This time last year, Alphonso Davies and Tyler Adams were both still getting used to their new surroundings in Germany, having respectively swapped the Vancouver Whitecaps and New York Red Bulls for Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig.
So how have they fared since then? We take stock of their first year in
Bundesliga games: 19 (9 starts)
Honours: Bundesliga champion (2019), DFB Cup winner (2019)
The announcement (on 25 July 2018)
When Bayern broke the news on Twitter it sent shockwaves through the footballing community, with one of the most successful clubs in Europe plucking a teenager from the MLS. Part of the agreement included Davies seeing out the remainder of the domestic season in Canada, before moving to Munich in time for the second half of the 2018/19 campaign.
As the Whitecaps didn't make it into the MLS playoffs in 2018, Davies was able to move over to Munich at the end of the year and well ahead of the official 1 January start date on his contract, allowing him the chance to find somewhere to live and to get to know his teammates.
Still, he admitted to being starstruck on his first day at his new employers. "At first I was like 'wow, I'm going to be playing with them, they're going to be my teammates'," he told the official Bayern website. "When I first walked into the locker room, the first person I saw was [Arjen] Robben - I couldn't believe it. 'Is that really him?' So I started staring at him. I shouldn't have done that but I started staring at him.
"As a young footballer, it's not easy to come from Canada and then try to play in one of the best teams in the world," he continued. "It takes time, especially at a young age. It takes a lot of patience to be able to play. Yeah, you’re going to make mistakes but the players just tell me, 'Make 100 mistakes but we know you're learning. You learn from your mistakes'."
Davies went straight into Niko Kovac's squad on Matchday 18 last season, but didn't make it off the bench in a 3-1 victory over Hoffenheim. He didn't have to wait long for his first taste of Bundesliga action though, replacing Kingsley Coman in the 86th minute against VfB Stuttgart the following week.
That was the first of six substitute appearances that amounted 74 minutes of play in 2018/19, although he was an unused sub on another seven occasions. Davies netted his maiden Bundesliga goal in a 6-0 win over Mainz on Matchday 26.
Watch: Davies' first Bundesliga goal!
The current campaign initially followed a similar pattern for Davies, who made four brief substitute appearances in the first six rounds of Bundesliga games, while also playing for the reserves in the third division. However, fate soon smiled on the teenager – who didn't turn 19 until November 2019 – as long-term injuries to defenders Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez forced David Alaba to move inside at centre-back, opening up space at left-back.
Although he was signed as a winger - and a potential long-term successor to Robben and Franck Ribery - Davies' experience at left-back for the Canada national team played to his advantage. Since Matchday 9 in late October, he has been a first-team regular, playing the full 90 minutes in all 13 of Bayern's subsequent games across all competitions. In that time he has contributed to five clean sheets, while adding a goal and an assist at the other end of the pitch.
A resounding success! You don't get to stay in the Bayern side for that long on sentiment alone, and his club colleagues have been effusive in their praise of him. Former president Uli Hoeneß said, "He's going to be world-class,"; CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "You can see how well he's developing and we're all pleased with him,"; Leon Goretzka called him "a machine", while head coach Hansi Flick commented that, "the thing which impresses me the most about him is how he throws his weight about in challenges."
Bundesliga games: 11 (7 starts)
Honours: DFB Cup runner-up (2019)
The announcement (on 2 December 2018)
Social media went wild with Leipzig's confirmation of the USMNT international's arrival, even if he was a largely unknown quantity for the average Bundesliga fan.
By his own account, Adams had a relatively stress-free introduction to life in Germany. "For me it's been kind of seamless," he told bundesliga.com when asked about his transition from New York to Leipzig last year.
"I give credit to the organisation and the people in this club for how much they've helped me. Whether it's getting settled with an apartment, all the guys, going out to eat with them and doing little things that make the adjustment period so much easier. Once you get things settled off the field, it makes things on the field so much easier, because then you can just be yourself, play your game and have confidence."
Furthermore, he's throwing himself into learning German, and also has a sense of continuity from his time at home in the US, as he is pursuing an online degree through Southern New Hampshire University.
Former head coach Ralf Rangnick eased Adams into life in the Bundesliga, leaving him as an unused substitute on Matchday 18 against fellow American Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund. Like Davies, Adams was given his debut a week later though, and he played from start to finish in a 4-0 triumph away to Fortuna Düsseldorf.
That was the first of eight starts for the Leipzig No.14, who swiftly became an integral part of the side. "We're averaging three points per game with him," said Rangnick, only half-joking after Die Roten Bullen won six and drew three of their first 10 games with Adams in the side.
A groin issue forced him to miss a handful of games between March and May 2019, but he returned to start the DFB Cup final against Bayern, a match they ultimately lost 3-0.
That same groin injury kept Adams on the sidelines for the best part of six months, and his comeback date kept getting pushed further back with the club unwilling to take any risks at aggravating it.
The New York native was a surprise inclusion in the starting line-up on Matchday 17 though, playing 86 minutes of a 3-1 win at home to Augsburg. He was his usual industrious self in that game, covering 6.67 miles, making 33 sprints and winning nine tackles.
Great – more, please! It's been a tough year for the 20-year-old, who has obviously not played as much as he would have liked. "When football is your job and you don't have it every single day, you feel like you're missing something," he told bundesliga.com after his comeback on Matchday 17.
Watch: Adams on his comeback!
Nevertheless, his composure on the ball, big-game mentality and robust nature in challenges have already endeared him to the Leipzig faithful. "He's a special person, he's a special personality," said former Leipzig assistant coach Jesse Marsch. "He's a special talent and the ceiling for him is massive. Massive here in Leipzig and in the Bundesliga and beyond."