The starlets have been setting the scene alight both on and off the pitch.
The Bundesliga is the home of exciting young talent – the destination for youngsters from home and abroad to develop from wonderkids to world-class talents. It’s a path that a few special players like Jadon Sancho, Kai Havertz and Erling Haaland are already treading.
So, Bundesliga took a look at the next five players who could be about to start their ascendance to stardom by assessing the start to their Bundesliga careers while discussing each player’s unique potential.
Sarpreet Singh (Bayern Munich)
When Singh was introduced off the bench against Werder Bremen on the Matchday 15, it was the first time in 25 years that a New Zealander played in the Bundesliga.
So far, the 21-year-old has featured mainly in Bayern Munich’s second team in the third division of German football, scoring seven goals in 20 matches and providing three assists.
While his exposure to the first team has been minimal so far, Singh is a very interesting player to keep your eye on. Coming from a unique background, the midfielder crashed onto the scene in Australia as a teenager, controlling games in the final third and creating chances for both his teammates and himself. His transfer to the Bundesliga was certainly warranted.
Singh is at home in the centre of midfield with the license to attack with the ball at his feet, selecting the best pass in tight situations and quick counter-attacks.
Notable attributes: Agility, Dribbling, Vision
Joshua Zirkzee (Bayern Munich)
Singh’s teammate Zirkzee is also a hot prospect. The 18-year-old has managed to score more goals for Bayern senior team than during his time with their second string, in considerably less playing time. While he contributed two goals in 16 games with Bayern II, he has already found the net three times in five games in the Bundesliga.
The Dutchman has scored a goal every 57 minutes since his promotion to the first team through appearances in the league, DFB Cup and cameos in Europe. It seems that Zirkzee is certainly trusted within Bayern’s management team, who are investing time into the young centre-forward. It’s clear to see the player has talent and combining that with exposure to first-team football may well create a superstar.
Zirkzee can be used in various roles in Bayern’s forward line. Whether as an advanced forward or poacher who can use his height and physicality to get on the end of chances or as a second striker who links up with the midfield to develop attacks, Zirkzee has a unique range of skills and is capable of adapting to different systems and formations.
Notable attributes: Finishing, First Touch, Jumping Reach
Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Reyna also has an interesting background. The teenager was born in England with Portuguese heritage before moving to the USA, the birthplace of his father Claudio who turned out for both Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg in the 1990s. His time in MLS with New York City’s youth system was rewarded with a transfer to Bundesliga, with Reyna making the switch from NYCFC to Dortmund last summer. It’s fair to say he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Once the American impressed with excellent performances for Dortmund’s U19 side, Reyna was quickly trusted on the big stage. The 17-year-old played 11 times before the league’s break and also scored a magnificent goal in the DFB Cup. So far, he has only been used as a substitute in the league, but it’s clear that it’s only a matter of time until he makes his mark on the starting XI. Reyna is athletic, enthusiastic and versatile, capable of playing in central midfield, behind the striker or cutting in from the left flank.
Notable attributes: Natural Fitness, Off the Ball, Work Rate
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
The next young star in our focus is also an American national. Sargent is slowly becoming part of the first team plans at Bremen in his fourth season with the club with increased game time in the 2019/20 campaign. Unfortunately, this was disrupted by injuries but nonetheless Sargent has amassed 18 appearances, three goals and two assists, a brief indication of what he can deliver when given time on the pitch. In fact, whenever the 20-year-old was involved in a goal, Bremen did not lose.
Sargent has physicality to his game with high acceleration for someone of his size while possessing a neat first touch and composure in front of goal.
Notable attributes: Aggression, Off the Ball, Determination
Paulinho (Bayer Leverkusen)
Attacking midfield is a competitive place within the Leverkusen squad and the Brazilian has had wait for his chance. His club progress was also interrupted by a trip away with Brazil’s Under 23s across January and February.
Despite this, there has certainly been enough promise shown in cameos across league and cup appearances to suggest Paulinho’s enormous hype is warranted.
In fact, in Leverkusen’s last match before the break against Eintracht Frankfurt, Paulinho scored two goals, assisted another and was named Man of the Matchday. Both the player and fans would have loved the chance to carry the confidence forward and build on this performance but at just 19 years of age, we’ll surely see plenty more performances like that in the not so distant future.
Paulinho possesses all the attributes traditionally connected with Brazilian football culture – pace, agility, flair and ounces of creativity.
Notable attributes: Balance, Natural Fitness, Pace