Munich - The summer of 2014 in German football was one for the history books, with the Nationalmannschaft lifting the FIFA World Cup just 18 days before Marcus Sorg’s Under-19s side were crowned European champions in Hungary. The national's game has reached new heights, and it's thanks in no small part to a thriving youth policy.

Dreams of reaching the pinnacle of the footballing profession often require several iterations to become reality. In Germany, though, where the likes of Julian Draxler can become the youngest player to break the 100-appearance barrier at the age of 20 years and 225 days, things work a little differently.

FC Schalke 04’s World Cup winner is but one example, as the Bundesliga is awash with highly coveted young talents. Over the course of this four-part series, bundesliga.com will cast an eye over the top 20 ‘Ones to Watch’ under the age of 20, listed in order of their Bundesliga appearances to date. It's a select group that includes familiar faces and unknown quantities in equal measure....

The most exciting player to break through in 2013/14, futsal-inspired Max Meyer always felt he was destined to leave a lasting impression on the Bundesliga. “It was always clear to me which path I would follow,” Meyer told bundesliga.com. However, the youngest player to reach the six-goal mark in the Bundesliga is taking nothing for granted. “It’s a fresh start for me and I have to make sure I perform.” Technically gifted, a clever passer and boasting the ability to wriggle out of tight spaces, Meyer looks set to be Schalke’s creative hub for several years to come.

Bundesliga career statistics:
Appearances: 35
Goals: 6

Few had heard of Timo Werner until he burst onto the scene by becoming the youngest player to bag a Bundesliga brace on Matchday 12 of the 2013/14 campaign against SC Freiburg. Now under the guidance of Armin Veh, the only way is up for the left-sided forward, whose daring is only matched by his pace. “VfB is my home, and I’m hoping we’ll be back in the Champions League before long,” explains the Stuttgart-native, before adding, "I play football without pressure." It remains to be seen whether or not he’ll be given many opportunities in his preferred position of striker.

Bundesliga career statistics:
Appearances: 30
Goals: 4

Touted as one of Germany’s most exciting young centre-backs Niklas Süle certainly doesn't lack ambition. “I’d love to be at the next World Cup in Russia,” said the towering defender. A threat at both ends of the field, 1899’s robust youngster won 66 per cent of his challenges in 2013/14 and, not unlike a certain Mats Hummels, often initiated Hoffenheim’s most threatening attacks. “I try to resolve situations with my feet. I want to play even more, make fewer mistakes and develop myself physically even more.” Should he help plug 1899's notoriously leaky backline this term, the national team won’t look so far off.

Bundesliga career statistics:
Appearances: 27
Goals: 4

“In hindsight it was definitely the right decision to move,” said former VfL Bochum youngster Leon Goretzka after moving t Schalke, and he undoubtedly gave us glimpses of his ability, having a hand in seven goals after the 2013/14 winter break. A technically gifted box-to-box midfielder, it comes as no surprise that Goretzka is compared to such greats as Michael Ballack. “It’s a compliment and fires me up even more. It’s fun to play in this side, which is why I’m so happy here.” A thigh injury will, however, sideline him for the start of the season.

Bundesliga career statistics:
Appearances: 25
Goals: 4

Having become the youngest player to feature for Bundesliga ever-presents Hamburg in the previous campaign, many are wondering whether 18-year-old Tah is ready to step up and help solve the Dinos’ defensive deficiencies. “I’ve got to make better decisions,” admitted Tah. Mirko Slomka was quick to protect the centre-back, who won 61 per cent of his challenges, when things weren’t going right for HSV in 2013/14, but this season could be a different story. “You need mental as well as physical strength,” said Slomka of the 6’4’’ defender.

Bundesliga career statistics:
Appearances: 16
Goals: 1

Top 20 Under 20: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4