Over the years, the Bundesliga has provided us with some of the game’s most valuable assets, thanks to its ability in nurturing talents. Every season, the German League produces dozens of newborn talents, almost seamlessly, such is its entity.
Talk about current greats of the game, incredible players, who found their feet in the Bundesliga before, showcasing their greatness to the world, talk about Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Ivan Rakitic, Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels, Manuel Neuer, you name it!
There were a few young talents breaking out from last season, as well, with players like Jeremy Toljan, Julian Brandt, Christian Pulisic, Ousmane Dembele being instilled as a valuable asset for their respective teams. There will be no difference this season either, as we talk about the top five talents, who could finally have their breakout season this year.
So, without further ado, let’s begin our search for the top five Bundesliga talents poised to make their impact this season.
Dennis Geiger – TSG Hoffenheim – 19 years old
The latest product of the Hoffenheim youth academy, Dennis Geiger, 19, is expected to make a big impact for his team this season. Touted as the heir to Sebastian Rudy – who left the Rhein-Neckar Arena this summer, for a free transfer to Champions Bayern, Geiger is well informed of his roles under Julian Nagelsmann.
As you’d expect of one, being given the title of Sebastian Rudy replacement, Dennis Geiger is a clever central midfielder, who plays with a certain amount of flair in the middle of the park.
The youngster made his debut, in the opening matchday, in a 1:0 win over Werder Bremen. He followed it up with an appearance in the second leg of UCL Qualification playoffs against Liverpool. Despite the defeat, Geiger showed incredible tenacity to keep fighting for his team.
Germany U-20 coach, Frank Kramer, also nominated Geiger into his squad for the International break this week, along with Bayern youth talent and Mario Gotze’s younger brother, Felix Gotze.
One thing, which favors him the most, in order to break into the first team, is the simple fact that Hoffenheim have failed to find someone better than him, who could possibly make a strong case in replacing Sebastian Rudy. Therefore, the onus will be on the 19 year old to deliver, exactly what the now-Bayern-midfielder has left behind.
Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund – 17 years old
It’s highly peculiar, for an Englishman to make a major impact in the Bundesliga. Down the years, many Englishmen have tried but failed to suit under themselves in the German soil but the new Borussia Dortmund signing Jadon Sancho will be looking to break that trend this season.
Sancho moved to the Bundesliga, despite interests from Spurs and Arsenal in search of playing time. An incredibly talented winger, who lit up the Premier League 2 (reserve league) for Man City last season, was bought for a reported fee of €7 mil.
In pure sporting perspectives, it would no doubt, be a difficult task for Jadon Sancho to make an instant impact in the Bundesliga. But considering the injuries of key attackers such as Marco Reus, Raphael Guerreiro, Andre Schurrle, early on in the season, Sancho is expected to find regular playing time and if he can play to his potential, he has shown while playing in the youth leagues in England, there’s no doubt why he could be a bargain for Dortmund.
Dan-Axel Zagadou – Borussia Dortmund – 18 years old
By far the tallest in our list, Dan-Axel Zagadou is a bulky central defender coming in from PSG this summer. And considering his form early on in the season, he looks to be a bargain for Borussia Dortmund.
Funny thing is that Zagadou is yet to play in his preferred center back position for Dortmund this season. The young Frenchman has spent his time, deputizing the injured Marcel Schmelzer in the left back position, in all of the three games he has played so far.
And we can’t deny how impressed we are with Zagadou’s performances. Especially in the last game against Hertha Berlin, the 18-year old took charge of the left flank with some great defensive determination to prevent the opposition from breaching in from the flanks. He was seen creating a passing triangle with Mario Gotze and Maximilian Philipp on the left wing to ease up ball rotation, even in the final third.
Zagadou’s maturity at such a young age certainly deserves a praise. Although his chances of starting in the first team will significantly decrease once Marcel Schmelzer comes back to full fitness but he definitely remains one of the players to look out for this season.
Jean-Kevin Augustin – RB Leipzig – 20 years old
We can’t enlist our top young players, without the inclusion of at least one Leipzig youngster. The Bundesliga newcomers, who have embraced the idea of instilling young players into the first team, have produces some of the top talents in the league last term, with Timo Werner, Naby Keita making a strong impact.
This summer, they have already brought in a set of exciting young talents, who could play a big role for the club in the upcoming years. One of which is former PSG starlet, Jean-Kevin Augustin.
Augustin, despite being the oldest player on the list, is no doubt the one to look out for this season. Augustin is normally a centre forward who can also act as a winger which is perfectly suited for Hasenhuttl’s style of play.
The 20 year old had a strong impact last week, in the emphatic 4:1 win over SC Freiburg. He started alongside another young starlet, Timo Werner, the duo relentlessly caused trouble for the opposition defence. Although it was cruel on Augustin’s part not to score a goal, the Frenchman chipped in with an assist before being subbed off later in the game.
Thilo Kehrer – FC Schalke 04 – 20 years old
The list is literally incomplete without the inclusion of a Schalke youngster. The club, mostly recognized for their famous youth academy, called Die Knappenschmiede, has arguably the best youth system in the league.
Thilo Kehrer is expected to be Schalke’s most influential youngster this season. The 20-year-old was dubbed into the first team by Markus Weinzierl last season. Kehrer started this campaign on a good note and it seems as if the new coach Domenico Tedesco has big plans with the young defender.
Naturally a centre back, Kehrer is also capable of acting as a right back and at times a holding midfielder too. He mostly featured as a right sided centre back, in a three man defensive formation under Tedesco. Partnering with Naldo and Matija Nastasic, the young defender has been solid for the Royal Blues so far this season.
Thilo Kehrer is definitely one of the brightest products in the Schalke youth academy in recent years, and if he can keep development nose-dive intact, he may turn into a very capable replacement for departing Benedikt Howedes.
Author’s Note – Players aged 22 or above have not been taken into consideration in this list. While players who have made more than 20 Bundesliga appearances before the start of this season have not been counted either.