Borussia Dortmund-owned Ansgar Knauff could make his full Eintracht Frankfurt debut against Cologne this Saturday, says coach Oliver Glasner.
"He's getting better and better," explained Frankfurt boss Glasner ahead of the Matchday 23 trip to Cologne. "He's understanding more and more what we want here. As a result, his abilities and qualities are really starting to come to the fore. He's heading in the right direction. We'll have to see if it's enough for the starting line-up."
Glasner isn't the only coach to have taken a shine to Knauff down the years.
Back in September 2014, at the age of 12, Knauff's Player of the Tournament and Golden Boot-winning efforts at the OPEL Family Cup for boyhood outfit SVG Göttingen U13s caught the eye of then Dortmund boss Jürgen Klopp.
Knauff accepted Klopp's trial invitation, but turned down the chance to move to the club's academy due to the long distance between the Ruhr district city and his hometown. Two years later, however, following a stint with Hannover, he did join BVB.
Impressive performances for the U15s, U17s and U19s preceded Knauff's senior debut, in a UEFA Champions League group game against Zenit in December 2020. He marked his Bundesliga bow with an assist for Erling Haaland three months later, before making history as Dortmund's youngest starter in a Champions League knockout tie, aged 19 years and 86 days.
The same week he faced Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals, the Germany youth international scored his first Bundesliga goal to seal a 3-2 win over Stuttgart that helped get Dortmund's ultimately successful top-four push back on track.
Watch: Skip to 1:38 for Knauff's first Bundesliga goal
Knauff ended 2021/22 with seven first-team appearances under his belt, as well as 28 in Germany's fourth tier for the Dortmund reserves. He split his time between both teams during the first half of the current campaign, featuring 11 times for the pros, and eight for the second string, for whom he has produced nine goals and seven assists.
An appearance against Cologne would mark Knauff's 12th in the Bundesliga, and third against the Billy Goats since that debut splash from the Dortmund bench almost a year ago.
According to reports, Frankfurt do not have the option to buy Knauff, who is contracted to Dortmund until 30 June 2023.
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