When Simon Terodde was scoring for fun for Hamburger SV earlier in the season, it was unthinkable that he wouldn’t be the league’s top scorer for a fourth time and claiming the Torjägerkanone that may as well be named in his honour.
As late as early January, he was scoring at a rate of more than one a game, and even the 29 goals he scored for Köln two seasons ago looked in danger.
Yet something strange has happened since then. He has forgotten how to score, or at least Hamburg have forgotten how to create goals for him. He hasn’t scored at all since early March – a run of five games, with a bout of COVID-19 in between, which probably hasn’t helped keep up his ridiculously high standards.
That form has left him vulnerable to being caught. It is a challenge that Serdar Dursun has risen to, and how.
He himself didn’t exactly start the season slowly, with nine goals before the turn of the calendar year, but after a two-month drought between December and February – coinciding with a time his side SV Darmstadt 98 won just three times – there has been little stopping him.
Two goals against Paderborn, three against Erzgebirge Aue in March. And in April, he has scored in all five games his side have played, culminating in a starring role in the 3-1 victory on Monday night over VfL Bochum.
To say that perhaps undermines the performances of Markus Anfang’s substitutes, with Tobias Kempe and Christian Clemens combining for the equaliser after Robert Tesche broke the deadlock with 14 minutes left. The third, Matthias Honsak, then crossed in for Dursun to head his side ahead before Clemens similarly found the marksman to score the third.
It is the 29-year-old though who has been the star of Darmstadt’s recent revival.
Since joining the Lilies from Fürth in 2018, he has got better with every season. 11 goals in his first season, 16 in his second, and 21 – and counting – in his third and, likely, last season with the club. For whilst Darmstadt fans can dream of him fuelling a promotion challenge next season, it is likely he will be gone by then.
His contract expires in the summer and he has already been the object of many clubs’ desires – Hamburg and Hannover particularly in this league, whilst Turkish clubs have eyed him up as well. In this form, who’s to say he couldn’t do it in the Bundesliga too? Apart from Terodde, of course.
Enjoy it whilst it lasts then. Although on current form, it would be hard to discount Darmstadt’s promotion picture next season, even without their main man.
With Hamburg’s implosion and Terodde struggling as a result, Dursun looks a good bet to take the top scorer’s title in around four weeks’ time. It would cap his time at this level to beat the league’s greatest.