Keep your eyes on Weston McKennie, Josh Sargent Jadon Sancho, Ibrahima Konate, Kai Havertz (l-r.) and more in 2019/20. - © DFL
Keep your eyes on Weston McKennie, Josh Sargent Jadon Sancho, Ibrahima Konate, Kai Havertz (l-r.) and more in 2019/20. - © DFL
bundesliga

Weston McKennie, Jadon Sancho, Kai Havertz and the Bundesliga wonderkids to watch out for in 2019/20

Every club has a hero - that one player who can change games in an instant - but in the Bundesliga they also all have a wonderkid, a prodigious youngster making waves among the senior pros. From Jadon Sancho and Kai Havertz through to some less familiar names, we shine the spotlight on the fresh-faced starlets to watch in each team this season.

Bayern MunichFiete Arp

Where will he play? That the 19-year-old striker has been signed to Bayern's first-team squad is indication enough of how highly he is regarded, but realistically Arp may have to bide his time initially. Niko Kovac tended to play a 4-2-3-1 formation last season with Robert Lewandowski in the lone striker's role. It will be tough to oust the Polish hitman outright, but as the only other recognised forward in the squad, Arp should still be given plenty of playing time with Bayern competing in three competitions.

Why you should be excited: Arp made history in 2017 with Hamburg by becoming the first person born in the year 2000 to play and score in the Bundesliga. He added another goal in 18 appearances that season and scored one in 17 outings in Bundesliga 2 last term, although he only started five times. Blessed with pace, power and a keen eye for goal, the prospect of Arp learning the ropes from Lewandowski can only mean good things.

Watch: Kovac on Arp

Borussia DortmundJadon Sancho

Where will he play? On the right side of attack in the starting line-up is where! Sancho's breakout season last term made him one of the first names on head coach Lucien Favre's teamsheet, his 12 goals and 14 assists a key part of Dortmund's title charge that ultimately fell just short of the line

Why you should be excited: Now a full England international and a year older and wiser, the 19-year-old is very much the real deal. The arrivals of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard provide extra competition for places in the wide attacking positions, but that is only likely to spur Sancho on to even greater heights. Expect plenty more dribbles, tricks, assists and goals. If the DFL Supercup was anything to go by, he's started 2019/20 right where he left off last season.

Watch: Sancho's Bundesliga Mixtape

RB Leipzig - Ibrahima Konate

Where will he play? At centre-back, no question. The 20-year-old played more minutes than any other defender at Leipzig last season, so his part in helping the team keep the stingiest defence in the Bundesliga (just 29 conceded) cannot be overstated. "Ibrahima's developed brilliantly here so far and his qualities have led to him becoming an integral member of our defence," said former head coach Ralf Rangnick. "We are convinced of his huge potential and think that he will take huge strides with us over the coming months and years."

Why you should be excited: Football fans everywhere are familiar with the unbridled joy of watching a goal being scored, but there is an almost equal – if more subtle – pleasure in witnessing a masterful defender snuff out opposition chances. Konate is already exceptional, with his pace, strength and expert positioning among his key strengths. And given head coach Julian Nagelsmann's track record of turning gifted youngsters into world-beaters, the sky really is the limit for Konate.

Ibrahima Konate (l.) has matched the likes of Robert Lewandowski (r.) in his time in the Bundesliga already. - Oliver Hardt/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images

Bayer Leverkusen: Kai Havertz

Where will he play? In central attacking midfield, without doubt. Havertz is still just 20 but is already going into his fourth Bundesliga season as a professional, having enjoyed his finest campaign so far in 2018/19, registering 17 goals and three assists. Peter Bosz's attack-minded playing style aligns perfectly with that of Havertz, who became a full Germany international last term.

Why you should be excited: With Brandt having departed for Dortmund, creative responsibility in the final third will fall even more heavily on the Leverkusen No.29's shoulders – a task you suspect he will fulfil with aplomb. It will also be fascinating to see him link up with exciting new arrivals Kerem Demirbay, Nadiem Amiri and Moussa Diaby as Die Werkself look to improve on last season's fourth-placed finish.

Watch: Havertz's top 5 skills

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Florian Neuhaus

Where will he play? A central midfielder who is all about the passing, Neuhaus could be the beating heart of the Gladbach game under new coach Marco Rose. The 22-year-old, however, faces stiff competition in the centre of the pitch. Mickael Cuisance, Christoph Kramer and Denis Zakaria are all in contention for those central midfield spots, while Tobias Strobl also fulfils a more defensive role.

Why you should be excited: Neuhaus is currently one of the hottest young midfielders in Germany. He featured in all five games at the U21 Euros this summer, providing two assists while running the German game. Last season the 22-year-old set up eight goals in the Bundesliga – a league high for an outright central midfielder – and scored a further three himself after returning from a loan spell at Fortuna Düsseldorf with a Bundesliga 2 winner’s medal. You can assume there will be much more to come from the youngster under Rose this term.

Florian Neuhaus will be an integral part of Marco Rose's squad at Borussia Mönchengladbach. - Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images

Wolfsburg: Josip Brekalo

Where will he play? Brekalo made 25 Bundesliga appearances last season, starting 15 games, mostly as the left-sided attacker in a 4-2-3-1 formation under Bruno Labbadia. Predominately right-footed and able to cut inside and shoot or use his pace to go down the line, he has an instinctive understanding with left-back Jerome Roussillon that could prove decisive as new boss Oliver Glasner seeks to settle on his preferred starting XI.

Why you should be excited: Already a full international for Croatia, Brekalo featured for his country at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship this summer, memorably scoring twice as his side fought back three times to draw 3-3 with England. He is hard-wired to burst forward whenever he gets the ball and is likely to play an important role in a Wolfsburg team with renewed confidence after a successful 2018/19 season that saw them qualify for the UEFA Europa League group stage.

You should never take your eyes off Josip Brekalo when he is in possession. - 2018 DFL

Eintracht Frankfurt: Dejan Joveljic

Where will he play? Luka Jovic's departure to Real Madrid and Sebastien Haller's move to West Ham has opened up a couple of spaces in Frankfurt's front line alongside Ante Rebic. Goncalo Paciencia is another candidate to fill one of the vacancies, but as he is more of a similar player to Haller, summer arrival Joveljic is likely to be given every chance to fill the Jovic void.

Why you should be excited: Still just 19, Joveljic is good with both feet and in the air. He scored eight times in 17 league games last term - nine of them starts – his strikes coming in at an extremely healthy rate of every 96 minutes played. With Rebic, Paciencia, Filip Kostic and Danny da Costa teeing up chance after chance, Joveljic will be relishing the prospect of getting stuck in at the Commerzbank-Arena.

Dejan Joveljic (l.) is looking to fill the boots left by Luka Jovic (r.) in Eintracht Frankfurt's attack. - imago/ getty images

Werder Bremen: Josh Sargent

Where will he play? Sargent is a natural-born goalscorer, so the closer he is to the opposition penalty area, the better! Head coach Florian Kohfeldt is a big fan of the 19-year-old USA international and looks set to continue giving him game time.

Why you should be excited: Sargent already has two Bundesliga goals to his name in just 205 minutes of action after making his debut last season. And after being omitted from the USA's final Gold Cup squad, the Bremen No.19 will be more determined than ever to prove his worth at the highest level this term. Max Kruse's departure means several players, including Johannes Eggestein, Claudio Pizarro and Niclas Füllkrug are jostling for berths up front. Can the Missouri native take his chance?

Watch: Sargent starts Bundesliga adventure with a bang

Hoffenheim: Christoph Baumgartner

Where will he play? The fact that Hoffenheim allowed creative midfielders Kerem Demirbay and Nadiem Amiri to leave over the summer was in part based on their faith in the up-and-coming talents of Christoph Baumgartner. The 20-year-old can play anywhere in attacking midfield and is looking to make his breakthrough into Alfred Schreuder's first team this year, rather than being sent out on loan.

Why you should be excited: The Austria youth international recently signed a four-year contract extension at the club he joined in 2017, and received glowing praise from sporting director Alexander Rosen upon doing so: "Baumi's an extremely gifted player with exceptional technique and good positional awareness in attack. He finds solutions in tight situations and is becoming increasingly dangerous in front of goal." Baumgartner made his Bundesliga debut at the end of last season, coming off the bench on Matchday 33 and making his first start on Matchday 34. Given Hoffenheim's track record at bringing through youngsters, he's certainly one to keep an eye on.

Christoph Baumgartner is highly rated at Hoffenheim and is hoping to establish himself in the first team in 2019/20. - imago images / DeFodi

Fortuna Düsseldorf: Dawid Kownacki

Where will he play? The departures of fellow attackers Dodi Lukebakio and Benito Raman make the club's signing of Kownacki on loan for another season all the more important. The Polish attacker is set to be the focal point of Düsseldorf's forays forward as they attempt to retain their top-flight status for another year.

Why you should be excited: The 22-year-old scored four goals in just 10 Bundesliga outings on loan from Sampdoria in the second half of last season – including against Dortmund and Schalke - giving a glimpse of his promise in the final third. Having now adapted to life in Germany and with a full pre-season behind him, Kownacki should be able to burst out of the blocks.

A Polish striker with a keen eye for goal? Yup, now there's two of them in the Bundesliga, with Fortuna Düsseldorf's Dawid Kownacki (r.) joining Robert Lewandowski in Germany's top flight. - imago/ZUMA Press

Hertha Berlin: Arne Maier

Where will he play? A defensive midfielder by trade, Maier is one of the unsung heroes in the Hertha team. He rarely puts a foot wrong or gives the ball away, and is the link between defence and attack for the capital club.

Why you should be excited: Maier was a key member of Germany's squad that finished as runners-up at the U21 Euros this summer. He made 24 league outings last season – only missing out due to injury, rather than form – and is expected to be a cornerstone of the Hertha team again this term. "He's shown how much potential he has," said sporting director Michael Preetz in 2018/19. "We’re convinced that his great development up to now is far from over."

Arne Maier has fans from all corners of the Bundesliga, including Borussia Dortmund's Mario Götze - imago/Moritz Müller

Mainz: Aaron Martin

Where will he play? The Spaniard made the left-back slot his own last season, having initially joined on loan from Espanyol Barcelona before making his transfer permanent.

Why you should be excited: The 22-year-old made 33 Bundesliga appearances last term, 32 of them as a starter. A marauding, attack-minded left-back, Martin can regularly be seen charging up the flank and getting balls into the box - a trait that helped him earn a handful of assists last term. "He's a quality player who immediately nailed down a place in the starting line-up," enthused sporting director Rouven Schröder. "He's still a very young player with huge potential and we hope he'll keep developing here the way he has been."

Mainz fans have grown used to the sight of Aaron Martin flying up and down the left wing - and will likely see plenty more of the Spaniard in 2019/20. - 2019 DFL

Freiburg: Luca Waldschmidt

Where will he play? As a forward, likely to be off the shoulder of main striker Nils Petersen.

Why you should be excited: Have you been hiding away all summer? Waldschmidt took the U21 Euros by storm in Italy, smashing in seven goals – including a stunning long-range hit against Austria – to finish as the tournament's top scorer. With confidence riding high from that achievement, the left-footed 23-year-old will be looking to better his haul of nine goals and one assist in the Bundesliga last season.

Luca Waldschmidt lit up the UEFA U21 EURO this summer, finishing the tournament as top scorer in seven goals. - imago images / DeFodi

Schalke: Weston McKennie

Where will he play? Good question. Last season he played at full-back, centre-back, central midfield and up front, so the American could pop up anywhere! McKennie has said, however, that he is most comfortable as a box-to-box midfielder.

Why you should be excited: The 20-year-old recently signed a contract extension at Schalke and is now going into his third full season as a pro. He's long been adept at winning tackles and making timely interceptions, and looks to have added goalscoring to his repertoire after netting in back-to-back games for the US at the Gold Cup.

Weston McKennie is ready to lead Schalke back to the top under new coach David Wagner. - 2019 DFL

Augsburg: Marco Richter

Where will he play? Richter made 17 Bundesliga starts for Augsburg last term and will compete for a place in attack alongside Alfred Finnbogason, Sergio Cordova and Florian Niederlechner.

Why you should be excited: Richter didn't score in the Bundesliga last term until Matchday 29, his goals coinciding with the arrival of
Martin Schmidt as head coach at the beginning of April. Once the dam was broken, however, the 21-year-old couldn't stop finding the net. He hit four in the final six games of the season and added another three at the U21 Euros in Italy over the summer.

Watch: Richter hits a brace in a thumping win over Stuttgart

Cologne: Jorge Mere

Where will he play? The Spain U21 international was a staple in Cologne's backline as they roared to the Bundesliga 2 title in 2018/19, starting 26 of the team's 34 league games at centre-back, where he is set to be a starter again this term.

Why you should be excited: The 22-year-old was part of Spain's European Under-21 Championship-winning squad this summer, even if he did not feature in the final. Robust in the tackle, composed on the ball and with excellent distribution from the back, Mere plays with a maturity beyond his years.

Jorge Mere helped Spain to win the U21 European Championships this summer, and will now continue his Cologne career in the Bundesliga. - imago/Beautiful Sports

Paderborn: Sebastian Vasiliadis

Where will he play? The 21-year-old took Bundesliga 2 by storm in his maiden season in the division in 2018/19 and is able to operate anywhere across the midfield, although he is at his most effective in a central attacking role.

Why you should be excited: Promoted sides often struggle for goals in the top flight, but Paderborn may just be immune to that particular ailment thanks to Vasiliadis. Diminutive, agile and with superb vision, he scored six goals and provided 10 assists last season – meaning he had a hand in over 21 per cent of his team's total, 76 – to help Paderborn earn promotion. Their hopes of survival could hinge on Vasiliadis hitting the ground running in his maiden Bundesliga campaign.

One to watch: Sebastian Vasiliadis will be charged with unlocking opposition defences for Paderborn this season. - imago images / Team 2

Union Berlin: Lennard Maloney

Where will he play? A defensive specialist, the 19-year-old can play at both centre-back and right-back.

Why you should be excited: A dual German-American citizen, Maloney missed most of last season due to his academic commitments, but with his focus now fully on playing football, it will be intriguing to see how he adapts. He is held in such high regard at Union that he was awarded a contract extension in April this year - despite not playing.

A debut Bundesliga season to remember for Leonard Maloney and Union Berlin? - imago/Matthias Koch