Leading the list is Jadon Sancho, who has more assists than Barcelona great Lionel Messi.
Jadon Sancho, Kai Havertz and Alphonso Davies lead a six-strong list of Bundesliga players who are on the European Golden Boy 40-man shortlist for 2019. Who are the players getting their teenage kicks in Germany?
Borussia Dortmund forward Mario Götze has previously won the award. bundesliga.com takes a closer look at the players who might succeed him.
Club: Bayern Munich
Country: France (U20 caps)
Position: Central midfielder
Having only turned 20 at the start of the season, Cuisance marked the occasion with a move to Munich and the record champions. During two seasons with Borussia Mönchengladbach, he racked up 35 Bundesliga appearances since joining from Nancy in 2017, although his progress slowed last term. A left-footed, ball-playing midfielder, Cuisance settled for less minutes with the emergence of Florian Neuhaus not helping his cause, but he still chipped in with an assist as Gladbach finished fifth. His eye for goal was on display this summer, too, with two strikes for France at the U20 World Cup in Poland.
The midfielder is a crucial cog in France’s youth team
Club: Bayern Munich
Country: Canada (15 caps)
The youngest player in the history of Canada’s senior national team has enjoyed a rapid rise in his still brief career. Born in a Ghanaian refugee camp, Davies was only five when he moved to North America before bursting onto the scene with the Vancouver Whitecaps as a 15-year-old. Within three years he had secured a move to the Bundesliga with Bayern, where he became the youngest player in 20 years to score for the club with his maiden Bundesliga goal against Mainz. A winner of the domestic double in his first season, the 18-year-old has made 10 first-team appearances in Munich, scoring two goals and proving himself an asset on either wing or even at left-back.
The winger is touted to be the future of Canada
Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Country: Germany (5 caps)
Position: Attacking midfielder
Havertz has been a mainstay of the Leverkusen midfield for three seasons, but he promised at the start of 2018/19 to score more goals, and that’s exactly what he did. Seventeen of them in fact, to finish the campaign as the top-scoring teenager Bundesliga history. Havertz also made his senior Germany debut last season – coach Joachim Löw said he looked “like he’d always played with the others” – and the future could hardly look brighter.
One of the best performers for his side
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
Country: Serbia (U21 caps)/Bosnia-Herzegovina
Real Madrid-bound Luka Jovic left big boots to fill at Frankfurt, but Die Adler are confident Joveljic can help put some wind beneath their attacking wings in 2019/20. Their optimism is well-founded. Joveljic, who hails from the same town as Jovic, found the target every 96 minutes he played for Red Star Belgrade in the Serbian top-flight last season. The striker has been known to complete a Rubik’s Cube inside 39 seconds. The question now is how quickly can he master Bundesliga defences?
The striker has big boots to fill at his club
Club: RB Leipzig
Country: France (U21 caps)
Already one of the most highly prized centre-backs in the world when Leipzig swooped in at Sochaux in 2017, Konate has since taken his game to another level under coaches Ralph Hasenhüttl, Ralf Rangnick and Julian Nagelsmann. Standing at a hulking 6’4’’, the Parisian is now the heart of the Leipzig defence. He was the club’s most used centre-back last season as Die Roten Bullen maintained the tightest defence in the league, as they have done again at the beginning of 2019/20 with an unbeaten record five Matchdays in. Able to battle and win his challenges (81 per cent this season), Konate is also a modern defender able to play with the ball, boasting a passing accuracy of 95 per cent – the third-highest rate in the league.
The player is expected to be a future star for France
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Country: England (8 caps)
Frustrated with the first-team opportunities at Manchester City – or lack thereof – Sancho swapped North West England for North Rhine-Westphalia in 2017, but his talent truly exploded last season. His quick feet are matched by a speed of thought that belies his tender 19 years, and he finished the season with a league-high 14 assists as Dortmund missed out on the title by just two points. With a further four to his name already this term, no player in Europe’s five major leagues per UEFA coefficient has set up more goals than the England international.
He is probably the best player in the world at his age
Full 40-man shortlist
Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal), Michael Cuisance (Bayern), Alphonso Davies (Bayern), Ayotomiwa Dele-Dashiru (Watford), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Krepin Diatta (Club Bruges), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Denis Dragus (Standard Liege), Eljif Elmas (Napoli), Florentino Luis (Benfica), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal), Erling Braut Haaland (RB Salzburg), Kai Havertz (Leverkusen), Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Dejan Joveljic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Boubacar Kamara (Marseille), Moise Kean (Everton), Justin Kluivert (Roma), Ibrahima Konate (Leipzig), Alban Lafont (Nantes), Diego Lainez (Real Betis), Kang-in Lee (Valencia), Andrij Lunin (Real Valladolid), Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Nehuen Perez (Famalicao), Reiss Nelson (Arsenal), Abdulkadir Ömür (Tranzonspor), Strahinja Pavlovic (Partizan Belgrade), Rafael Leao (AC Milan), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Jadon Sancho (Dortmund), Luis Sinisterra (Feyenoord), Jean-Clair Todibo (Barcelona), Ferran Torres (Valencia), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma)