Some of these players are being watched carefully by the biggest clubs in the world now.
The Bundesliga has consistently been a breeding ground for young footballers. The nature of the league and the gameplay that most of the teams have adopted is such that it serves the starlets well to commence their professional careers over there. It adds several skills to their armory and makes them a force to reckon with in the future.
Additionally, Bundesliga became the first major footballing championship in Europe to restart operations, after it came to a halt for the COVID-19 pandemic. It would now be fascinating to delve deeper and present to you arguably the five best young midfielders that ply their trade in the league.
5. Giovanni Reyna
The 17-year-old attacking midfielder has made it through the ranks of the New York City FC. Reyna joined Borussia Dortmund in early 2019. However, it was his 2017/18 season with the youth teams of the NYCFC that created the backdrop of his arrival to Germany. He scored 13 goals in 17 appearances in that season for the American club, and subsequently progressed to represent Dortmund’s U19 team this season.
His impressive quality and repertoire of prowess prompted the manager to hand him his senior team debut in the match against FC Augsburg in January 2020. Reyna is quick, has a widespread vision and an eye for a pass, can take on the defenders and keeps his composure intact in front of the goal. An injury in the warm-up yesterday delayed his first career start for Dortmund. However, the strides he has made in recent times could assure one that the lad is set to climb greater heights in the future.
4. Christopher Nkunku
Christopher Nkunku had begun his playing career as a winger before settling to a more central attacking midfield role. He has sustained his dribbling abilities, but it his ability to create goal-scoring opportunities from the newer position that has set him apart from his peers. The RB Leipzig midfielder played for French giants PSG before making the move to Julian Nagelsmann’s club ahead of the Bundesliga 2019-20 campaign.
Nkunku has played on 24 occasions for Leipzig in the Bundesliga this season, in which he came on as a substitute in eight of those games. He has scored four goals and remarkably registered 12 assists, averaging a goal contribution per 95.75 minutes. Playing under the tutelage of someone as prodigious as Nagelsmann, Nkunku is bound to considerably better his performances in the recent times.
3. Weston McKennie
Weston McKennie is a defensive midfielder for Schalke 04, but is versatile enough to play in central positions higher up the field too. The 21-year-old seems to have an astute understanding of the game and hence is crucial in breaking and disrupting the opposition’s offensive moves. He has been a vital part of the first team for the past three seasons. McKennie is a brilliant carrier of the ball, an able distributor who can recover and recycle possession efficiently.
He has recorded a passing accuracy of 80% this season and tackled once on an average in each match too. Moreover, he has bagged 1.5 interceptions and 1.4 clearances too, showcasing his abilities as a well-rounded box-to-box midfielder. Maybe, the USA international could look to improve his goal-scoring returns in the coming times. However, it is safe to say that he has carried out his given role quite adeptly in the past few years.
2. Denis Zakaria
The Borussia Monchengladbach defensive midfielder has a robust built and sublime dexterity with the ball on his feet. He is crucial at intercepting moves and winning the ball back for his team. However, Zakaria also has a tendency to regularly venture forward in search of sprinting at the end of passes and prodding them inside the back of the net.
He has an excellent passing accuracy of 86.7% and his tenacious attitude enables him to cover a significant amount on the field consistently. The Swiss international has scored and assisted twice in this season. More importantly though, Zakaria tackles 2.1 times per game and also intercepts the ball on 1.6 instances. With his passing acumen, defensive effectiveness and productivity in front of the goal makes him one of the best young midfielders in the Bundesliga.
1. Kai Havertz
It is rather difficult to accept that Kai Havertz is merely 20 years old, considering how prominently he has been looked up with anticipation in the footballing circles in the last few years. Havertz has already racked up enviable numbers for a player of his age. In the 2018/19 Bundesliga season, he scored a massive 17 goals and assisted thrice in 34 matches for Bayer Leverkusen.
In the ongoing campaign, Havertz has notched six goals and played an assist in five others in 22 appearances. Furthermore, his three goals and two assists from three UEFA Europa League 2019-20 encounters highlights that the young forward has proven his mettle at the European stage too.
Havertz boasts of a splendid ball-control and calmness whilst putting the ball behind the opposition’s custodian. Couple this with his sublime ability to break the defensive lines with his accurate through-balls and it rakes of a sensational career for the German star. However, embracing success at such a young age could often be intimidating for several players, and hence it is rather riveting to witness the manner in which Kai Havertz manages to sustain consistency in his playing career.