Across several generations, the German Bundesliga has been a hotspot for some of the best players known to play the game.
With top clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United etc. looking to reduce the average age of their squad by phasing out their old cores this summer, they will gravitate towards scouting in Germany with it’s plethora of young prospects.
This season, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho has been the dominant teenager and has been an excellent representation of the youth policy of the league, but there are others who have more than starred for their respective clubs this season.
With that in mind, here are 11 U-23 Bundesliga players who can be targeted by the biggest European clubs:
11. Valentino Lazaro
Regarded as the second best Austrian in the league, Valentino Lazaro’s reputation is spreading. A right-winger who has also played as a right midfielder, right wing-back and right back, has played 31 games out of a possible 34 in the league.
A player with not just a first name to remember, the 23-year-old is one to look out for.
10. Dayot Upamecano
A hot prospect who has had restricted game time this season, Upamecano has had his place taken over by the impressive Ibrahima Konate, especially after Ralf Rangnick took over the RB Leipzig reins.
After an impressive breakout season, where he showed his speed, poise and ball-playing ability, the Frenchman quickly became one of the better known youth prospects in Germany. The 20-year-old will definitely not have a shortage of suitors if he does decide to leave though.
9. Josha Vagnoman
18-year-old Josha Vagnoman hasn’t entirely broken into the Hamburg SV first team squad yet, not because he’s not good enough, but because they want to protect him from scouts.
Reportedly wanting him to sign a new contract with a high release clause, they have kept his playing time on hold, but that has not stopped Newcastle United from making an approach for him, even reportedly promising him first team football at such a young age.
A rare advantage of also being able to play right-back, Vagnoman is definitely one to look out for.
8. Lukas Klostermann
Lukas Klostermann has been a phenomenon at right-back for RB Leipzig’s first team. Excellent while going forward, solid at the back as is the requirement, this 22-year-old looks like he’s built like a centre-back but is a very very capable full back in Leipzig’s counter attacking 4-4-2.
His passing is massively underrated and his work rate makes him a fan favourite just like Yussuf Poulsen and Kevin Kampl. His World Cup place could have been certain if not for injury ravaging his chance to reach the centre stage and earn fame along the way.
A vital component of the Leipzig machine, there is no doubt that scouts are looking at him as a serious replacement for their aging attacking/ defensive fullback.
7. Nadiem Amiri
Nadiem Amiri is a player who holds himself with high maturity and shows excellent decision making on the pitch. Despite suffering an injury-struck season, he will have scouts behind him with his performances.
Polished on the ball and helping to make runs off it, this 22-year-old has already made more than 100 appearances for his club, and looks like he will heading to Leipzig to join his mentor Julen Nagelsmann.
6. Johannes Eggestein
A striker by trade, but also capable of playing on the flanks, Eggestein has played as a versatile forward for most of his career. A threatening outlet on the counter-attack and even in possession, the 19-year-old has earned his name as being a rather feared commodity in his age-group and even in the senior ranks.
Usually, the forwards who score as many goals as Eggestein has over the past three or four years happen to be those fox-in-the-box strikers, who have the eye for the goal and aren’t the paciest of players on the pitch.
But the 21 year old has got the pace, balance on the ball, and ambidexterity to add to his poaching ability. A promotion to a top club from Werder Bremen is definitely on the cards
5. Waldemar Anton
If the name sounds like he’s a Viking, that’s exactly what he is on the pitch. Hannover’s Uzbekistani German, Waldemar Anton is a comrade more than a player, with his Vidic-like selfless clearances justifying his obsession with the Manchester United legend.
Having clocked up an impressive 100 appearances for Hannover despite being only 22, he is a 6 foot 4 giant with the ability to win any ball in the air and on the ground. His ball playing ability and passing needs a bit of an improvement but he’s a stunning young player for his age, and is versatile as well, being able to perform either at RB or at CB.
4. Florian Muller
The young Mainz sweeper keeper shows maturity beyond his 21 years. Having been cast into the first team last season following injury to first choice goalkeeper Rene Adler and loss of form to then back-up Robin Zentner, he has shown incredible reflexes and command of the box.
Germany’s tradition of producing world class goalkeepers seems to be a never-ending phenomenon and this acrobatic 6″2 sweeper keeper is a prime example of it.
3. Florian Neuhaus
Borussia Monchengladbach has a brilliant core of young midfielders, and the German U-21 vice captain Florian Neuhaus is at the heart of that core. Having registered 4 goals and 10 assists in 34 appearances this season, he has been vital for Die Fohlen in the centre of midfield.
Born just 60 kilometres outside Munich, he has been linked to a move to his boyhood club, and one wouldn’t be surprised if they do decide to activate his reported release clause.
2. Jonathan Tah
Still only 23, it seems as if the German international Jonathan Tah has been playing in the Bundesliga forever, clocking 137 appearances for the club and eventually becoming the 4th captain for the club.
Agile, tall and rock solid on his part, he has more than helped Bayer 04 back on their way to Europe and seems to be part of a foundation under Dutch boss Peter Bosz.
1. Kai Havertz
Besides Sancho, Kai Havertz is the most coveted teenager in Germany right now. Having successfully moving past his breakout season into an absolutely sensational second season, he has scored 17 goals and assisted 4 times, becoming the first teenager to score 15+ goals in the Bundesliga.
An added factor is that he plays as an attacking midfielder, and his peach of a left foot means that people can’t help but compare him to Arsenal maestro and 4-time German Player of the Year Mesut Ozil.
At 19, he seems to be worth all the hype he has been receiving and rightfully so.