- Dembele and Sanches regarded as two of Europe's most promising youngsters.
- Sanches has "a great future" according to former Bayern coach Pep Guardiola.
- Dembele "totally convinced by Dortmund's football concept."
The Bundesliga can once again look forward to some fantastic new arrivals next season. The first have already been confirmed and foremost among them are two of European football's most exciting current prospects: FC Bayern München-bound Renato Sanches and Ousmane Dembele, soon to be running out in the black-and-yellow of Borussia Dortmund.
Still only 18, Sanches has just broken Cristiano Ronaldo's record as the youngest player to be called up by Portugal for a major tournament finals. Despite having made only 24 top-flight appearances for hometown club SL Benfica, the distinctively dreadlocked all-action midfielder "is easily one of the best young players in Europe. He's got a great future." Thus spoke Pep Guardiola in April, after Bayern had eased past Benfica and into the last four of the Champions League. And if the star Catalan coach's new employers Manchester City were just one of the big-money clubs to show an interest in acquiring Sanches' services, it was Munich he would opt for as his next port of call.
Guardiola's successor, Carlo Ancelotti, is though to have played a key role in sealing the deal with the Portuguese supertalent, whose combination of pace, power, technique and tactical flexibility make him the complete all-round midfield package. Above and beyond that, the prospect of genuine development based on regular playing time is evidently a further factor drawing top young players to the league of the world champions in increasing numbers.
Dembele is a similar case in point. The versatile 19-year-old forward's imminent arrival from Stade Rennais FC represents quite a coup for league runners-up Dortmund. "I've nothing but respect for how steadfast Ousmane has been over such a long period of time, in the face of so many tempting offers from all over Europe. That's not something you can take for granted, and it's real proof of character," BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke commented. Furthermore, "Ousmane's given the impression all along that he wants nothing more than to play our intensive brand of football, for our special club, at our unique stadium."
The new man confirmed as much, saying he had been "totally convinced by Dortmund's football concept. I can't wait to start playing for them in the Bundesliga in front of 80 thousand crowds, or to run out with my new teammates in the Champions League." Fresh from being voted France's young player of the year, Dembele is another name to mark for the 54th season of Germany's national top flight.