Marco Rose is looking forward to working with 16-year-old forward Youssoufa Moukoko at Borussia Dortmund. - © imago images
Marco Rose is looking forward to working with 16-year-old forward Youssoufa Moukoko at Borussia Dortmund. - © imago images
bundesliga

"We have to protect Youssoufa Moukoko, not slow him down" - Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose

New Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose is excited to work with the Bundesliga's youngest ever player and scorer, Youssoufa Moukoko, in the 2021/22 season.

Rose took charge of training for the first time this week with the likes of club captain Marco Reus, Julian Brandt, and most of the squad not involved in international tournaments taking place across three continents this summer, all involved.

Moukoko is also yet to take part. The 16-year-old suffered a severe ligament injury while training with Germany's U21 team during the European Championship group phase at the beginning of April, and has been out of action since. Rose believes that it shouldn't be long before the prodigious forward makes a full return.

"He's in integration training, but still individually," he said. "That means he is currently working with a rehab trainer. It's always difficult to make predictions about the timing. But things are looking really good at the moment. I hope that he can start training in the next 10 to 14 days."

Rose watched from afar last season as Moukoko made a total of 14 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund, including two starts. After making his debut from the bench against Hertha Berlin just one day after turning 16 in November 2020 - becoming the league's youngest ever player - Moukoko bagged his first goal against Unione Berlin just a month later, thus becoming the league's greenest goal-getter.

Now, as well as helping young talents such as Erling Haaland, Gio Reyna and Jude Bellingham fulfil their full potential, Rose is keen to make sure that Moukoko's progress continues while not putting too much pressure on such young shoulders.

Watch: Moukoko becomes the youngest scorer in Bundesliga history!

"The days and hours were counted up to his first outing, up to his first goal," Rose, who left his role as head coach at Borussia Mönchengladbach to join Dortmund this summer, said. "That does something to such a young guy.

"We have to protect it [his talent] and build it up carefully, without slowing it down in any way. I'm willing to encourage such good young players and to throw them into the game at some point."

Rose also wants to make sure that the record-breaking scorer at youth level is given no special treatment because of his tender age. Moukoko will have to earn his time on the pitch for Die Schwarzgelben under their new German tactician.

"He has to show himself, he has to offer himself, he has to draw attention to himself in training," he said.