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  • Writer's pictureThe Football Notebook

Bundesliga Wonderkids

10. Amine Harit - 22

The Moroccan maestro redefines his position in attacking midfield. With his sheer grit and technical prowess, Harit, who has 6 goals and 3 assists this season, always keeps opposition defences on their toes. Still relatively unknown outside of the Bundesliga, this hidden gem has the time to develop at Schalke before he is undoubtedly sought out by bigger clubs.

Most comparable to: Jay-Jay Okocha

9. Marcus Thuram - 22

Son of World cup winner Lilian Thuram, Marcus was always destined for a great footballing career. Forming a formidable strike partnership with fellow Frenchman Alassane Pléa, Thuram has made the departure of Thorgan Hazard, the former key of this side, almost unnoticeable. A natural finisher’s instinct, creativity and the strength of a bull make him the complete striker. He is able to dissect defences effortlessly and should develop into something special under manager Marco Rose.

Most comparable to: Ciro Immobile

8. Christopher Nkunku - 22

A PSG reject, the Parisian outfit is surely already regretting selling the 22-year old midfield powerhouse. RB Leipzig, who already have more than a couple of future stars on their hands, saw something in him and it has certainly paid off. Nkunku is a physical presence on the football pitch, and has an astounding offensive output from midfield in the Bundesliga this season, with a staggering 13 assists, 3rd on the league leaderboard. Of the little we’ve seen here at the Football Notebook, Christian Nkunku could likely become a world-beater if he can continue on his current trajectory.

Most comparable to: Marco Verratti

7. Dayot Upamecano - 21

The first centre-back to stake his claim on this list and deservedly so, Upamecano has only recently been on the lips of football fans world over. But he’s so much more than just a breakthrough star. He’s been a pillar of the Leipzig defence for a couple of seasons leading up to the current one in which he is averaging 2.3 tackles and 3.1 clearances a game. A move to a bigger club could be imminent given the influential defender’s abilities.

Most comparable to: Marcel Desailly

6. Giovanni Reyna - 17

Still yet a prospect, it is easy to jump the gun on Reyna. Included in the Guardian’s “Next Generation 2019”, the 17-year-old is silky on the ball with an eye for a goal or killer pass. Reyna has fans excited with his raw talent and he could very well follow in his father’s footsteps and make his international debut for the USMNT soon.

Most comparable to: Zinedine Zidane

5. Achraf Hakimi - 21

Although solid in defence, it is his offensive contributions which stand out. Not only are 14 goal contributions impressive for a right wing-back, it’s the fact that it's come in a mere 23 appearances makes him the ideal candidate to replace the ageing - yet still capable - Dani Carvajal at his parent club. With players like TAA applying his trade in England and Alphonso Davies at Bayern, an offensive fullback seems to be one of the most enticing prospects for clubs these days.

Most comparable to: Dani Alves

4. Alphonso Davies - 19

The Canadian National can very well give the Dortmund fullback a run for his money for the best young fullback in the league. Keeping Bayern’s club-record signing on the bench after arriving from the Vancouver Whitecaps, it is irrefutable that Davies is a contender for the best left-back in the world this season. He possesses both the pace and the physicality required to outmatch the opposition winger unfortunate enough to be on his side of the field. With the spotlight shining on the Canadian teenager for his performances in the CL against two of the London clubs, it is exciting to watch him develop at a club where fans are accustomed to having world-class fullbacks covering their flanks.

Most comparable to: Carlos Alberto

3. Erling Braut Haaland - 19

Having only moved to the yellow and blacks in the January transfer window, Haaland has put his name on the radar of bigger clubs with his scintillating form since his move. A brace in the Champions League against PSG this season and 12 goals in 11 appearances in the Bundesliga, this post-lockdown Dortmund is spearheaded by a goalscorer who seems unstoppable thus far.

Most comparable to: Robert Lewandowski

2. Kai Havertz - 21

Kai Havertz burst onto the football scene when he made his debut for Bayer Leverkusen at 17 – and he has been rampant for them since. Supposedly a mix between a prime Mesut Ozil and Michael Ballack, the German midfield general could evolve into the best midfielder in the world for years to come.

Most comparable to: Mezut Ozil + Michael Ballack

1. Jadon Sancho - 20

Jadon Sancho currently has the world at his feet. He’s scored 17 goals and added 17 assists in this Bundesliga season, also chipping in with 4 goal contributions in the Champions league, Staggering stats for a 20-year-old. With the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea as potential suitors for the Man City academy graduate, Dortmund have their hands full in keeping hold of their coveted winger.

Most comparable to: Neymar Jr

Honourable mentions:

  • Ibrahim Konate

  • Dani Olmo

  • Joshua Zirkzee

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