new season, only Bayern’s Kingsley Coman (34.9 km/h) beat Ngoumou for top speed.
Pace is without a doubt the most salient element of Ngoumou’s game and often comes to the fore in the Foals’ quick counter-attacking system. “The playing style suits my skills well. I’m always trying to bring my strengths onto the pitch and to use my pace,” said Ngoumou in an interview prior to the Augsburg game. Emblematic of this was his goal to briefly make it 3-1, when the young Frenchman perfectly collected a long ball from Jonas Omlin and left every opponent in his wake.
More physicality in his game
Equally, the match in Augsburg also showed what Borussia’s head coach Gerardo Seoane emphasised during pre-season: “Although Nathan is very slight, he can still get stuck in.” Ngoumou entered 31 duels against FCA – by far the most of any player on the field. His total of 50% duels won is impressive for an attacking player. In Augsburg, he also contributed at the other end of the pitch, contesting 17 defensive challenges. For context, every other player who fought more defensive duels in the Bundesliga this weekend was a centre-back or defensive midfielder. These statistics show the 23-year-old’s development since he joined Borussia in summer 2022. Physicality and assertiveness help him to deploy his speed more efficiently.
Ngoumou himself wants to carry the momentum of pre-season, where he impressed with good performances and four goals, further during the campaign. “All in all, my performances recently have given me a good feeling and confidence. Now it’s about repeating these performances in the league and helping the team,” says Borussia’s number 19. In the DFB-Pokal against TuS Bersenbrück (1 goal, 1 assist) and also in Augsburg (1 goal), he has proven he can do that.