We continue our run down of the 20 brightest talents in the Bundesliga 2. If you missed part I of our series click here. Enjoy!
Julian Weigl (19), 1860 Munich
Weigl has had a very eventful time in his first 9 months with the 1860 senior side. The central midfielder first broke into the side under Friedhelm Funkel and made his debut against Ingolstadt, in February. Weigl made such a big impression that he forced his way into a very talented 1860 midfield and started 11 of the final 12 games of the season. Weigl was rewarded, for his fine displays, with a new contract, containing a release clause of €5,000,000, the highest in the club’s history.
Weigl turned down the opportunity to join Germany’s, Uefa Championship winning, U19 side to focus on proving himself to 1860’s new manager, Ricardo Moniz and he made such a good impression that he was named as the youngest captain in the history of the club. However, Weigl’s tenure as captain lasted just 2 games as he was then stripped of the captaincy and forced to train with the youth team, after a drunken escapade on the night of a home loss to Red Bull Leipzig.
Despite being sent away from the senior side, Moniz remained a big fan of the player and claims to have rejected bids, for the player, from Eredivisie giants, Ajax and FC Twente, in the final weeks of the transfer window.
Moniz’s dismissal, as manager, has seen Weigl welcomed back into the fold and he has started both games under Markus von Ahlen, putting in 2 strong performances and proving why he is seen the golden boy of 1860 Munich.
Michael Gregoritsch (20), VfL Bochum
The tall Austrian striker is another player that is in his 2nd season on loan in Bundesliga 2, having been on loan at FC St Pauli, last season. The player is on loan from Bundesliga side, Hoffenheim, who bought the player after an impressive spell in his native Austria, with SV Kapfenberg.
Last season’s spell at Pauli was a mixed one for Gregoritsch as he mainly found himself restricted to a place on the bench, scoring just one goal. However, Peter Neurerer saw in enough in the player that he decided to bring him to Bochum, for the season.
Gregoritsch has really grown under the Neurerer’s tutelage. The striker has been converted into a left winger but he has really impressed in his new role. In his first 9 games for the club, Gregoritsch has been involved in 5 goals, including an incredible volley against FC Nurnburg, last weekend.
The Austrian also has an excellent record for the Austrian U21 side, scoring 10 goals in 15 games.
Whether it be on the wing or in attack, the young Hoffenheim player has a bright future ahead of him.
Reinhold Yabo (22), Karlsruher SC
Yabo is now in his 2nd season at Karlsruher, after failing to make the grade at Bundesliga side, FC Koln. Yabo was always regarded as a very bright prospect, having been a regular in the German Youth sides up until the U20 side. However, his career appeared to suffer a setback when he was deemed surplus to requirements at the Billy Goats.
Yabo has excelled since moving to Karlsruher. The powerful box-to-box midfielder has been a revelation since he joined the club, dominating midfields throughout Bundesliga 2 and improving week by week.
Yabo’s strength lies in his physical ability. He is a very domineering presence and is a very strong runner, making him difficult to dispossess or beat. He also has a very good reading of the game, making him very effective at breaking up opposition attacks.
Yabo has started to garner admiring glances from various Bundesliga sides and should Karlsruher fail to achieve promotion, this season, expect Yabo to move on to another side in the Bundesliga, next season.
Okan Kurt (19), (1. FC St. Pauli)
It wasn’t so long ago that Kurt was one of the kids leading the professionals onto the pitch at the Millerntor, but now the 19-year-old talent seems to have found his way into St. Pauli’s starting XI under new coach Thomas Meggle. Kurt was allowed to train with St. Pauli’s first team during last year’s training camp in Belek. When his coach at the Under 23 side was named the new head coach for the Buccaneers he decided to bring Kurt with him. So far the 19-year-old has featured in 4 matches for St. Pauli and he started the last three of them. Kurt is at home on the holding midfield position in front of the back four and he has so far shown that he has a good perception, he reads the game well and he keeps things simple when he passes the ball. The youngster is 1.74 meters tall, but weighs only 65 kilos and over the next couple of years he might have to put on a few muscles in order to compete at a higher level than the Bundesliga 2. However, his instincts and capabilities on the pitch show that he could be set for great things than the second tier.
Marco Thiede (22) – SV Sandhausen
Thiede arrived to SV Sandhausen in the summer of 2013 on a free transfer as a young footballer search of regular playing time after having worked his way through the youth ranks and into the senior squad at FC Augsburg where he found himself stagnating as an after-thought. At the time, Thiede was looking at joining a 3-Liga side, but retaining a “hardwired” goal of playing in the Bundesliga. It was only weeks, rather than seasons, before his new club took a huge step in the direction of the top flight, becoming the benefactor of MSV Duisburg’s punishment relegation and getting a second shot at staying in the second division.
Thiede and SVS did not leave their fate in the hands of fate after that.
Having established himself mostly on the right flank, the Augsburg native flipped to the left side at Sandhausen under coach Alois Schwartz and quickly became a key figure in one of the 2. Bundesliga’s most-stubborn defenses last season. Though he’s not shown himself to be the same threat offensively as he had earlier in his career, he also hasn’t been asked to, as Schwarz depends more heavily on Thiede’s defensive support to keep the SVS’ league status from being threatened. But make no mistake, Thiede is a fixture in Sandhausen’s plans because he’s developing into a solid two-way player with upside.
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