Youssoufa Moukoko – Who is Borussia Dortmund’s 14-year-old Wunderkind?

Goals, goals, goals. BVB’s 14-year-old striker Youssoufa Moukoko has taken Germany’s youth football scene by storm. After joining Borussia Dortmund from 1. FC St. Pauli back in 2016, the youngster has made headlines all around Germany. The media scrutiny has been immense, prompting BVB to withhold the player from the public at times.

During his first ever season for the club, the talented striker managed to net 33 goals in 21 Regionalliga West matches for Borussia Dortmund’s all conquering U15 side. Even though he was still very young at that point, BVB decided to move Moukoko up to the U17 team after just one season of U15 football.

Breaking scoring records

Moukoko first rose to prominence within Germany after scoring a brace during his debut match for Borussia Dortmund’s U17 side back in 2017. Scoring two goals in such a match wouldn’t necessarily make national headlines, but the Cameroon-born striker was just 12 years old at that time.

In his first full U17 season, the boy wonder destroyed defenses all around Germany’s U17 Bundesliga, scoring a total of 40 goals in 28 matches. Gerd Müller would have been proud of such a scoring record.

Moukoko kept impressing in the following season, scoring a staggering 50 goals in 28 matches, breaking the goal record at that age level set by former Schalke player Donis Avdijaj. His goals saw Borussia Dortmund coming close to winning a second U17 Bundesliga title on the bounce (the team lost 2-3 against 1. FC Köln in the final).

The next step

Given his incredible scoring record, it is not really surprising that BVB decided to allow Moukoko to start the season with the club’s U19 side.

“Youssoufa has now reached the age in which he is allowed to play in the U19 team,” youth chief Lars Ricken had told German daily Bild ahead of Moukoko’s promotion. “We see this as the right year for him to play in this age group, which corresponds to his performance. He’s scored a lot of goals, is very inquisitive, hungry for success, hardworking and always comes with a smile that distinguishes him, that’s what we look at. The tools are there.”

In his first full match against Wuppertaler SV the Germany U16 once again made headlines, scoring six goals in Dortmund’s 9-2 win. After a goal drought lasting a couple of games, Moukoko once again found his scoring boots in Sunday’s 6-2 win over Arminia Bielefeld.

Bild reported that the striker had one goal annulled for offside and that he hit the post with one of his efforts, but that he showed decent form as Moukoko scored another three goals for Dortmund’s U19s.

Big goals for the future

Given that Moukoko is set to undergo a teenage growth spurt in the not too distant future, one wonders if he can accelerate even more at U19 level. Moukoko is good with both feet, is quick, technically gifted and bursting with playing intelligence.

There seems to be little doubt that Moukoko has a big future ahead of himself if he keeps going down his current path. US-based sportswear company Nike were in fact so convinced by his talents that the firm signed a 10 million Euro boot deal with the teenage prodigy back in May of this year.

“My goal is to become a professional with Dortmund, win the Champions League with Borussia and win the Ballon d’Or,” Moukoko told Sport Bild back in November 2018. Whether he reaches those goals remains to be seen. BVB officials have been cautious in public, stating that great performances at youth level don’t necessarily mean that players turn out to become great Bundesliga players.

Given his young age, Moukoko won’t be eligible to play in the Bundesliga before November 2020. If he were to feature in Borussia’s side at that early stage, Moukoko could break two of Nuri Sahin’s record. The former BVB midfielder played his first ever Bundesliga match at the age of 16 years, 11 months and one day. Furthermore, Sahin is also the youngest goal scorer in Bundesliga history, scoring his first goal at the age of 17 years, 2 months and 21 days during BVB’s 2-1 win over 1. FC Nürnberg back in the 2005/06 season.

 

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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