The Bundesliga really doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It lacks the historical prestige of Serie A, the intense battle of El-Classico that La Liga offers, or the sleek PR The Premiership runs on. Loving Bayern only became sexy when Pep took charge, and the joy of a Klopp era Dortmund masks the fact they were a Champions League winner less than 20 years ago. Yet despite this, the German national team regularly performs at major tournaments, even when unfancied, and this is because there is a huge abundance of talent in the Bundesliga, and a budding FM manager worth his salt will know to send his scouts to constantly monitor the area for young talent. The Bundesliga regularly produces regens on a par with Spain, with many coming through at 14 or 15, meaning excellent youth scouts can snatch some real gems. Be warned though, German teams know the worth of their youngsters, so expect prices to go shooting up by the time they hit the first team.
Kai Havertz 17, M C, Leverkusen (£1.2m, £3.9k p/w, CA 2* PA 4-5*)
Havertz, at 17, is really one to watch out for as the game progresses. As you can see here, he quickly finds his way into the Leverkusen first team, and it’s not surprising with a look at his attributes. His First Touch (14), Passing (13) and Technique (14) are already strong for a player of his age, and physically he looks ready with the engine a midfielder needs. It’s his mental strengths that stand out the most, where his Teamwork (14), Vision (14) and Flair (13) show he can operate both defensively and attacking in the middle of the park. However his Work Rate (16) is his stand out stat, vital both on and off the pitch for a rapidly improving teenager.
Johannes Eggestein, 18, S, Karlsruher (£1.3m, £4.1k p/w, CA 2*, PA 4-5*)
Another young and untried player who’s quickly being rushed into the first team football, Eggestein has all the hallmarks of an all-round striker, capable of both scoring goals and providing for others. Good in the air and with the ball at his feet, the underrated values of his First touch (15), Composure (14) and Anticipation (15) suggest he will make the most of many chances that come his way (and indeed create a few openings himself in the box), whilst his strong Teamwork (16) and Work Rate (15) advocates a player willing to carve out the chances for a poacher/advanced forward type. For those favouring a 2 striker formation, Eggestein will be one to watch.
Mahmoud Dahoud, 20, M C, BMG (£6m, £21.5k p/w CA 2.5*, PA 3.5-4*)
At 20 years of age, Dahoud has already broken into the BMG first team, and looks set to stay for a long time. A glance at his stats suggest he’s best suited to a Modric style role in a midfield, where his excellent first touch (16) and technique (16), along with his cool temperament will be a huge advantage. However there are certainly area’s for improvement before he can truly excel. His lack of pace and finishing are a weakness for an attacking minded player, and his tackling might be a bit too weak for someone in a central role. If he can develop those area’s he could be a strong addition to any 3 man midfield, where a licence to attack without needing to track back too much may see his best performances.
Felix Passlack,18, D/WB R, Borussia Dortmund (£12.75m, £11.5k p/w, CA 3.5*, PA 4-5*)
One of the most promising full backs in the game, Passlack is ideal for anyone looking to build a team around a pair of marauding wing backs. Already showing excellent physical attributes, combining both pace and an engine that can run for days, Felix is already showing the technical abilities that will make him a regular for Germany for years to come. Although his tackling (10) is still rather weak, it’s his attacking abilities, such as his crossing (13) that will attract someone looking for his balls into the box coming from deep. His remarkable bravery (17) and determination (17) mean you know you can rely on him in a tight game, and the latter stat combined with his work rate (17) suggests you can expect Passlack to reach his maximum potential. Already valued quite high by Dortmund, he might be difficult to prise away.
Benjamin Henrichs, 19, D R/L, Leverkusen (£6.75m, £27.5k p/w CA 2.5*, PA 3-4*)
An alternative to Passlack comes in the form of fellow German Heinrichs. On paper he lacks the stand out attributes on his aforementioned countryman, however he’s far more consistent in his ratings. The hints are there that he might suit re-training as a defensive midfielder, where his height will be an advantage, as would his strongest attributes of his first touch, technique and composure (all 15). His lack of concentration and positioning might let him down long term for a defensive role.
Niklas Sule, 21, D C, Hoffenheim (£11m, £30k p/w, CA 2.5*, PA 3.5-4.5*)
It’s clear why Sule is already a regular name in the Hoffenheim team despite his young age. As you can see above, all his key stats for his position are above 14. A good turn of Pace (17) and a decent passing attribute for a defender (12) point to Sule being more than a mere stopper, though at 6’4 and a strength rating of 17 I doubt little will get passed him during a game. A worrying stat is his lack of work rate (8), which suggests this may be as good as he gets.
Joshua Kimmich, 21, DM/M C, Bayern Munich (£30.5m, £25k p/w, CA 3.5*, PA 4-5)
When you’ve come to training every day as a teenager to see Bastian Schweinsteiger and Xavi Alonso master the role of the deep midfielder, its no surprise that Joshua Kimmich is very much moulded in their shape. A calm ball playing midfielder with excellent mental stats, he is already showing the technical skills required to control a game from just in fron of a defence. Blessed with a strong pass (15) and technique (14), he uses his excellent game reading (composure 16, decisions 15) to run the midfield of one of Europe’s leading sides. He will not come cheap or easily if you are looking to sign him, but he will be a solid investment whatever the cost.
Julian Brandt, 20, AM R/L, Leverkusen (£15.5m, £38.5k p/w CA 2.5*, PA 4-5*)
Another Leverkusen player on the list, and our first ‘winger’, although wide playmaker is a much better description of Brandt. Lacking outright pace (13), he uses his excellent ball control attributes to create (Dribbling – 16, First Touch – 17, Technique -16). A keen eye for goal and strong off the ball (15) skills mean he’s bound to add goals if allowed to roam from his position. Probably best used in conjunction with a wing back overlapping or a narrow formation, as his lack of pace and crossing cuts his effectiveness wide in the final third.
Leon Goretzka, 21, M/AM C, Schalke (£16m, £30k, CA 3*, PA 3.5-4.5*)
If you can sign Goretzka, then grab him, £16m would be a bargain even at twice the price. As a midfielder he’s pretty much got all bases covered already. Physically he’s ready for the demands of top flight football, balancing his pace with stamina (both 16). His strong determination (16) and work rate (17) attributes are key for winning midfield battles, though a worry over a high aggression (17) could see him pick up more than his share of cards. Technically he’s not quite the finished article, though his stand out stats are his passing, first touch and technique – a slight improvement in these and you’ve got a fantastic creative midfielder on your hands.
Jonathan Tah, 20, D C, Leverkusen (£15.5m, £20k p/w, CA 3*, PA 4-5*)
Last and certainly not least is our 4th Leverkusen player, and Jonathan Tah has the potential to be the best defender in the world if he develops properly. He already possesses impressive physical attributes – strength of 17, 6’4 in height and pacey to boot. However its his all-round technical aspects that point to a bright future. Whilst he’s already reaching first team levels for his marking (15) and tackling (14) attributes, his technical aspects are not far behind. Passing and first touch ratings of 12 suggest he will grow to be very comfortable with the ball at his feet. To have a defender who can do more than hit and hope a long punt forward is a huge asset to a top team looking to play a possession based game. The only worry with Tah is his lack of work rate (9), which could hamper his development if not nutured correctly.
Know any other players wonderkids? Let us know in the comments.
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