The Bundesliga is back and another exciting season awaits with a star-filled league ready to deliver once more. The established greats will again on be on display, but who will be the next young talent to emerge onto the German footballing stage? Here we take a look at eight youngsters we think just might be the ones to watch (criteria: 20-years-old and under and not a new signing to the league e.g Leverkusen’s Paulinho).
Sergio Gomez (Borussia Dortmund)
Youngster Jadon Sancho was the breakout youngster for BVB last season and this time around it could be 17-year-old midfielder Sergio Gomez. The Barcelona youth product made two brief substitute appearances at the tail end of last season against Bayer Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart and despite the stiff competition for places in Lucien Favre’s squad, will have an eye on more outings this season.
He impressed on Dortmund’s US tour this summer and will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of both Christian Pulisic and Jadon Sancho in breaking into the BVB first-team and shining.
Ridle Baku (Mainz)
The 20-year-old burst onto the scene at Mainz last season in a blaze of glory scoring twice in his three appearances to help the Nullfünfer achieve Bundesliga survival.
Mainz will face another season of struggle and will want to see the attacking midfielder pushing on and rediscovering the form he showed in the final games of last season. He faces stiff competition in Sandro Schwarz’s squad, but he may be called upon as he was last year.
Louis Jordan Beyer (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
18-year-old full-back Beyer was handed his full debut in Gladbach’s recent DFB Pokal thrashing of BSC Hastedt following an injury to summer signing Michael Lang and his knee injury looks set to keep him out of action for a number of weeks.
The stage then is set for the teenage right-back to take his opportunity. He’s been at the club since joining in 2015 and last season saw him moving between the U-19 squad and the fringes of the first-team- this season will hopefully see him firmly ensconced with the big boys.
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
US youngster Josh Sargent has been earmarked by many observers to be ready to show what he can do for Werder Bremen’s first team this season. Having impressed at the U-17 and U-20 World Cups, the 18-year-old Missourian is now looking to make his Bundesliga debut (he’s already been capped at full international level).
Pre-season has seen him score twice for the Grün-Weißen and although Max Kruse and Martin Harnik are the club’s first-choice, he will look to learn from the ‘old master’ Claudio Pizarro and compete for playing minutes at the Weser Stadion.
Dennis Jastrzembski (Hertha Berlin)
Hertha Berlin have a rich crop of young players coming through with their U-19 side having won last season’s championship, but perhaps the pick of the bunch is 18-year-old winger Dennis Jastrzembski, who possesses lightning pace and has a good eye for goal.
Hertha coach Pal Dardai has already earmarked him as a potential “surprise” this season and with the Old Lady having to rely on home-grown talent rather than big money signings, the path is open to him to impress. That is exactly what he did in Hertha’s recent DFB Pokal first round win when he arrived as a 75th minute substitute and assisted for Vedad Ibisevic’s 83rd minute goal in a 2-1 victory over Eintracht Braunschweig.
Davor Lovren (Fortuna Düsseldorf)
His older brother Dejan had quite the season last year making both the Champions League and World Cup finals and the 19-year-old younger sibling Davor is now looking to garner some attention of his own. The winger was on loan last season at Fortuna Düsseldorf from Dinamo Zagreb and his impressive displays (1 goal, 2 assists) helped the club to promotion and earned himself a permanent move to the Merkur Spielarena.
Goals will be key for Fortuna as they seek to survive in the top flight and the supply to last season’s Bundesliga II top scorer Marvin Duksch will be vital. Lovren will look to be the one to deliver the ammunition.
David Otto (Hoffenheim)
The loss of Sandro Wagner, Mark Uth and Serge Gnabry has taken away a great deal of Hoffenheim’s attacking threat, but coach Julian Nagelsmann seems unworried and the fact they have 19-year-old David Otto coming through the ranks could be one reason for the trainer’s calmness.
He scored a hatful of goals in the A-Junioren league last season (27) and has got himself on the scoresheet for the first team in pre-season. Nagelsmann showed last season in Dennis Geiger and Robin Hack that he is not afraid to blood youngsters if they are good enough. Otto could be the next to benefit from Nagelsmann’s tuition.
Linton Maina (Hannover)
The 19-year-old midfielder only made two brief appearances for Hannover last season, but he is already on the radar of some top European clubs with Manchester United already linked with him. He’s played for Germany from U-16 to U-19 level but is also eligible to play for Kenya.
He’s contracted at Hannover until 2022, but a breakout season this year could see more interested parties sending scouts to the HDI Arena to check out his progress.
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