The Bundesliga deservedly has a top reputation for giving young talent a chance and producing top players that are the envy of the big money leagues in England and Spain. Who will be the young stars this season who emerge, take their chance and grab the headlines? Here’s at the Bundesliga Fanatic, we take a look at seven youngsters poised to enjoy a breakout season in 2019/20.
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
Niklas Fulkrug May have been signed from Hannover to compensate for the departure of Max Kruse, but Werder’s US striker Josh Sargent will be desperate to prove he can be the man to fire the goals for Werder this season.
The 19-year-old instantly grabbed the attention last December, when he took just 88 seconds to score having coming on against Fortuna Düsseldorf. He ended his debut season with two goals from ten appearances. More game time this season will bring more goal- at least that is the theory.
“I’m now more familiar with how the coach wants to play,” Sargent has said.
“The coach has sometimes told me after a good finish that you cannot teach it. I think I have a nose for goal in the box. Scoring goals is my favorite pastime, it happens instinctively.
“The main thing is that I have more playing time. I hope to make my breakthrough soon. If it happens in the new season, it would be great.”
Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen)
The loss of Julian Brandt to Borussia Dortmund was a big blow to Leverkusen and left a big hole to fill, but in Moussa Diaby, they may just have found a highly effective replacement.
While it would be unfair to expect the 20-year-old signing from Paris St Germain to instantly hit the level Brandt was at, he will be targeting an impressive debut Bundesliga season, and Werkself fans should be excited.
Diaby made 20 appearances for the Parisians last season (10 as a starter), which is no mean feat when you consider the breadth of attacking stars he was competing with. He provided 6 assists and scored twice.
“Before I finally decided to join Bayer 04, I watched a couple of games from last season” Diaby explained on arrival at the Bay Arena.
“I really love the way football’s played here – quick and with a lot of pressure high up the pitch. I think that approach suits my style of play.
“I want to play regularly and make the next step in my development rather than stand still. That’s why I decided to move on. PSG would have been happy to keep me, but I’m ready for a new challenge.”
Rabbi Matondo (Schalke)
After the disaster of a season last year, Schalke under new coach David Wagner are going to surely change things up this season- meaning chances for some new faces.
18-year-old Welsh winger Rabbi Matondo is another of those talented youngsters to swap a Premier League academy place for the chance to blossom in the Bundesliga. He made seven appearances last season for the Königsblauen, although only one was as a starter (on matchday 22 v Freiburg).
Not tainted by the failures of last year, Matondo could be one to watch on the right wing at the Veltins Arena this season. There s much talk about who will emerge as the ‘Next Jason Sancho’, but in the former Manchester City starlet, Schalke have a real candidate.
Marcus Thuram (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
The son of French legend Lilian Thuram will be aiming to fill the void on the left of the Mönchengladbach attack left by the departure of Thorgan Hazard. If he goes close to doing that, then he would have had a superb first season in the Bundesliga.
The scorer of nine goals last season for Guingamp, Thuram also featured in all four of France’s matches at this summer’s U-21 European Championships.
“We’re very happy that we were able to sign Marcus,” said Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl. “He’s a fast, robust and dangerous forward who fits very well in our squad and we’re sure he will make his way in the Bundesliga.”
Gonçalo Paciencia (Eintracht Frankfurt)
One of the big questions facing Eintracht Frankfurt this season is: who will score he goals after the departures of both Luka Jovic and Sebastian Haller? Portuguese forward Gonçalo Paciencia hopes he has the answer.
At 25, you may think he’s left it a bit late for a breakout season compared to the others on this list, but the situation is ripe at the Commerzbank Arena for Paciencia to shine. He has impressed in pre-season with nine goals and having embedded at the club last season, is probably a step ahead of 19-year-old summer signing Dejan Joveljic.
“Sebastian Haller is certainly a big loss for us,” admitted Paciencia on the club’s website. “He’s one of the best forwards I’ve ever played with and we’re bound to miss him, but we’ve got enough quality in the team to compensate. It may give me more of a chance to prove myself too.”
Watch this space to see if Rebic, Paciencia and Joveljic can emulate Rebic, Jovic and Haller as a front three.
Wooyeong Jeong (SC Freiburg)
Through financial necessity, Freiburg coach Christian Streich has become very adept down the years at giving young players game time in the first-team and reaping the benefits. So, it would seem that South Korean talent Wooyeong Jeong has joined the perfect club to progress to the next level.
It was quite an achievement (and testament to how highly rated he is) to make his Bundesliga debut last season for Bayern Munich against Mönchengladbach back in March. The winger has pace, technique, agility and an eye for goal- attributes which brought comparisons with Franck Ribéry.
“Wooyeong is one of the most promising South Korean players” explained Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier.
“His joy on the pitch and good feeling for situations and space are remarkable for such a young player. We want to work with him on making him a complete Bundesliga player, and he’ll get the time to do that here.”
Daishawn Redan (Hertha Berlin)
While Vedad Ibisevic and Salomon Kalou are Bundesliga veterans at Hertha, they are no spring chickens, and one youngster poised to help out the old timers is 18-year-old Daishawn Redan.
The 18-year-old was schooled at Ajax for seven years before moving to Chelsea’s academy. In 63 games for the U-23 side he scored 32 goals in 63 games and after being snapped up by Hertha this summer, scored on his pre-season debut against Fenerbahce.
He is strong on the ball, quick and knows how to score goals. Kalou is 34, Ibisevic 35, while Davie Selke is far from prolific. Redan has the ability, youth and hunger to make an impact this season.
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