Samuel Bamba became the latest Borussia Dortmund talent to make his debut, coming on from the bench during the 1-1 draw with Augsburg during Matchday 15 of the 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign. But who exactly is the up-and-coming winger looking to follow in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens? bundesliga.com gives you the lowdown…
Data correct as of 17 December 2023
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 19 (born 13 February 2024)
Country: Germany (14 youth caps)
Bamba’s Dortmund journey started in 2013, when he was just nine years old, as he joined the Ruhr outfit from Rot-Weiß Ahlen. On Die Schwarzgelben books, he rose through the ranks and was clearly a star talent, making his debut for the U17s aged 15. He made 20 appearances at that level during the 2019/20 campaign, which was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, scoring four goals and providing a further six assists. It wasn’t long before he was promoted to the U19s and, by the 2021/22 term, he was an important part of the team. In the UEFA Youth League, the showpiece European competition for underage players, he featured seven times, scoring once and creating two more, while he managed an astonishing eight assists in just three Junior DFB Cup outings. There was silverware at the end of the campaign, too, as Dortmund’s U19s were crowned Bundesliga champions.
Soon, Bamba became a part of the Dortmund II squad, who play in the 3. Liga, Germany’s third division, and he picked up his first professional minutes against Bayreuth towards the end of the 2022/23 term. By that point, he was already training with the seniors on a regular basis and had even been included by Edin Terzić in the 2022 autumn tour of Asia, scoring three goals in three friendlies. After 13 more third-tier games in 2023/24, he was included in the Matchday 18 squad for the trip to Augsburg. With Dortmund looking for a winner, Bamba replaced Bynoe-Gittens with just over a quarter of an hour remaining and, although he was unable to inspire his side to victory, it was still a milestone moment in the youngster's career.
At international level, the forward has featured 14 times across the U15s, U16s, U17s and U18s. His best performance to date was in March 2020 against Belgium, with him scoring twice in just 45 minutes as Germany prevailed 3-2.
Plays a bit like… Jamie Bynoe-Gittens
It was fitting that Bamba replaced the Englishman at the WWK Arena considering how many similarities the two share. Both impressed for the club’s youth sides before making their senior bow as a teenager – even if Bynoe-Gittens made the step up at a slightly younger age - while they are also comfortable on either wing. Running at and beating opponents are also obvious strengths each man possesses.
As the former Manchester City ace grows into an increasingly efficient attacking outlet for Terzić and Co, Bamba could do a lot worse than using his teammate as inspiration.
Did you know?
Bamba’s father, Musemestre, was also a professional, spending a decade in Germany’s second and third divisions, mainly with Rot-Weiß Ahlen - previously known as LR Ahlen. In Bundesliga 2, he scored 24 times in 173 games, although he never featured amongst the elite like his son. He was also an international, earning four DR Congo caps between 1994 and 2003.
What they’re saying
“We know his potential and his qualities. But he also knows that there are still a few things he needs to work on. But today he showed that he can make a difference in the Bundesliga. He did really well. I hope that he absorbs it and that it makes him hungry for more.” - Terzić following Bamba’s Augsburg cameo
“It was very nice to play in front of such a crowd. I had a few actions where the finish was a bit messy. But I think I still have some time to improve it. Then I'll get it right next time.” - Bamba after his 3. Liga debut
“He has improved athletically and physically, has a significantly better level of fitness and can sometimes do the decisive sprint in the 90th minute.” - U19 coach Mike Tullberg in 2022
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