Kevin Schade made a name for himself with some jet-heeled Bundesliga displays for Freiburg. - © Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Kevin Schade made a name for himself with some jet-heeled Bundesliga displays for Freiburg. - © Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Kevin Schade: Who is the Germany U-21 international from Freiburg's famed academy?


He's one of the fastest Bundesliga players ever and has a keen eye for goal, but what else is there to know about Kevin Schade, the latest success story from Freiburg's famed youth academy?

Kevin Schade

Age: 21
Club: Brentford
Position: Forward
Country: Germany (five U21 caps, one goal)

Key stats

Born in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam to a German mother and a Nigerian father, Schade got his start in the game at the age of seven with local team Babelsberg. He remained there until his early teens, at which point he joined Energie Cottbus. Consistently impressive displays in their youth team, including seven goals and two assists in 23 appearances for the U17s, caught Freiburg's eye, and he moved from the north-east of Germany to the south-west in summer 2018 at the age of 17.

The goals continued to flow in the Black Forest. Schade registered 11 goals and nine assists in 43 games for the U19s between 2018 and 2020, and followed that up with 11 and six in 31 outings for the reserves.

Watch: All of Schade's Bundesliga goals

All of which earned him promotion to Freiburg's first team at the start of the 2021/22 season, and he made his top-flight debut as a 71st-minute substitute in a 2-1 victory at home to Borussia Dortmund in August 2021. Schade quickly became a key member of head coach Christian Streich's side that season, making 21 league appearances and scoring his first senior goal in a 6-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach in December 2021.

The nimble forward was already a Germany U21 international at that point, having earned his first cap a couple of months earlier, even finding the net on his debut in a victory over Israel. Schade missed six months of action in 2022 with an abdominal injury but returned in September 2022. He scored one goal in eight Bundesliga outings in 2022/23 prior to joining Premier League club Brentford in January 2023.

Plays a bit like: Michael Owen

Standing at 6'0" and weighing 74 kg (163 pounds), Schade isn't the type of forward who can hold off big burly defenders and bring teammates into the game, but he comes alive in the penalty box. Much like former England forward Michael Owen, his pace and movement make him almost impossible to mark, while his knack of being in the right place at the right time leads to plenty of goals.

Did you know?

Schade is the seventh-fastest Bundesliga player of all time – even quicker than Erling Haaland – having posted a top speed of 22.60 mph (36.37 km/h) in Freiburg's 3-1 home win over Greuther Fürth on Matchday 10 of the 2021/22 season.

What they're saying

"He's a self-confident young guy. He's got a great leap and is really good in the air. He's talented and his speed is a great weapon." – Freiburg coach Christian Streich

"Kevin's path from the youth academy through to becoming a Bundesliga player has brought us immense joy. Kevin has developed very well and very quickly in this time, and showed the potential he has. We would like to thank Kevin for our time together and view him as another example of what young people can achieve at Freiburg." - Freiburg sporting director Jochen Sauer

"We knew pretty quickly that we wouldn't be able to keep him here for long because he had too many of the qualities that other clubs look for." - Matthias Boron, head of the youth academy at Schade's former club, SV Babelsberg