Borussia Dortmund's Youssoufa Moukoko is the youngest Bundesliga player in history, but where does the 16-year-old super talent sit among the German top flight's all-time list of fresh-faced debutants? bundesliga.com reveals the top 10…
Age on debut: 16 years, one day
Moukoko became the Bundesliga's youngest ever player, making his top-flight debut for Borussia Dortmund against Hertha Berlin on on 22 November 2020, just one day after turning 16. Moukoko has flown through the Dortmund youth teams, amassing a barely credible 141 goals and 27 assists in just 88 games at youth level, and it was only a matter of time before he made his top-flight bow having been made captain of the U19s - aged 15 - earlier in 2020/21. Moukoko came on for Erling Haaland for the final five minutes of die Schwarzgelben's victory at the Olympiastadion, supplanting BVB legend Nuri Sahin as the Bundesliga's youngest ever player. Sahin had been a month off his 17th birthday when his made his league debut for Dortmund against Wolfsburg in August 2005.
Watch: Moukoko makes his debut!
2) Nuri Sahin
Age on debut: 16 years, 11 months and one day
Another Dortmund youth product, Sahin made his full debut at the base of a midfield including Thomas Rosicky, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw with Wolfsburg on 6 August 2005. A first goal followed - against Nuremberg - on his seventh outing. He also chipped in with six assists in his maiden top-flight campaign. The Turkey international spent a formative stint on loan in the Netherlands with Feyenoord in 2007/08 and moved to Real Madrid in summer 2011, but between times produced a career-best six goals - including a belting free-kick against Bayern Munich - and eight assists during BVB’s 2010/11 title-winning campaign under Jürgen Klopp. Sahin was unable to muscle his way in at Real and struggled for form and fitness whilst on loan at Liverpool, but a return to Dortmund had the desired effect. He added the 2016/17 DFB Cup to his collection in his penultimate campaign at the club, only to fall down the pecking order under Lucien Favre the next year. Following a two-year spell at Werder Bremen, the now 32-year-old joined Antalyaspor in Turkey.
Watch: The Nuri Sahin story!
3) Yann Bisseck
Age on debut: 16 years, 11 months and 28 days
What does Sahin have in common with Yann Bisseck apart from a place in our big top 10 youngest debutants reveal? Both played under Peter Stöger - just not in the same team. Before coaxing the best out of and older-wiser Sahin at Dortmund, Stöger handed Bisseck his Bundesliga debut for Cologne. The Austrian played the teenager from the off in a 2-0 defeat to Hertha in November 2017, only to be dismissed a week later on the back of another defeat to Schalke. Bisseck started that encounter, but a second-half cameo in a 4-3 loss to Freiburg under Stöger’s successor, Stefan Ruthenbeck, was the last Bundesliga audiences would see of the Germany youth international. He featured for the Cologne U19s and reserve teams before a January 2019 move on loan to Holstein Kiel. The following season saw the centre-back farmed out to Roda in the Netherlands, where he made 10 first-team appearances. A contract extension with Cologne until 2023 was accompanied by another loan, this time for two years, to Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal from summer 2020.
4) Florian Wirtz
Age on debut: 17 years, 15 days
What a whirlwind few months it was for Wirtz to kick off his senior career. In the first half of the 2019/20 season he was playing for Cologne's U17 team in the U17 Bundesliga West. His impressive displays there earned him a transfer to local rivals Bayer Leverkusen, where he was immediately bumped up two age categories to the U19s. After posting two goals and three assists in four games prior to the coronavirus-enforced break in play, he began training with the first team after head coach Peter Bosz liked what he saw: “If he’s training with us then he has to be a good player. I rate him very highly. He’s a very good player, absolutely.” So much so that the Dutch tactician handed him his starting debut in Leverkusen's Matchday 26 clash with Werder Bremen. Still only 18, the now Germany U21 international has 47 senior appearances for Die Werkself come the end of the 2020/21 season, including nine goals. His six in the Bundesliga makes him the youngest player to ever reach that total.
5) Jürgen Friedl
Age on debut: 17 years and 26 days
Like Bisseck, Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Jürgen Friedl turned out just three times in the Bundesliga. Like Bisseck, a clean sheet proved elusive. Friedl conceded the only goal of a 5-1 win against Hannover after making making his debut as a 74th-minute replacement for Wolfgang Kleff; was beaten twice on his first and only full Bundesliga start on Matchday 31 of the 1975/76 campaign - a 3-2 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf; and was given the half-time hook in a season-ending victory at home to Dortmund. The Frankfurt native moved on to see out the bulk of his playing career in the backwaters of German football, representing Heinsberg and Bad Vibel before hanging up his gloves in summer 1990.
6) Ibrahim Tanko
Age on debut: 17 years and two months
Ibrahim Tanko accumulated a fair share more than three Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund after making his bow against VfB Stuttgart in September 1994. The Ghanaian was only a bit-part player at best, scoring three goals in 52 top-flight games across six-and-a-half seasons as a BVB player, but still picked up two Bundesliga winner’s medals and was part of the all-conquering ensemble that lifted the 1997 UEFA Champions League. He later spent six years with Freiburg, producing eight goals and as many assists in 122 outings in Germany’s top two divisions for the Black Forest dwellers.
7) Gio Reyna
Age on debut: 17 years, two months and six days
Unlike Tanko, Reyna could be for keeps. The 17-year-old hadn’t long been promoted to the Dortmund first team when he came off the bench as a a 72nd-minute substitute for Thorgan Hazard in Augsburg on Matchday 18 of the 2019/20 campaign. The former New York City FC academy product had a big hand in one of BVB’s five second-half goals, playing the pass before the pass that enabled Erling Haaland to complete his hat-trick to cap a whirlwind outing that means the US youth international ranks as the youngest American debutant in Bundesliga history, and fourth youngest to pull on a famous black-and-yellow shirt in competitive fare. His first goal for the club - a belter in the DFB Cup against Bremen - saw him usurp countryman and Dortmund alumni Christian Pulisic by some four months as the youngest American to score for BVB.
Age on debut: 17 years, two months and 21 days
Jude Bellingham had already made history for boyhood club Birmingham City as the youngest player to appear and score for the first team while still only 16. At the time of his Bundesliga debut, starting on Matchday 1 of 2020/21 against Borussia Mönchengladbach, he was ‘only’ the fourth-youngest to feature for BVB in the league. Moukoko’s debut saw him knocked down a rung to fifth, but the English teenager still made history on his Bundesliga bow by teeing up Reyna for the opening goal. Not only did Bellingham become the youngest player to register an assist in the league (since data collection began in 1992/93), it was also the youngest co-production between scorer and provider for a Bundesliga goal. After a promising first campaign in Germany, expect to see plenty more of the young boy from Birmingham.
Watch: Analysing the Bundesliga's dream teens Bellingham, Wirtz and Jamal Musiala
9) Josha Vagnoman
Age on debut: 17 years, two months and 27 days
While Reyna was born in Sunderland, England, raised in the US and is presently cooking up a storm in Dortmund, Josha Vagnoman has shown himself to be more of a home bird. The Port City kid climbed the youth ranks of Hamburg, before being thrown in at the deep end one fateful Saturday afternoon at Bayern’s Allianz Arena in March 2018. Through no fault of his own, the teenaged defender was given a chastening introduction to life at the highest level as HSV crashed to an 6-0 defeat - one of 23 on their way to losing their proud status as the only founding Bundesliga member never to be relegated. The right-back, who doesn't turn 21 until December 2021, appeared only fleetingly in 2018/19, but has now reached 50 competitive appearances for the Hamburg first team and earned himself seven U21 caps for Germany.
10) Simon Asta
Age on debut: 17 years, three months and 17 days
After first appearing on the Bundesliga stage at the end of the 2017/18 season, Simon Asta would spent most of the next two years with the Augsburg U19s and at times the reserves. One more first-team appearance came once again on the final matchday of 2018/19 - his sole Bundesliga start and one to forget as Augsburg were thumped 8-1 by Wolfsburg. Ruptured knee ligaments saw him miss half of 2020 before joining Greuther Fürth on a free transfer for the 2020/21 campaign. He only made five appearances as cover at right-back, but will be back in the Bundesliga again with the Cloverleaves in 2021/22.