November 19, 2017

5 Bundesliga Players Primed for Breakout Seasons

Since the Bundesliga is home to a lot of young talent, every season there are new stars that come from seemingly nowhere. Last season, Mahmoud Dahoud, Julian Weigl, Leroy Sane, Julian Brandt, Andreas Christensen, Jonathan Tah and Kingsley Coman were all young stars who burst onto the scene and made waves in the Bundesliga. Just like those stars last season, there are a host of players who are ready to show Bundesliga fans what they can do. Even though there are many players that are on the verge of becoming stars this season, here are five players who are primed to breakout this season.

  1. Ousmane Dembele: Borussia Dortmund: The Frenchman is one of many signings for Dortmund this summer but he may be the best.. The 19-year-old lit up the Ligue 1 last season with Stade Rennais, scoring 12 goals and adding five assists. Combine that with an impressive match rating of 7.55, seven man of the match awards and almost two key passes per game and you have a player who can do it all. Dembele has already shown his flair and quality in his short time with Dortmund with his spectacular goal against Manchester United and his bright moments against Bayern in the Supercup. His dribbling, pace and terrific shot make him a player who is almost destined to be the next world star for Dortmund. If the success of other French youngster Coman at Bayern Munich last season is any indication, Dembele should have no problems fitting in at Dortmund.
  2. Niklas Sule: Hoffenheim: Sule has been one of the top center-back prospects in the German ranks for quite sometime now, but this might be the season where he finally becomes a star. Last season was his first as an established first team player as Sule racked up 33 Bundesliga appearances last season. Sule performed like most 20 year olds would in his situation, with some ups and downs bu tgained invaluable experience nonetheless. That experience showed in the Olympics, which saw him serve as part-time captain and turn in some magnificent performances. His 6’4 frame and full season of play along with being a terrific passer of the football—he completed 86% of his passes last season—make Sule look like the next great German defender. After Jonathan Tah became a star at Leverkusen last season with a full season of experience in the second tier, it looks like Sule is primed to follow his compatriots footsteps. He certainly has the talent, and with forward-thinking Julian Nagelsmann at the Hoffenheim helm the results are likely going to back it up this season.
  3. Emil Forsberg: RB Leipzig: The Swede has been one of the best players in the 2nd tier since joining RB, and now he has a chance to show the top flight what he’s made of. A player like Forsberg who is a good dribbler of the ball with a good amount of technical ability, should have little problem adjusting to the top flight. He also had eight goals to his name, which was one of the highest totals on the team despite being played out wide. Forsberg does have international experience at the highest level, unlike most 2. Bundesliga players. He featured at the euros this summer and during the qualifying rounds he showed with Sweden that he can compete with players on the international level. Since he’s only 24 years old, he has a lot of room to grow as a player, and other 2. Bundesliga stars fared well in the top flight the next season. Tah’s name comes to mind, — after spending a year with Fortuna Dusseldorf he was great for Leverkusen last season. Another name who fits this bill is Aytac Sulu, and so does Pascal Gross. These players have less talent then Forsberg, which makes him certainly one to watch.
  4. Thorgan Hazard: Borussia Monchengladbach: Hazard has always been known as “the other Hazard” or “Eden Hazard’s brother”, but now he might finally be ready to make a name for himself once and for all. His brother Eden is a former Premier League player of the season, and the captain of the Belgium national team as well, which explains why Thorgan has slid under the radar. But the Belgian is already a senior international and despite an inconsistent presence with the Foals he has a great deal of talent. Hazard is a great dribbler of the ball, and he has a lot of craftiness to his game as well. He also has a good amount of pace, and contributes assists with his passing, which is why he notched seven in his first season with Gladbach. But despite all of these qualities he’s yet to become a star, but now he’s finally found his footing under Andre Schubert. A solid 2 goal performance in a friendly against Osnabruck and then a terrific hat trick and assist in the champions league against BSC Young Boys have given us a flash of Hazard’s terrific potential. It appears that Schubert will give him the chance to shine, and maybe he can become a star just like his brother Eden.  
  5. Alen Halilovic: Hamburg: The only player on this list who I think is also facing a critical season, Halilovic bundles talent with a sense of urgency to break out into a star this season. The Croatian has been a wunderkind his entire life, which is why he made his Dinamo Zagreb debut at 16 years old. He quickly became the youngest Zagreb goalscorer as well, and he was so highly regarded that Barcelona bought him at 18 years old. Despite all of his talent and accolades, he wasn’t able to get into the Barcelona team, but he did impress with Sporting Gijon last season. His three goals and five assists helped Gijon massively, and for a 19-year-old in La Liga those stats are impressive. His  passing ability and dribbling ability have fueled Halilovic’ rise, and should help him success with Hamburg as well. A lot of talented young players have succeeded in Germany over the years, which is why many expect Halilovic to do the same. Since Barca have a buy back in the contract, he knows that if he impresses in the Bundesliga his desire to play for Barca can be fulfilled. With that motivation, his talent and record, along with the importance of this season for him,  Halilovic could become the player we all think he can be.

All of these players have the opportunity to become stars this season with their talent and for various other reasons as well.  Will they all ascend to become differnce-makers this season? That is what we all want to know, and why the Bundesliga should be (as usual) so fun for all of us to watch this season. Besides these players, there will be others that emerge out of the shadows like Sandro Wagner did last season, which adds to the intrigue and the desire to watch every matchday. On those matchdays these players should be watched carefully, because they have all of the talent to be the newest Bundesliga stars.

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Alex Lynch

Alex a passionate fan of the Bundesliga and German Football who resides in the United States, who also loves writing and talking about the Bundesliga.

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