Last season was largely one to forget for VfB Stuttgart’s Silas both for on-field and off-field reasons. This season however things are looking up and his matchday 10 performance against Bochum gives hope that he can inspire the Swabians out of their current crisis.
Last season began with an identity crisis for the Congolese player with the DFB handing him a three-month ban and a €30,000 fine. The player revealed in documents that his real name was actually Silas Katompa Mvumpa – instead of Silas Wamangituka – and that he was 22, rather than 21. While cooperating with the DFB he admitted to the falsified documents claiming his former agent had ordered him to falsify records from his native homeland, causing him to “live in fear” at getting caught.
The DFB handed down the three-month ban whilst allowing the player had been the victim of manipulation. On his return, he first suffered fitness issues before a shoulder injury in February against Bochum kept him out for the rest of the season.
This season has not seen the ideal start from Stuttgart with coach Pellegrino Matarazzo paying the price with his job, but the highly versatile Silas has been a stand-out for the Swabians. Sometimes he’s lined up as a left wingback, sometimes as the left-sided attacker in a 3-4-3. He’s played as part of a dual strike force and more recently as right wingback. Versatility is the name of the game for Silas.
Wherever he plays his pace and attacking instinct have been a strength and his two goals and one assist against Bochum showed him at his near best. His surging run won the penalty in the third minute, and he stepped up to convert it himself. He then unselfishly played the ball into the path of midfielder Naouirou Ahamada in the 22nd minute to assist the second VfB goal. After conceding one before the break Silas was on hand in the 64th minute to power home a shot from the edge of the penalty area to restore the two-goal advantage. He very nearly bagged a hattrick late on only to see his 87th minute effort hit the crossbar.
Sporting director Sven Mislintat took a break from hunting for a new coach to praise the Congolese all-rounder. “Silas takes the ball [for the penalty] and puts it in like nothing happened. And that in a situation in which a lot is at stake for us. It was an unbelievable game from him. Silas has a good shot, and I was really happy for the boy and his strong performance.”
If the Swabians are going to climb the table the talents of Silas Katompa Mvumpa will be to the fore.