MSV Duisburg and Borussia Dortmund II met on a neutral ground (Stadion am Zoo) in match day 12 of 3. Liga as Dortmund’s home field faced repairs for the next few matches. Dortmund II left the match with a 2-0 victory and clean sheet on a day where they put Duisburg under constant pressure. Duisburg played a 4-2-3-1 and generated their fair share off opportunities, but 35-year-old striker Aziz Bouhaddouz lacked finishing touch. Although all subbed off in the second half, youngsters Caspar Jander, Jonas Michelbrink, and Niklas Kölle all had flashes of brilliance on attack despite an overall disappointing match. For Dortmund II, Justin Njinmah was running all over Duisburg’s defense and Marco Pasalic scored again during his impressive run of form to start the season.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Germany
- Age: 19
- Date of birth: 23/03/2003
- Club: MSV Duisburg
- Career: Germania Mauritz (Y), Preussen Münster (Y), Borussia Dortmund (Y), Schalke 04 (Y)
- Position: Central Midfielder
- Secondary Positions: Attacking Midfielder, Defensive Midfielder
- Preferred foot: Right
Caspar Jander is a 183 cm tall central midfielder that played the left side of the double pivot for Duisburg in this match. He has an average to lean build, above average pace and does not shy away from contact despite not being able to handle senior level physicality consistently. Jander seemed to be quicker and more athletic when on the ball than off. He also put in good effort and hustle throughout the match, when getting back in on defense to recover and at least jogging for all 80 minutes he was on. Jander’s confidence showed when on the ball, too, as his dribbling carried a bit of flair with it.
As an attacker, Jander was at his best as a dribbler. He used both feet well and was able to turn defenders with skill and nice touches ahead of them on multiple occasions. Jander was adept at dribbling by defenders but tended to hold the ball too long. Although it led to some tackles to stop promising moves, this also allowed him to draw some fouls from behind. Jander’s lack of physicality also had a part to play since the ball was taken off him from behind, too, through just overpowering of him physically. Despite his shortcomings, he displayed top technique and flair as a dribbler in comparison to level of competition. Jander was also a good distributor when facing pressure making quick decisions and being accurate on tight passes. With space is where he found his dangerous passes into space across the field from him on the right wing. With his vision, Jander was easily able to locate the best place for the ball upon only his second touch and the move would immediately put pressure on the box. Although he did not get the most touches in this match, Jander flashed necessary creativity with the ball at his feet.
Off ball, the young midfielder mainly sat a little further back in midfield to be ready to help in transition. He offered good support and found space on the pitch to receive in the buildup but was not utilized as much as his fellow midfielders. When moving off ball, his runs usually came late to support the latter stages of attack, keeping consistent with only a minor role in the buildup play. Considering his on-ball ability was clearly much better than his fellow midfielders, it made me question manager Torsten Ziegner’s tactics.
On defense, Jander needed to work on his positioning in 1v1s as he was easily turned multiple times and struggled to stay in front. His physicality issue did not help him either, but he did have a good moment when he stayed on an attacker’s back against the boundary and put in a couple good stand tackles to poke it out of play. Despite his positioning on ball not being the best, Jander did well off ball and marked well, too. This was important as he sat deep in midfield when defending, as deep as his own box at times. His angles to cut off passing lanes and slow breaks were intelligent although he afforded his marker too much space at times. Jander was always ready to cover or double team opponents, he was clearly on his toes and his defensive awareness at a good level despite some of his defensive shortcomings. He also contributed well on the press and was able to force a couple bad passes and get a block. Meanwhile, Jander was not physical or enough of a jumper to affect the match in the air. He lost some duels, but his hustle kept him in competing for the ball. Jander also had a wide-open header that he passed right to the opponent. There was more bad than good in the air, so it is something for him to work on. Overall, his style does not really fit the double pivot role, but he put in the effort needed to fulfill it.
Rating – A2
Jander had an average performance where he displayed moments of technical brilliance in midfield and promising traits for a box-to-box role. Because he was not overall excellent, I could not give him an A1 based on this performance, but the potential easily places him in A2. Staying with Duisburg next season to develop more in 3. Liga seems his best option, but if a better club recognizes his talent and comes calling, Jander should not hesitate. I think he would do fine in 2. Bundesliga in a more advanced midfield role than he played in this match.