Head coaches, club scouts and football fans around the world are always seeking to unearth future superstars of the sport and in the Bundesliga, a league famed for its youth academies and the development of young talent, it is no different.
Which unheard-of talent will be the name on everyone’s lips? Who is the next Robert Lewandowski or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? With the 2016/17 campaign fast approaching, bundesliga.com has a four-part series aimed at outlining the top 20 players, 20 years of age or younger, that you should be familiarising yourself with before the season gets underway…
Date of birth: 03/06/1996
Bundesliga appearances so far: N/A
Germany Under-21 right-back Klostermann started all but four of promoted Leipzig’s 34 Bundesliga 2 assignments last season. Winning only 48 per cent of his attempted challenges, the 20-year-old still has ample room for improvement, although he did impress on a regular basis with his enterprising forays into opposition territory, notching one goal and four assists.
Bundesliga wingers will demand much more of him defensively, but his general performance levels over the course of only his second full season as a professional showed him to be a quick learner with bags of untapped potential.
Date of birth: 13/06/1996
Position: Right wing
Bundesliga appearances so far: 23
Kingsley Coman impressed for France at UEFA EURO 2016.
A revelation in his debut season in the Bundesliga with Bayern, Juventus FC loanee Coman will look to pick up where he left off at the end of 2015/16. Only Douglas Costa chipped in with more assists for Bayern than the 20-year-old France international, who has already won five league titles since being handed his professional debut by new Bayern head coach Carlo Ancelotti whilst on the books at Paris-Saint Germain in February 2013.
The rocket-propelled winger memorably proved his parent club Juve’s undoing as a substitute in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 and is now in an undeniably strong position to make a play for a regular starting berth down the Bayern right.
Watch: Coman’s top five moments so far in a Bayern shirt
Date of birth: 30/09/1996
Bundesliga appearances so far: 21
Nico Elvedi caught the eye in 2015/16 for the Foals.
Sometimes operating at centre-back, other times at full-back and occasionally used in defensive midfield, 19-year-old Elvedi made a seamless transition to the physical demands of the Bundesliga in 2015/16.
The Swiss became an ever-present member of Andre Schubert’s preferred back three during the second half of the campaign, winning 58 per cent of his attempted challenges, as the Foals clinched a top-four finish and place in the UEFA Champions League play-offs in his debut Bundesliga season. Consider Gladbach’s defensive changing of the guard in the wake of the departures of Roel Brouwers and Martin Stranzl complete.
Date of birth: 27/10/1996
Club: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Position: Attacking midfield
Bundesliga appearances so far: 32
Nadiem Amiri in action for Hoffenheim last season.
Amiri was a regular in the Hoffenheim second team under Markus Gisdol, but it was Huub Stevens who gave the 19-year-old his first real run with the seniors. The Germany Under-21 international featured in every Bundesliga game from Matchday 10 onward and started 11 of the 14 top-flight matches under current head coach Julian Nagelsmann.
His work ethic could not be faulted – on average, he covered an impressive 12.5 kilometres of ground per game – while his four goals and four assists was a return bettered at Hoffenheim only by Kevin Volland and Andrej Kramaric. Above all, though, it is his proficiency in every position across the front line that makes him so difficult to ignore.
Date of birth: 14/02/1997
Bundesliga appearances so far: N/A
Breel Embolo is one of world football’s most exciting young talents.
Courted by a host of big-name suitors, Embolo represents a real coup for Schalke. The 19-year-old moves to the Bundesliga having won three successive Swiss Super League titles with FC Basel 1893 and with significant experience behind him on the European stage for club and country.
After posting a career-best return of ten goals and ten assists in 27 league outings last term and featuring in all four of Switzerland’s games at UEFA EURO 2016, the commanding forward can expect to see plenty of playing time in 2016/17.
- ^ Robert Lewandowski (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ RB Leipzig (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Klostermann (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ FC Bayern München (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Coman (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Douglas Costa (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Carlo Ancelotti (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Borussia Mönchengladbach (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Elvedi (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Amiri (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Kevin Volland (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Andrej Kramaric (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ FC Schalke 04 (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Embolo (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Top 20 under-20: Click here for part I (www.bundesliga.com)
- ^ Top 20 under-20: Click here for part II (www.bundesliga.com)