Schooled the Bayern Munich way and a UEFA U21 Euro winner with Germany, Niklas Dorsch has acquired the keys to the Augsburg midfield. bundesliga.com reveals why they are in safe hands...
Position: Defensive midfielder
Country: Germany (13 U21 caps/ one goal)
Born in northern Bavaria, Dorsch spent his early years at Nuremberg, before switching to Bayern at the age of 14. Having turned out for the record champions' U16s and 17s, and captained the reserves, he was given his Bundesliga debut in a 4-1 win against Eintracht Frankfurt in May 2018. As well as starting the match, he opened the scoring, exactly three years after suffering a leg break on U17 duty with Germany. Nevertheless, it marked his only competitive appearance for the Bayern first team.
Dorsch's search for regular minutes took him down a tier to Heidenheim. He registered three goals and eight assists in 62 Bundesliga 2 matches for the club, and was part of the side that lost the 2020 promotion/ relegation play-off to Werder Bremen on away goals. The 5'8" right-footer switches to Augsburg on a five-year deal, fresh from a one-season stint at Belgian club Gent, where he produced four goals and as many assists in 43 appearances.
After crowning a 37-cap Germany youth international career with the top prize at the 2021 U21 Euros, Dorsch has the chance to go for gold as part of Stefan Kuntz's 19-man squad at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Plays a bit like: Toni Kroos
A defensive role in front of the back four is Dorsch's preference, but he can also operate further up the pitch. His ability to retain the ball under pressure, recycle possession and open up opposition defences from deep is reminiscent of Toni Kroos.
Lending weight to the comparison with his friend, idol and former teammate, the Augsburg No.30's pro career average for successful pass completion is hovering around the 90 percent mark.
Watch: Skip to 00:23 to relive Niklas Dorsch's debut Bundesliga goal
Did you know?
Dorsch likes beer, especially his grandmother's. "My grandma's always got nice beer. She used to run her own brewery - she's the best!" he revealed in response to an added pre-match sweetener from the Dorsch family brewer.
"If Germany win the U21 cup, Niklas can bring it here and we'll fill it with beer," commented Niklas' gran. "I'll serve up some pork knuckle, too."
What they're saying
"We're delighted he chose to join Augsburg, despite interest from elsewhere. He's a very talented footballer with the right mentality." - Augsburg sporting director Stefan Reuter
"For me, Dorsch is a similar kind of player to Lothar Matthäus. He's powerful, dynamic and technically gifted. Primarily, he's a defensive-minded box-to-box midfielder. I also see a likeness to Leon Goretzka and Thomas Delaney." - Dorsch's former coach at Heidenheim, Heiko Vogel
"Niklas has all the qualities of a top central midfielder. When he picks up possession, he already knows where he’s going to send the ball. That's a rare quality, and in his position, indispensable." - former Germany youth coach Marcel Lucassen