Top 10 rising stars of the 2023/24 Bundesliga season so far: Mathys Tel among standout Bundesliga talents


Bayern's Mathys Tel and RB Leipzig's Xavi are among a group of young players who have seized the moment at the start of the 2023/24 Bundesliga season to make the football world stand up and take notice of their talents.

Xavi Simons

Club: RB Leipzig
Position: Attacking midfielder
Age: 20 (born 21 April 2003)
2023/24 appearances: 16 (four goals, nine assists)

Xavi joined Leipzig on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, after he spent an impressive season out on loan at PSV Eindhoven, scoring 19 goals and providing nine assists as PSV finished second in the 2022/23 Eredivisie. That also saw him end the term as the Dutch top flight's joint-leading scorer. He hit the ground running in Leipzig too, scoring four goals and assisting a further nine in his first 16 games in Germany's top flight, making him an ever-present fixture of Marco Rose's team this term and one of the reasons why Die Roten Bullen end 2023 in fourth place, still in the hunt at the Bundesliga summit.

The Dutch midfielder has set up a total of 34 shots on goals for his teammates, boasting an impressive pass accuracy of 81% and helping Leipzig reach the last 16 in the UEFA Champions League, thanks to his two goals in the group stage.

Watch: All of Xavi's assists for Loïs Openda so far this season.

Mathys Tel
Age: 18 (born: 27 April 2005)
Position: Striker
Bayern Munich
2023/2024 appearances: 11 (three goals and two assists)

The young Frenchman has demonstrated beyond any doubt in his appearances for Bayern this season just how blessed in talent he is, with his impact off the bench remarkable. His single touch and walloped drive into the net against Werder Bremen in the opening match of the season set the tone for things to come. The similarly composed and clinical sweeping finish for Bayern's sixth goal against Bochum on Matchday 5 was his third in just five short appearances, the former Rennes man having also delivered the winner in Mönchengladbach on Matchday 2.

Watch: All of Mathys Tel's Bundesliga goals so far

His first assist of the campaign, when he danced around Jeremie Frimpong to lay the ball across for Leon Goretzka's second goal against Bayer Leverkusen, was even more spectacular. Two more goals in the UEFA Champions League - winners against Manchester United and Copenhagen no-less - and another in the DFB Cup take Tel to six in all competitions at the winter break. It would have been easy for the youngster to see the signing of Harry Kane in the summer as an obstacle to him getting playing time in the multi-talented Bayern side, but he has pressed and shown with every goal that he can play an important role for the champions. Tel now boasts the Bundesliga's best-ever minutes-per-goal ratio, giving Thomas Tuchel a very real selection headache moving forward.

Maximilian Beier
Club: Hoffenheim
Position: Striker
Age: 20 (born: 17 October 2002)
2023/2024 appearances:
15 (six goals)

Having cut his teeth on loan at Hannover in Bundesliga 2 last season, the new campaign has well and truly witnessed Beier's Bundesliga breakthrough. The Germany U21 international netted his first strike of the campaign by bundling in from short range to spark a 3-2 comeback win at Heidenheim on Matchday 2 - and he took off from there in the early stages of the campaign. The centre-forward scored in four successive matches as his side racked up four wins on the spin before two more strikes that took Beier to six from his first eight games of the season. The best of the bunch as far as Beier's strikes are concerned was his delicious top-corner strike from outside the area in a 3-1 win at Cologne on Matchday 4 and the young striker's form has helped Hoffenheim place themselves firmly in the European reckoning

Watch: Beier scores stunner as Hoffenheim win 3-1 at Cologne

Rocco Reitz
Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Position: Midfielder
Age: 21 (29 May 2002)
2023/2024 appearances:
15 (four goals and one assist)

Reitz is another player who has used loan spells to gather experience before battling to establish himself in the Bundesliga. Two years at St. Truiden in Belgium gave the midfield talent a platform to develop. Reitz had just two substitute appearances under his belt before getting a full 90 minutes of a tight encounter with Bayern Munich on Matchday 3. In Gladbach's following game, and with his side 3-0 down to Darmstadt in the second half, he ghosted past a defender to cut the ball back for Jordan to knock the ball in and kick start a remarkable three-goal comeback. Reitz has gone from strength-to-strength as the season has worn on, with a first Gladbach goal coming in the 4-0 destruction of Wolfsburg and he took his tally to four with a brace against Werder Bremen on Matchday 15 earned the Foals a 2-2 draw.

Watch: Reitz strikes twice against Werder - highlights

Justin Njinmah 
Club: Werder Bremen
Position: Right-wing
Age: 23 (15 November 2000)
2023/2024 appearances: 
14 (three goals and two assists)

The Hamburg-born youngster made a splash on loan at Borussia Dortmund II last season, scoring a team-record 13 goals in the German third tier. He has shown already this season that he can not only mix it at the very highest level, but he has the ability to add a new dimension to the Bremen's attack. Speed and purpose are the hallmarks of Njinmah's potent wing play. Three goals and two assists across just 351 minutes of football tell their own very compelling story of a young forward who averages a goal contribution every 70 minutes of Bundesliga football. The composure for the finishes against Mainz and Cologne were quite remarkable for a Bundesliga newcomer and his equaliser against Leipzig before the winter break was an out-and-out beauty.

Watch: Njinmah's stunning leveller against Leipzig - highlights

Eren Dinkçi
Club: Heidenheim
Position: Right-wing
Age: 22 (13 December 2001)
2023/2024 appearances: 
14 (five goals)

Newly promoted Heidenheim have impressed with their fearlessness so far this season, and nobody has embodied that better than Dinkçi. The winger on loan from Bremen has packed the kind of pace vital to Frank Schmidt's fast-breaking tactical approach. His first strike of the season in the Bundesliga was certainly a very special one - it sparked a second-half comeback for a 2-2 draw away at Dortmund. Two further efforts against his parent club in Heidenheim's maiden Bundesliga victory on Matchday 4 made Dinkçi's start to the season even more delightful. His turn inside to fire the hosts 2-0 up in that encounter was a classic illustration of the skill and ambition possessed by the former Germany U20 international, who now has five goals to his name at the turn of the year. 

Watch: Dinkçi scores twice as Heidenheim take first ever Bundesliga victory

Brajan Gruda
Club: Mainz
Position: Striker
Age: 19 (31 May 2004)
2023/2024 appearances:
14 (one goal and one assist)

Gruda is a youngster who carries high hopes in Mainz, and for very good reason. He captained the U19 to the title last season, firing an impressive 17 goals in 34 appearances. His 14 appearances in the Bundesliga this term have shown an appetising glimpse of his talent and his influence in the senior setup increases each week. The Germany U21 international is the very definition of an attacking livewire, with the explosiveness and sheer unpredictability to some day make him too hot to handle. His promise in the youth game was recognised with silver in the prestigious Fritz Walter Medal in August and he has played all across the front line for the 05ers this term. A first professional goal against Gladbach on Matchday 7 was reward for his rapid development.

Brajan Gruda (r.) for Mainz against Borussia Dortmund's Emre Can (l.) - IMAGO/Eibner-Pressefoto/Bahho Kara

Merlin Röhl

Club: Freiburg
Central/ attacking midfielder
Age: 21
2023/24 appearances: 12 (one goal and three assists)

Röhl has emerged as a regular in the Freiburg midfield in 2023/24, producing his first Bundesliga goal and a pair of assists between Matchdays 10-13. The 6'3" midfielder also opened his UEFA Europa League account with a fine strike in the 5-0 group-stage win over Backa Topola. He's currently among his team's top seven individual players across the season for passes to a shot and goal attempts per 90 minutes, earning a Bundesliga Rookie of the Month nomination for his efforts in November 2023.

Röhl's performances have enabled him to make the leap from the Germany U20s to U21s. He registered an assist on his fourth appearance at that level, before scoring on his fifth, in a UEFA U21 Euro qualifying win against Poland. The Berlin native previously played for Ingolstadt in Bundesliga 2 and Germany's 3. Liga, as well as the club's various youth sections, between 2018 and joining Freiburg in 2022.

Merlin Röhl celebrates his first Bundesliga goal in Freiburg's Matchday 11 match with RB Leipzig. - IMAGO/Jöran Steinsiek

Tomáš Čvančara

Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Position: Forward
Age: 22 (born 13 August 2000)
2023/24 appearances: 13 (four goals, one assist)

Signed in the summer as a replacement for the departed Marcus Thuram, Tomáš Čvančara has proven to be a hit in his first half-season in Germany's top flight and justified the five-year contract he was given by the Foals when he arrived from Sparta Prague. In the Czech side's title-winning 2022/23 campaign, the 6'2" striker contributed 12 goals and three assists, and earned his first call-ups to the Czechia national team – scoring a goal in his debut in a UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier against Poland.

With a total of 24 goals and seven assists in 49 Czech top-flight games for Sparta, he arrived with an already glowing CV, and has improved on it further in Germany. While it may not have been the easiest of seasons for the Foals, who won just a quarter of their first 16 games of the season, Čvančara has stood out as a beacon of light with his four Bundesliga goals and two strikes in the DFB Cup which have helped take Gladbach into the quarter-finals, where they face giant-killers Saarbrücken in February.

Tomas Cvancara has steered in four goals in his first half-season in the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach. - IMAGO/Eibner-Pressefoto/Thomas Haesler

Angelo Stiller

Club: VfB Stuttgart
Defensive midfielder
Age: 22 (born 4 April 2001)
2023/24 appearances: 15 (three assists)

Granted, being part of a team who have played a blinder in the first half of the season helps fuel the confidence levels of any player, but Angelo Stiller has stood out as one of the players who have been fuelling Stuttgart's remarkable season. From a deep midfield position, the 22-year-old former Bayern Munich youth player has played plenty of killer passed – 26 of which have led to a shot on goal by a teammate – and done so with pinpoint accuracy, with an outstanding pass success rate of 93.55% - the fourth highest across the Bundesliga.

That he had talent could be seen when he was promoted to Bayern's U19s when he was still eligible to represent their U17s, aged only 16. He provided seven assists in his debut season at that level, when he made acquaintance with his current coach at Stuttgart Sebastian Hoeneß, who was in charge of Bayern's reserves at the time. Not only did Hoeneß nurture him into the professional game, he is now reaping the rewards himself with Stiller and established part of an impressive Stuttgart midfield.

Angelo Stiller holds off his man in Stuttgart's clash with Eintracht Frankfurt - IMAGO/Hansjürgen Britsch