Who is Benjamin Henrichs? The 18 year old youth is the latest German teen sensation currently in the Bayer Leverkusen youth set-up.
Henrichs, an attacking midfielder, has been at Leverkusen since he was 7 years old, joining from junior side SpVg Porz back in 2004. To date, the starlet has spent 11 years at the BayArena-based club, making his way through the club’s academy youth sides.
As well as playing the attacking midfield role, the youngster can play either centre midfielder or defensive midfield making him a versatile player. He has been compared in recent past to former Leverkusen player Emre Can due to his composure on the ball.
Henrichs is a technical player, quick, skillful, and has an eye for goal. With these skills, he his playing style is similar to that of Michael Ballack, as he is a physically imposing box-to-box player.
The hot shot also finishes like a striker and his fine 22-yard top corner finish against England Under 19’s in a 3-2 defeat this season proves this.
Due to his impressive form last season for Leverkusen’s Under 19s, Henrichs was promoted to Michael Schade’s first team and given the #39 shirt, but is still a regular in the 19s, captaining the side. His first taste of Bundesliga football came in the 78th minute in Bayer’s 3-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in September.
The starlet, who captained Germany’s Under 19 team at the Euro’s, has also been likened to that of 19-year old Tarek Chahed, who plays for 1.FC Magdeburg in the Fußball-Liga – the German third division, as well as 17-year old Gorkem Saglam of VFL Bochum.
To date, the 5′ 11″ teen sensation has made nine appearances in the A-Jugend Bundesliga West League, scoring five goals. He has also made four appearances in the UEFA Youth League, scoring one goal and contributing to one assist.
But it’s not all fußball for Henrichs. When he was only 11 years old he expressed alternative career plans: “If professional football doesn’t work out, I will become an author,” according to German newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.
Henrichs was also quoted saying: “I think Leverkusen’s youth setup is really good. Plenty of players have made the breakthrough into professional football and there are many former Leverkusen youth players in the second and third divisions too.”
About Henrichs, UEFA stated: “The Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder already emits an air of authority on the ball. Equally comfortable seeking possession as he is spreading play, Henrichs also showed he had an eye for goal. Not only his tall frame made him stand head and shoulders above his opponents; an uncanny maturity made him a particularly imposing presence.”
It won’t belong before Europe’s heavyweights battle it out for his signature, if he continues his impressive form. According to transfermarket, he is under contract with Leverkusen until June 2020.
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