Rolland Sallai, Sasa Kalajdzic, Dani Olmo, Wout Weghorst and Christoph Baumgartner (l-r.) can expect their stocks to boom at UEFA Euro 2020. - © DFL
Rolland Sallai, Sasa Kalajdzic, Dani Olmo, Wout Weghorst and Christoph Baumgartner (l-r.) can expect their stocks to boom at UEFA Euro 2020. - © DFL

Dani Olmo, Wout Weghorst, Sasa Kalajdzic, Christoph Baumgartner and Roland Sallai: 5 lesser-known Bundesliga players to watch at UEFA Euro 2020

If you're not already familiar with Bundesliga quintet Dani Olmo, Wout Weghorst, Sasa Kalajdzic, Christoph Baumgartner and Roland Sallai, you're in for a treat at UEFA Euro 2020. explains why...

Dani Olmo

Age: 23
Club: RB Leipzig
Position: Attacking midfielder
Country: Spain (11 caps/ 3 goals/ 1 assist)

The latest in a long line of cultured midfielders to come out of Spain, Olmo arrived at RB Leipzig in January 2020, via Barcelona's La Masia academy and a formative stint in Croatia with Dinamo Zagreb. The 23-year-old rocked up at the Red Bull Arena as a two-time Croatian First Football League Player of the Season, and having helped Spain win the U21 2019 Euros. Suffice to say he's delivered on expectations in the 18 months since.

Olmo was on target as Leipzig beat Atletico Madrid in the rescheduled 2019/20 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, taking him on to 13 goals and eights assists across 37 appearances in all competitions for his former and current employers. The Leipzig No.25 continued his ascent of Mount Football Superstardom in his first full season in the Bundesliga, contributing a team-leading seven goals and 12 assists, whilst adding a couple of strikes to his senior international haul in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Watch: Dani Olmo has been an electric addition to the Bundesliga

"He has it all," enthused Leipzig and Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi of Olmo, who has started five of Spain's last six competitive fixtures. "Technically, he's brilliant. He really understands the game, he knows how to pick a final pass and is very dangerous for a midfielder. He's also a top bloke!"

Wout Weghorst

Age: 28
Club: Wolfsburg
Position: Striker
Country: The Netherlands (6 caps/ 1 goal)

Speaking of diamond geezers, there's a strong case to be made that Bayern Munich legend Arjen Robben was the Netherlands' last genuinely world-class player. The Flying Dutchman inspired the Oranje to runners-up and third-placed finishes at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, but - failing to qualify for the 2016 Euros and 2018 World Cup - the 1988 European champions have been in a state of flux ever since.

Weghorst could be the catalyst for change. The Wolfsburg No.9 has been feasting on goals since making the switch from AZ Alkmaar to the Bundesliga in summer 2018, scoring 53 times in 100 appearances. He opened his Netherlands account against Georgia in their final Euro 2020 warm-up, and goes into the finals in career-best form, having put away 20 Bundesliga goals in 2020/21 at a clip of one every 161 minutes.

Watch: Wout Weghorst's top 3 Bundesliga goals

"Wolfsburg have one of the best strikers in the Bundesliga, in Weghorst," commented future Germany head coach Hansi Flick earlier in the season. "He's greedy for goals and he's a good size."

Sasa Kalajdzic

Age: 23
Club: VfB Stuttgart
Position: Striker
Country: Austria (6 caps/ 3 goals)

Weghorst stands at a robust 6'5", but that's still a not insignificant 1.5" shorter than Kalajdzic. The Stuttgart striker is the Bundesliga's tallest player - and one of the most effective. A cruciate ligament injury behind him, he rattled off 16 goals in his debut top-flight season, eight headers included. The Vienna native with Serbian roots also struck nine times across a club record-equalling hot streak spanning seven matches.

Kalajdzic was rewarded with a maiden senior international cap for Austria's UEFA Nations League Group B encounter with Romania in October 2020. He netted twice on only his second start - in a 2020 FIFA World Cup qualifier with Scotland - and followed that up with another effort against the Faroe Islands. And it's not just us who think big Sasa is so much more than your average target man.

"He's a very good footballer," Stuttgart head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo said of the formidable right-footer. "He links up well with his teammates, and communicates very effectively. He's invaluable."

Christoph Baumgartner

Age: 21
Club: Hoffenheim
Position: Attacking midfielder
Country: Austria (10 caps, 3 goals, 2 assists)

Kalajdzic isn't the only Bundesliga-based player in the Austria camp. Young Baumgartner is one of 21 all told, the Hoffenheim playmaker earning his first shot at major tournament football after producing six goals and five assists in 31 Bundesliga appearances for the club he joined as a 16 year old in summer 2017.

There are shades of midfield great Michael Ballack in the former disciple of Julian Nagelsmann, under whom he made his pro debut two years ago. Baumgartner operated in a No.10 role in the rump of his domestic outings in 2020/21, but has played wide right and left in his previous two for Austria. Despite receiving his maiden senior call-up as recently as September 2020, he's started nine out of his 10 games for Franco Foda's Group C dark horses. Expect that trend to continue at the pan-European finals.

Watch: Christoph Baumgartner went all-out magician against Cologne on Bundesliga Matchday 28

"A year ago, he was still a young player, who made too many movements on the pitch and played too many simple passes astray," Foda explained of the former Austria U21 international. "Now he's more economical, more mature, whilst retaining the carefreeness of a street footballer. He retains possession, even when dribbling at speed. He's also scoring goals - some extraordinary ones at that."

Roland Sallai

Age: 24
Club: Freiburg
Position: Right winger
Country: Hungary (22 caps, 4 goals, 2 assists)

Sallai's riding a similarly upward curve at Freiburg. Not to be confused with international teammate Adam Szalai of Mainz, the Hungarian winger hit peak form midway through the 2020/21 campaign, swelling his season tally to eight goals and six assists for a Freiburg side that finished just five points adrift of the European qualification places.

Continental football instead presents itself in the form of the European Championships, where Hungary will be without play-off saviour and star-in-the-making Dominik Szoboszlai. Having stepped up in the Leipzig midfielder's absence in 2020 FIFA World Cup qualifying, registering two goals and an assist in games against Poland and San Marino, Freiburg's answer to Jadon Sancho will be key to the Magyars's prospects of escaping the fabled 'Group of Death' - France, Portugal and Germany complete the section - with their vital signs intact.

Watch: Roland Sallai hepled himself to a first Bundesliga brace on Matchday 12

"Roland has taken another sizeable step in recent months, his development is really positive," commented Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier in March, after Sallai penned a new, undisclosed contract extension with the Black Forest club. "Roland is increasingly playing with more decisiveness and maturity. His intensity and agility with the ball at his feet are a real boon for us."

Chris Mayer-Lodge